Before you read this post, you might enjoy studying a Google map satellite view of the area between Port of Iberia and Atchafalaya Bay, about 80 miles away.  Locate Lafayette and then zoom in and go to the SE.  Bays, islands, bayous, and lakes abound.  Soon after we made the eastbound turn onto the GICW, we met fishing vessel Isabella and another dredge. 

x

Around the dredge, some makeshift markers indicated something, maybe not intended for us to know.

Disused infrastructure made up parts of the boundary between the GICW and Weeks Bay.  I plan a post soon on energy infrastructure I saw and have received some help understanding.

Port of Memphis ACBL tug Capt Doug Wright steamed eastbound here alongside some Morton Salt/American Mine Services infrastructure along the GICW at Weeks Island.  It appears Weeks Island may have a ghost town . . ..

We overtook them and had this view of  another view of the mostly covered barges.

A few feet of clearance allowed us passage under the 75′ clearance of the Route 319 bridge for the road to Cypremort Point.

We met LBT tug Clair S. Smith.

Compass Minerals-owned, Morgan City-built  cable ferry Tripper III crosses between

the mainland and Cote Blanche Island.

USCG 75′ tug Axe, based in Morgan City LA, is one of eight 75′ WLIC boats.

Periodically, I sit drinking ice water and looking out the galley door at the forbidding banks.

Triple S Marine’s lugger tug Stephen L is a 1200 hp tug based in Morgan City.

Cullen Landolt from Tuscaloosa AL pushes westbound in the ditch.

LBT’s Dickie Gonsoulin waits in a cove adjacent to what I believe is the Birla Carbon plant in Centerville LA.   It produces carbon black, a product that among other things makes tires black.

Kirby tug Steve Holcomb pushes barges Kirby 28045 and 

28075 toward the west.

Without my listing all these boats or posting all the photos of boats I took that afternoon . . .  I hope you conclude that the GICW west of Morgan City is a busy corridor.

At the intersection just before Morgan City, we turned south, leaving the GICW for the Atchafalaya River, where we had real depths between 105′ and 5′, which briefly had us aground.  Fast crew boat Kervie B comes up the Atchafalaya River from the Bay.

Nowhere on this shrimp boat could I find a name.   Also, among all these traditional designs, I’m not sure how to call this one;  Lafitte skiff or Atchafalaya skiff or something else?

As dusk approached and we followed the channel out, we met Marcella G. Gondran heading up the Atchafalaya with what appeared to be major pieces of a dismantled platform.

As we headed into a windy evening out on the Bay, we followed this vegetation where no settlement is possible.

Before “legging down” at the end of the first day of the journey, we studied the buoys and waited for the green flash. 

The next morning good calm weather allowed me to do the first in a series of selfie drone shots.  More of those in future posts.

All photos and any errors, WVD.  These photos show fewer than half the boats we saw that day.  If you are interested in more tugs from that section of the waterway, please let me know.

With all the references to Morgan City in this post, you might want to go back to this December post (and scroll) to see how Christmas is marked in Morgan City.

 

 

 

The bell hung silent as one prolonged blast signaled departure, and today’s post, a slow one, covers just the two first hours heading out of port of Iberia into the NISDC, as explained here a few weeks ago.  Also check part 1 and part 2 of this title. 

That morning a local toothy critter gave us the send off.

Behold the many fingers of the Port of Iberia, as witnessed by the screen. We had been the red X. 

Traffic was quite heavy, with Full Steam and others shuttling aggregate barges past us.

Note the many legs we left behind in the yard where many were built and more are serviced.

More legs are visible as we head south on the NISDC. 

Our heading south meant this photo of these miles and miles of pipes is backlit.  Feel the heat and humidity in the air.

The number of OSVs in the port astonished me. 

When did Abigail Claire last crew up and depart, or

ditto Seacor Washington?  There were other OSVs up various waterway fingers as well.

Around the very first bend, we came upon a dredging operation.

Small tug named Mudd Tug 7 was tending

Magnolia‘s dredge called Grand Terre.

A ways farther, a memorial along the west side of NISDC caught my attention, and of course I had to look it up.  I’ve seen these along roads, but this is a first along a waterway for me.

Then the canal was straight as “land cuts” in any canal, like portions of the Erie Canal.

Dead ahead is the intersection of NISDC and the Gulf ICW.  A right turn here leads to Texas and a left to points east as far as Florida, my destination. 

Ambre Lynn Settoon tends the dredge and crew boat Mr Isaac assists with crew change and supplies.

All photos, WVD, during the first 10 or so miles of a thousand-mile journey, and not yet two hours have elapsed. 

Other posts will cover more more territory, but you have to admit that the first few steps of a hike sometimes feel the best.

Here’s another mostly photographic account of quite commonplace traffic off Louisiana, aka in the oil patch.  

Fourchon Runner is running some supplies, equipment, and likely personnel out to one of a forest of platforms involved in oil and gas extraction.  Here are stats on Fourchon Runner

This unit on the stern looks to my untrained eye to be a ROV.

Is this an active nearshore drill rig?  

Standing by platform Enterprise 205, registered in Monrovia,  is GOL Power.  GOL expands to Gulf Offshore Logistics, and they have a diverse fleet as seen here. Click here for a short history of Enterprise Offshore Drilling, and here for more info on their 205. Surprisingly it has 84 berths.  I’m wondering why the foreign registry.

A ways farther east, and visible for miles, was platform Enterprise 351, capable of working in deeper water, up to 350′!

Jacob Gerald, a GOL utility vessel, passes a platform, likely not a drilling platform.

As we began our turn toward the SW Pass of the Mississippi River is Randolph John

a Tobias, Inc. boat. 

Jimmie Holmes Elevator is a 2006 lift boat.  A lot of lift boats have names including the word “elevator.”

The 2005 ABI C was headed off to deliver supplies and who knows what else. 

Sea Service 1 is a 180′ GOL vessel. 

 

All photos and any errors, WVD. 

Long time readers of this blog know I’ve assigned the term “exotic” to vessel types not commonly seen in the sixth boro.  If I’d begun the blog in the SW Louisiana section of the Gulf of Mexico, I’d never have called the boats in this post “exotic.”  For a primer on types of offshore supply vessels (OSVs) seen in these waters, check out this link and call it OSV 101 . . .  as the USCG does. 

Let’s have a look. 

Above and below, the name “tiger” gets applied to two very different vessels with a quarter mile of each other.  I’ve not yet tapped into significant resources for OSVs like the Tiger above or the Tiger below, a small lift boat, sometimes referred to as an elevating boat.  I believe  Tiger started life as Al Plachy in 1971. 

These photos were all taken between Port of Iberia and Port Fourchon, an area where, besides OSVs like Luke Thomas, another “exotic” feature is the amount of energy infrastructure.  I do have a lot of photos I’ll need help interpreting because I could call all these structures “rigs” or platforms but I suspect enough differentiation exists that should be understood.   All that will be part of unpacking my recent hot sojourn.  For a sense of the platforms and active pipelines in the “oil patch,” click here.   A much more detailed picture emerges from looking at a bathymetric chart that shows all the inactive infrastructure that needs nevertheless to be considered before anchoring or spudding down.  

More on Luke Thomas here

Grant, I believe, is a smaller but faster OSV. As I alluded above, the amount of differentiation among platforms is significant.

Check out this sequence with Grant, where she approaches stern-to, 

a “personnel cage” is lowered, and 

a crew member will be transferred up to the top of the platform.  Does the “cage” have a more technical or vernacular term?

Gloria May here backs up to a rig in the area of Isles Dernieres/Timbalier Island chain.   I have some good bird photos, so I’m going to have to do a “for the birds post” one of these days. 

I’m not sure where C-Fighter was coming from, but 

her livery and name identify her as an Edison Chouest OSV, and she was headed into Port Fourchon. C-Fighter has appeared in this blog once before here

All photos and any errors . . . please pin on WVD.  I did make a doozy of an error in yesterday’s post, and am grateful for readers’ pointing out that error. 

In a few days when I’m more settled, I’ll begin a more systematic record of my trip out of the bayous. 

The needle says I’ve pumped enough air into the tanks to restart the main blog engines, but instead of returning with a chronological account of departing the bayous, which will come, I’ll begin with minutae, like this.  

I recognized the tugboat at once in Tampa harbor.  I first saw her new in early 2010, and I’ve added some links to my early posts below.

Unmistakably here is OSG Vision, that is Vision.  I’m not sure she’s actually still an OSC tugboat. 

Vision and many other ATBs reflected the . . .  vision . . . of Bob Hill, recently departed, RIP. I had the pleasure to meet him twice, years ago. 

I’d be happy to hear from anyone who has worked aboard Vision and whomever has knowledge about her future, given that she’s still a young boat. 

All photos here, WVD, taken in port of Tampa .

Some archival posts with Vision are here, but you have to scroll:  from Philly in 2010, from the sixth boro in spring 2010, and from spring 2011 also in the sixth boro.  You can find others if you use the upper lefts each window. 

You know from the previous “other watersheds 17” that this is the Amazon, so look at the color of the water.  If you want to read a scholarly article–albeit an old one–check this one out.   If you want to see satellite photos of the mouth, where this silty freshwater mixes with the ocean, click here. Keep in mind that way upriver, freshwater from the Amazon also fails to initially mix with freshwater from its tributary, the Rio Negro.  The non-mixing phenomenon can also be seen where the Ohio and the Mississippi meet, seen here [scroll].

Recall these photos were taken by my daughter, and I’m glad she took photos like this one below.

One town where she stopped was Mazagão Velho Novo. 

I find the lines on these Amazonian boats quite unusual, although I’m thinking they must be of traditional Portuguese design.

My daughter was studying marketing of forest products, including wood.

Small local farmers brought their crops to market by small boat, so she took photos like these to document what appeared on the docks.

I’m not sure what the bundles of sticks in the foreground were, but bananas are familiar, and these nuts are.

The dark fruits are açaí, a palm fruit.

I wish I’d gone along with her on this trip, because these boats are intriguing.

RORO of an open sort traveled the big river.

As you’d expect, larger cargoes moved on barges pushed by tugs like this,

like Milton Cesar, and then cargo ships travel a thousand miles up the river  to Manaus

necessitating big tugs like Merlim and Excalibur, which curiously list

port of registry as Paranaguá, 2000 miles away as the birds fly.

All photos thanks to my daughter.  Since she speaks Portuguese, maybe she’d be interested in returning there as my guide.  This may be the last post for a while.

Other than ice water or a cold shower on a hot day, what’s more refreshing than than looking at some tugboat photos taken at dawn?

Can’t you just feel the cool morning air?  In winter, we might bemoan the temperatures  usually lowest at sunrise;  in high summer, it’s the most peaceful and comfortable time. 

Let’s just follow these two tugboats as they pass . . .

You’ve seen them both before.

 

J. Arnold Witte seems to be keeping very busy since she got here not even a full year ago.

Rhea I. maintained her name although now operated and owned by Centerline, the lion logo line. 

J. Arnold‘s scow is running low in the water.

All photos, WVD, who might be out of touch for a few days and will likely not post this on FB because of the absence of WiFi in the southern wild.  He will, however, be taking lots of photos.

I don’t need to use a paternity test to prove that my daughter is in fact my daughter.  You can tell by looking at her travel resume.  Some years ago i thought I’d lose her to this country because she kept extending her stay.  Granted she was there to work, as I can claim for most of the exotic places I’ve been.  If I told you these were her sleeping quarters, might you guess where this watershed is located,

or even which waterway had her sleeping on a hammock?

Here’s a closer look at the water, and the sights

along it. Guess yet?

And yes, she took photos of commercial traffic. 

The next set I really appreciate although light was fading.  Below, let’s start with a [dark] bow shot, and then a series that you can mosaic in your mind. 

That’s a trailer loaded with propane canisters.  There’s a clue:  Muricituba is a town in the state of Ceará, which happens to be nowhere near this waterway.

That’s a long barge, with quite a few tractor trailers and 

and pieces of construction equipment, all heading upriver and pushed by 

a tugboat [rebocador] named Iguana.

And the watershed is . . .  the Amazon.  All these photos were taken upstream of Macapá, her departure point.   The photos were taken in 2010.

 

I am way out of the boro again and hoping to leave the bayous in the desired fashion.  So yes, the robots are back on the button, sticks, and levers.  The robots seem to love posts like this, random collections of mostly tugboat traffic,

like Ava escorting MSC Christiana out of the port, while

Timothy follows.  MSC Christiana is currently following the West African coastline, east to west.

Durham must have been working all night and was entering the Kills from the Upper Bay.

Vane’s Brooklyn was eastbound and met

Mister T.

Andrea went to rejoin her barge, and

Jordan looks resplendent in her new livery.

We started with Ava, so she makes the last image as well,

standing by as Mustafa Dayi waits, anchored in a location where container ships rarely do.

All photos, WVD, with posting by the tugster tower robotic team!

 

I’ve compartmentalized my photos from the Pioneer sail the other night, in part because in a short two-hour sail there was so much to see.  For starters, Stephanie Dann had earlier just rushed eastward and came back with Cornucopia Destiny, a dance partner on her starboard side.  I can speculate about this, but I don’t know the details.

As we headed into the Buttermilk, we met Susan Rose AND

Jordan Rose, ex- Evening Breeze and Evening Star, respectively.

This sweet downeaster passed.

I suspect Jordan came along to assist 

Susan into the notch.

Meanwhile, a ways down the piers, Stasinos Jimmy and currently still Evening Tide were rafted up for the moment.

Whatever brought Jordan to the Red Hook piers, by the time we had sailed passed the gantries, she was overtaking us.

On the return, as night began to fall, we met Thomas D. Witte and

then her fleetmate Douglas J.

At this point, my photos were pixelating, but I still managed to get Eastern Dawn, heading back to the “barn” at dusk.

All photos, WVD, who has handed the keys to the tower over to the robots again for a while.

 

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