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The first half of January 2013–a decade ago–was one long gallivant, taking in New Orleans to St Louis to Pittsburgh and then back home.  In the spirit of these retro posts, let me start here, shooting right off the Algiers ferry. Barbara E. Bouchard is now Dann M’s Turquoise Coast, which I’ve not seen.

No stroll in the night life of Nola is complete without a stop at Igor’s Checkpoint Charlie, combo bar, music venue, and laundromat!!

Following the river by car, we next stopped in Baton Rouge, and among the dozens of boats, enjoy this one–Ned Ferry–with a sixth boro connection:  It was built in 1959 Pittsburgh for Pennsylvania Railroad, which in 1968 merged with the New York Central to form Penn Central.  In 1974 it was sold to Crescent, which repowered and rebuilt it . . .  Find more in Paul Strubeck’s Diesel Railroad Tugs Vol 1.

The river is quite busy;  here Creole Sun works on a fleeting job.

Richard‘s pushing a set of tank barges. You might imagine I’m toying with a Mississippi River cruise this year.

American Pillar is a good example of a line haul boat:  195′ x 54′ and working with 10500 hp.

Fort Defiance Park in Cairo IL is a good place to see the Ohio and the Mississippi River refuse to mix for a while.  Note the difference in water color.

I never mentioned that my car was broken into in East St Louis in summer 2021;  Malcolm W Martin Park right across the way is the place.  I left a review on tripadvisor in September 2021 here if you scroll through.

Leaving St Louis in 2013 we made a stop in Kampville to catch the ferry across the Illinois River.

 

Then it was a lot of dry until we got to the Monongahela River at Belle Vernon PA, and the port of registry on these boats tell you where the nearest port (to the north) is.

We’ll leave it there.  If you want to peruse the archives for January 2013, click here . . .  they are in reverse chronological order.  There were obviously many many photos.

All photos, WVD.

These road fotos posts are celebrations by restless people like me of mobility and the means to travel, see new things.  I guess these are some guard rails on my southbound journey.

Northbound view, this highway has a guard rail to keep anyone from tumbling into the Pacific, whereas on the right side, that bank looks solid until the road disappears into the ocean with a landslide.

Staten Island has some guard rails to keep you from being distracted (ha!!)  by the sixth boro.

substantial guard rails now and speed cameras make it increasingly inhospitable.

The Mississippi–as seen from a westbound jet– has extra sand cushions around the turns, perfect locations for camping maybe if you follow the river road like Dale Sanders.  If you click on any links today, this one here on Sanders’ amazing feat is the one.   Eddie L. Harris did it too, although at a much younger age.

Here the critters in the bushes keep you focused on driving safely, and the potholes moderate your speed, one way or another, as you travel westbound.

Seen northbound just north of Washington DC . . .  and no comment.

This is the tow path/bike path up near Newark NY, and what you’ll see if you make a long bicycle trip eastbound in 2023.

Another eastbound photo . . . aka the Noses, place of legend.  If you click on another link today, be it this one. The photo below is from a road trip in October, but I’ve posted photos of this location from the Mohawk River in previous posts here. To the left is NYS Canal and then the transport rails you’d ride on Amtrak or a container train.

Heading north in November before turning back . . . all I can say is that the road, guard rails, ditches, Lake Ontario–like the truth–are out there . . . somewhere. 

And one more from November . . . southbound on the Taconic, this sign always intrigued me, conjured up lurid thoughts.  Unfortunately, I looked up its origin, and now I wish I hadn’t.  If you prefer to keep your lurid associations, do not look this up. Ignorance, if not always bliss, is sometimes more entertaining.

All photos, any weirdness, WVD, who wishes that all your travels are safe. 

If you want to help out with the next “road fotos” post, email me your strangest “seen along the road/channel/river/flyway/etc” photo you’ve taken this year . . .

This series goes back to the last days of December 2010, the first post here.  I could break the 2022 installment into three posts, each covering a third of this waning year. 

Things creep, including the definition of “road,” since a channel is not unlike a road.  In this photo from January 3, 2022, Ava and Bruce here guide Ever Far safely into her berth.  

This sign along the road in Orient does double duty;  to eastbound traffic it’s the last, but on the other side it equally accurately informs westbounders–just off the ferry–that it’s the first farm along this road.

This is a footpath under the Jackie Robinson Parkway.

This was a view from a rutted parking lot off a dirt road in the Appalachians in February.

These buffalo find a home in the 315 area code region of NYS.

Great Beds Light, as any lighthouse, guides vessels in channels between NY and NJ.

Here’s a welcoming sign along the east side of the Chesapeake, 

and this marks a lake that’s been drained several times and always comes back with a vengeance. 

That’s sand near Rodanthe, 

and a variety of farms near where I first lived.   Actually, the location of my first home is on the horizon center of the photo. 

Not far from the KVK, I transited this bamboo stand. and 

a few miles west of the Hudson, this trail required attention. 

Sidewalks and trails in Central Park get you here, and 

these ferries were idled near the southern tip of Hatteras.

All photos along various roads and taken in first months of 2022, WVD. 

 

I spent part of a quiet T’day thinking about doing a 2023 calendar, and difficult as it always is to winnow the choices down to 12 or so shots, I’m doing a calendar.  Price will likely be $20 again.    Sorry to bring up buying on this Black Friday.

Going back through the 2022 photos reminded me of the highs and lows of my personal year.  I also looked again at some gallivant photos I’ve never posted on the blog.  Today seems a good although dark, rainy day to open the line locker. 

Any guesses on this roadside attraction?  It’s a 3/8 size replica measuring 63′ x 13.’  I’ll let you do the math.  Answers below.   Doesn’t the design suggest a Zumwalt class destroyer?

I took the photo in April 2022. 

 

Here’s another roadside attraction.  Maybe I could do some road photos 2022 posts.  Any ideas about this similar replica vessel, this one appropriately on terra firma, or terra mudda?

There’s a clue in this photo. 

So before moving to the next sets, here’s some ID:  both are replica from the Confederate Navy and both are located in North Carolina, whose flag you see above.  The first is CSS Albemarle, moored in the Roanoke River in Plymouth NC.   The actual vessel–158′ x 35′ — was commissioned in April 1864, and sunk in October of the same year.  More here.

The second vessel is CSS Neuse II, a replica of a 152′ x 34′ steam-powered ironclad ram.  Also launched in April 1864, the underpowered and “overdrafted” warship bogged down and never left the immediate area of Kinston NC, where she was built.  Finally, in March 1865, her crew burnt the vessel in the river to prevent its capture by Union land forces.  More here

Previous US Civil War vessels I’ve mentioned on this blog are USS Cairo and CSS Hunley.   Any suggestions for other Civil War navies sites to visit?

The fine print on the vessel below says University of Maryland; it’s their RV Rachel Carson down in Solomons MD. 

I took the Carson photo from the decks of skipjack Dee of St Mary’s, a delightful cruise under sail as part of a friend’s even-more-delightful wedding. 

I’m not allowed to say much about the next set, but I have the privilege to see this tricky maneuvering up close.  

Note that this vessel, currently underway between Indonesia and South Korea, is assisted by four tugboats. 

Thanks so much for the hospitality.  You know who you are.  Again, sorry I’m not permitted to say much more or publish my article.  If you have any questions or comments about this last set, email or telephone me.

All photos, any errors, WVD, who’s thinking of doing a freighter cruise soon, with a destination in eastern or southeastern Asia.  does anyone have suggestions?  I’ve not yet contacted these folks.  

Moving through the anchorage in Gloucester during the schooner festival, I expected to see a variety of sailing craft, although not one like this. 

Polaris is a Viking replica fishing vessel, built in Anacortes WA to a design at least a thousand years old.

Downeast craftsmanship is evident in Tellina, although I know nothing more about the boat.

 

Ditto Bluefish.

It appears that pilot vessel Eastern Point was serving as a photographers’ launch.  Note the distinctive clock tower of Gloucester City Hall in the distance.

Another classic was out watching the schooners and sometimes stealing part of the show . . .  The Curator.

One of the joys I experience especially from Cape Ann and continuing downeast comes from the lobster boat design . . .  as in Black Sheep and

Life is Good.

Some of the boats were beauties a sailin’

 

but also beauties just at the dock like Lewis H. Story and 

Isabella, both handiwork of H. A. Burnham yard. 

I last spent much time on Cape Ann quite some time ago, as in here, here, and  here. And I last saw Ardelle in the Boothbays.  I can still do a whole post on Ardelle.

All photos, WVD. 

Even if you’re not a regular reader of this blog or you lack a photographic memory, you just know from the photo below that Legs III has completed its journey.  Bravo Seth and crew. 

So let’s go back to the land of liftboats and have another look, since I’ve got “binders full of” boat photos I’ve not yet posted . . .

like L/B Lafayette above and Grand Isle below, boats likely now back at work.

So let’s hit the ditches . . .

 

Keep in mind that if I were to do this trip again–and I’d LOVE to–I might see all different boats, not Capt Doug Wright of Memphis, 

Clair S. Smith of Houma, 

or streamlined barge Kirby 28161. 

I might not see Born Again or 

Salvation, although

I saw Salvation of Nola on a previous trip.  

Good Shepherd I may have seen before too, or maybe it’s just a familiar name.

 

These lodges–sometimes single and other times in groups– on islands accessible only by boat and

really blue herons  . . . intrigue me, and as the other French speakers of North America say . .  . Je me souviens…  I’ll add  je reviendrai.

Names like Cullen Landolt and

Mike Mitchell . . . make me wonder who the namesakes are or were. 

Note anything unusual to sixth boro eyes on the stern of Matthew James?

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen folks working under a parasol up here, but there I saw it quite frequently, and the heat tells me it’s a health and safety issue.

All the photos in this post were taken in the first half day of the trip, the only portion we did on the GICW, but  . . . a lot of boats work what seemed like uninhabited land on the water’s edge, like Jeff Montgomery, 

Bill Tullier,

Squaw

Mr Leon, 

Intra Responder, 

and to end this part of the recap . . .

Zoie, which I’m not sure how to pronounce like . . . rhymes with Zoey or Joie….

All photos, WVD, who has more recaps with new photos to come.

Technically we were out of the bayous once we entered the Atchafalaya on day 1.  Ever wonder the derivation of the word “bayou”?  It’s Choctaw for “sluggish watercourse,” and there was not much sluggish about the Atchafalaya. While on word/place name derivations, “atchafalaya” is Choctaw for “long river.”

On the annotated map below, red shows roughly our track day 1, orange is day 2, and green is day 3.  After day 1 we were no longer in inland watercourses. 

Call it near coastal, or call it pelican waters, as contrasted with alligator and egret waters.

Or call it wellhead waters.  Note all the pelicans residing on this platform marked TalosSS110A.  Talos Energy is a significant oil/gas company in the GOM.

From charts, I surmise the floor of the GOM is crisscrossed with much more infrastructure than appears on the surface, and the number of platforms of various designs was too many for me to count.  Granted, companies like Talos and Cox, not exactly household names although associated with the oil/gas industry, have departments to quantify every last item out here.  Click here to see a hint of that subsea infrastructure for just one company;  note that it’s interactive.

Crew of all skills levels get shuttled around in crew boats to platforms and lift boats.

No matter where you gaze, you see infrastructure.

 

Crew also shuttles in and out on helicopters.

Those appear to be a number of christmas trees on the lower left portion of this platform.

As day 2 wore on, we passed these laid up aka “cold stacked” drill platforms, although not close enough to read any names/writing on them.  Might they be, and I’m quoting here from someone who knows more than I do, “seven or so former HERCULES jackups (which, in fact, have never been officially renamed as ENTERPRISE)  that match these perfectly:  six Bethlehem units (one of which has no derrick because she was last used for production) and one lattice–legged unit, matching the sole Marathon-LeTourneau rig on their list, HERCULES 150.  [Check out the first six minutes of this 1980s film to understand some of the features].

These elderly shallow-water jackups are dinosaurs and have trouble finding work in the best of times.  They probably were cold-stacked about 10 years ago as oilfield slowed down, and between antiquation and corrosion, would only be reactivated in a real windfall.” 

“Lattice legged” I understand, but can someone explain the “screw” tip legs to the right, which must be Bethlehem Steel built? 

As darkness fell, we “legged” down south of the Timbalier Islands, Terrebonne Parish,  east of the mothballed rigs, and

southwest of Port Fourchon, aka Fourchon, where I’ve visited twice. Fourchon is so low-lying that even from just a few miles off, it seemed like nothing more than skyglow.  I’ve not been back there after Hurricane Ida hit last summer.

  Port Fourchon was little more than mosquito lands until 1960. 

All photos and any errors, WVD.   Many thanks to a modest but “somewhat trusty expert” [his nomenclature] for some explanation of the function of oil/gas infrastructure.  As I post more such photos, I’m hoping more experts will weigh in.

Here’s a 2010 photo essay of rig work from the Houston Chronicle, and another from CNN  here showing work conditions on a rig in the GOM. 

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 in the channel 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.

 

 

 

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. 

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