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Much more catching up to do, but first, I share some New Orleans photos from last week and then related photos and response from my inbox to the review of Tugboats Illustrated here.
This first series I include because I’m amazed by this maneuver, but it does not effectively depict it because a) I was moving behind and then alongside and forward of it in the series of photos taken over a 30-minute period of time, and b) I would need to get the photos from a fixed aerial position as it made the turn, and c) this is a relatively small tow . . . only 12 barges in relatively calm conditions.
Starting at 4:23 pm last Tuesday, I was following Ingram Barge Co. Mike Schmaeng. Many years ago now I did this post on Ingram. Ingram is a company that operates 150 boats, 5000 barges, over 4500 miles of inland waterway . . . all approximate numbers.
On my next trip to Nola, I’ll set up on a tripod at a fixed point, maybe the upstream end of Crescent Park. I also intend to check out some tighter points, such as Wilkerson Point, shown below.
So now, in response to this photo from my review of Tugboats Illustrated . . .
in my inbox, I got this note from a retired professional brown water mariner who wishes NO fistfights or pissing contest:
“RE: Sketch from the tugboat book.
Thank you, sir. And I hadn’t known about flanking buoys.
Click here for a 5-minute video by Towboat Toby who gives a really clear explanation as he walks a tow downstream around Wilkerson’s Point in high water. Towboat Toby, I’m your fan!
So, what think you, readers . . . and I don’t mean to backpedal on Paul Farrell’s excellent book, could that particular drawing have been modified to improve verisimilitude? I like the looseness of Mr. Farrell’s drawings for the most part, but I think the Mate makes a good point. And just calm talk . .. not punches, please. The writer makes a reasoned and constructive comment.
You might conclude that in this city I do nothing except sit on the riverbank, but the better conclusion is that Nola river traffic volume is phenomenal. So here’s a sampling of another–say–two hours total traffic, beginning with a vessel that would look entirely at home in NYC’s sixth boro . . . it’s J. George Betz.
Next something you’ll not see except in the inland big river, O. H. Ingram, 185′ loa x 54′ 9200 hp and triple screw, pushing
at least eight barges heading into a turn with at least two oncoming tows:
Joe B. Wyatt, 170′ loa x 45′ 6120 hp twin screw, pushing 18 barges and Mr. Pete with a single, but they all squeeze around the turn.
The range of vessels is interesting, considering the likes of Lil Susan S
and Josephine Anne of Bisso Offshore, with Wise One in the distance.
Natalie S . . . and
Blessed Trinity . . . and
and Natures Way Commander . . .
Moose . . and
CSS Savannah . . . and less than two hours have elapsed and I haven’t included all the traffic!
and let me conclude with a photo taken the previous afternoon, another that would NOT look out of place in NYC’s waters, Greg Turecamo.
More soon. All photos by Will Van Dorp.
I’m in the sixth boro, but I have more fotos from the southern US, all by a friend who still wishes no credit. So enjoy –for starters–a NY-built vessel with a New England name working the Neches River via Baltimore in east Texas . . . Cape Ann.
In Texas . . . Corpus Christi, it’s C. R. Haden working
All 138′ loa of Kirby’s low-ridin’ Leviticus at Southwest Pass. I don’t believe they have a Numbers or Deutoronomy.
Alva Dupre (ex-Compass Hero and others) on the Neches in Texas.
I’m dedicating these to Otis Redding . . . . and I know I’m getting some details wrong and will correct when I’m back. Thanks much for your comments and corrections. My day started with Overseas Houston. I think I just missed Christian Reinauer headed upstream before light in my location;
followed by an upstream flanking turn by B. John Yeager. . .
and more including Custom.
Farther upstream –can you guess where– I caught Catherine S and fleetmates;
Can you identify this massive levee?
Presager‘s background may help.
Creole Sun and a cluster of tugs and barges await while . . .
Myra Epstein powers
a long train of barges,
and churns up the Mississippi cafe au lait.
OK . . answer tomorrow . . . can you idenify this vessel?
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s headed north along the defining river of this continent.
Quick and succinct: the way to enter Nola from the east and north is Rte 90. About 30 miles east of Nola I passed this mystery vessel Poseidon, which looked like a house-forward bulk carrier with a quonset hut over the hold now blown away by a storm. Anyone know the history?
As sun rose somewhere in a cloudy drizzly day, the first vessel to pass–upbound–was BBC Brazil.
Then a steady stream of traffic moved on the great river . . . some of them included Amalienborg,
B. John Yeager (?) with at least 13 barges, which round Algiers Point in the most
curious way, which involved backing down, sliding over to the Nola side, and what must have been lots of nail-biting.
Big Sam and a small tow.
From the Algiers side, I checked out Barbara E. Bouchard‘s new pins.
Also on the drydocks at Bollinger’s was Mully and Admiral Jackson.
Alice‘s sister Caroline Oldendorff passed . . . upriver.
And Alley Cat headed downstream herding more barges than would seem possible.
Nola is so much more than all that, and Checkpoint Charlie is a start of that other so-long list, but do check in at Charlie’s when next you’re here.
More soon. All foto by Will Van Dorp.
From the air you can see the traffic . . . the sinuous lines it scribes into the legendary river.
From the bank, you can see sometimes three tugs abreast (l. to r. Bobby Jones-1966, David G. Sehrt-1965, and Born Again-1974) pushing more than a dozen barges slipping around the turn between Algiers and the 9th Ward. And when I say slipping, I mean even big vessels seem to slide through this crescent. That erosion in the foreground bespeaks higher water.
Uh . . . a variation on seasnake?
Close-up of McLean.
I’m back at work in environs of the sixth boro, and this is the last set about Nola strictly defined. Tomorrow I hope to put up some fotos from a jaunt-within-a-gallivant southwest from the Crescent City, a truly magical place to which I really must return soon because there’s much I’ve yet to understand . . . like why
And is it true there’s a nun driving a tugboat somewhere on the Lower Mississippi? Here’s a ghost story, and if you have a chance to find it, listen to Austin Lounge Lizard’s “Boudreaux was a Nutcase.”
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who also has tons of fotos from Panama to put up.
I’m deep in the “fog of travel,” a phrase I learned from David Hindin. So only the facts, here:
If you didn’t see it yesterday, check out bowsprite’s nola.
As the sun sets, a tow approaches the Point from under the West End Bridge moving quite slowly. The Ohio begins near that bridge formed from the Monongahela (aka the Mon) to the left and Allegheny to the right.
Because of highwater conditions on the Mon, Consol Energy’s Gabriel pushes a small tow at a ground speed of barely three miles per hour,
Meanwhile Ingram‘s James E. Anderson, made to ten barges of coal and aggregates waits lower water and less current.
More on Ingram later, but inland rivers can be dangerous during highwater.