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Day 3 shows up in green . . . from just west of Port Fourchon to just east of SW Pass.

We took the stern of C-Fighter on the way, as the ECO boat appeared to head into Fourchon. 

Surprising were the number of small fishing boats, out angling and 

even anchoring next to platforms;  certainly the structure and maybe some scraps serve as chum in a food chain here.

Here’s another shot of Fourchon Runner, which I mentioned in an earlier post about exotics.  Here I have questions:  doesn’t the center of this platform base look different than ones I’ve posted earlier?  To me, it’s thick like a massive tree trunk, not only tubular.  The platform itself supports more tanks than others.  What might those tanks contain?

One rig that caught my attention, because of the “steam” emanating from beneath, carried the nameplate Enterprise 205.  Some info, although not “more specs,” on this rig can be read here.  The 40-year-old rig appears to work at depths up to 200′.

For scale, note the two crew on the cantilevered helipad.

The network of valves of the red pipe would be the “Christmas tree,” I gather.  How or why is the Monrovia registry arrived at here?

Among the platforms were shrimp boats like this one.

As the day passed, the winds died and the GOM 

became like glass, reflecting big fluffy fair-weather clouds.  Not pictured but off to the left was a smudge of Grand Isle and low-lying borderlands to its east.

Serving as a steering guide, we looked at Enterprise 351 for what seemed an endless time, punctuated only by the occasional dolphins.  I’ll devote an entire post to 351 one of these days.

Once in West Bay, we left rigs and associated vessels like Randolph John to our right and 

watched ships moving up and down the Mississippi to our left.  

The pilot’s station was visible, but my “all-zoomed-out” photo was embarrassingly blurry.  For a better view, click here.

We crossed–not entered–the Southwest Pass, the longtime and anticlimactic main Mississippi shipping channel. See the jetties?

From the south, Carnival Glory was arriving to take on a pilot for a dawn arrival in New Orleans.  If I were a passenger on that ship, I’d be disappointed to be passing this 70+ mile stretch of the big river at night.

To the west, a stunning sunset evolved, and to

the northwest, Carnival Glory ensured that it was visible–and then some–in the channel.

“Legs down” in the shallows of East Bay, this was my final shot of day 3.

Allphotos, 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. 

Over a week ago I felt all the symptoms of impending illness, Gfever.  I suffer from that affliction quite a lot, as you know if you follow this blog.   It starts when I can’t sit for more than 15 seconds, atlases–paper or interactive electronic–beckon, the ear worms in my head are all about travel .  .  .  the only cure for this fever . . . Gfever  . . . is a gallivant.  And in this case, a Bayou Lafourche gallivant was the only remedy.  So from the airport any direction was fine as long as it was south.  Let’s cross this lift bridge and go . . .  farther than we did last time here.

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Of course, bowsprite came along and sketched hither and yon . . . and who could pass up Intl Defender!

0aaaabl1

There . .  beyond the copse of backup rigs . . . it’s the boom town of Port Fourchon.

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And rather than understand first and write later, I’ll just put up a sampling of vessels I saw. . . .  Here’s off the bow of Delta Power (127′ loa) is Dionne Chouest (261′ loa).  A random assortment goes on with

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HOS Red Dawn (268′),

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Dictator (140′), Candy Bear (156′), and Candy Stripe (130′),

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the venerable Stone Buccaneer . . . ex-Eastern Sun.

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the brand-new 202′ Capt Elliott,

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a cluster that includes from l. to r. . . . HOS North Star, Seacor Washinton, C-Endeavor, C-Fighter, and Miss Marilene Tide.  The stern-to vessel in the foreground . . . I can’t identify.

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Looking like they’re aground and on the grass . . . it’s HOS Black Rock and HOS Red Rock, recent builds and each 278′.

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There are more and more . . ..

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in Port Fourchon, as seen here from the c-store looking over the trucks, the single-wides on stilts, and the vessels beyond.

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Many thanks to our guide, Aaron of Crewboat Chronicles, a blog I look forward to read all of. We knew Ben was around too . . . but in a short time, you can’t meet everybody.  Ben . .  catch you later.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Let me know whether you’re interested in another post from Bayou Lafourche.

 

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