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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. 

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. 

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.

 

While waiting to get under way and depart the bayou, I have WiFi and might as well post some photos I’ve taken along the backroads.  I’m posting this one now but took it a decade ago, and I believe the restaurant is now as active as the Edsel motor car business. 

This set I took in April ’22 in Cape Charles VA.

If ever I get involved with another restoration, I’ll certainly leave the exterior paint distressed in this way.

A distillery creates an aged product, right?

 

This one I took in northern GA in December 2021, 

and have been trying to fit it in somewhere.  

All photos, WVD, who’s posted photos like these under autoster.   Jeeps can be found here. Old Car City GA has attracted me too, whenever I’ve been along I-75 in northern GA.  Part A of this series can be found here

Also, if you’re on Instagram (IG), I started posting there late summer 2021 here, and since then have found great photos like these under “ruralrideshunter.”

 

Full disclosure:  Years ago I was showing friends from Germany around the city, and chuckled when they stopped to take photos of squirrels.  Squirrels were a novelty, they said, because they’d never seen one in Germany.

The closest thing to an alligator I’ve seen in the sixth boro is this plastic toy that lay along the KVK a long time this winter;  I took the photo then because NYC’s terra- and sub-terra boros have their own alligator tales–with some basis in fact– like here

Given all that, I’m pleasantly surprised to have seen at least two alligators now, differing in size, alongside the vessel we’re readying to move.  More info on that that later. 

Yesterday I  managed to see the gator coming our way with enough advance warning that I had time to grab my real camera. 

This photo I took shooting straight down from wheelhouse . . .  about 35′ above the water.  I’d estimate this el lagarto” to be 6′ to 8′.

No, I would not want to be in the water with this Alligator mississippiensis.

 

All photos, WVD, who apologizes to the robots for interjecting this post into their orderly queue.

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