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A relative’s big birthday brought me to Philly for the first time in a long while and afforded a few minutes to look around.  Name that carrier?  I once walked its decks as a visitor more than three decades ago, and have a friend who served aboard . . .  as a journalist in the USN.

On an earlier trip of the Delaware, I recall seeing that faded reddish, peeling gray on Arthur W. Radford (DD968) before it was reefed.

Got the name?

But wait, there’s more . . . including one that should not be there.

I’d heard that Powhatan-class Apache had just been decommissioned and towed there last week, and this was the vessel I wanted to check on.  The link in that previous sentence I posted a decade ago, after walking her decks.  Recognize the larger vessel to Apache‘s port?

I wonder where Apache‘ll end up, now that her replacement(s) are under construction.

The one below would not have been there if a tow last month has gone without issues, as seen here but you have to scroll. I wonder when she’ll attempt her final journey next.

Yup, it’s ex-USS Yorktown (CG-48), and the carrier is the JFK, another fading Kennedy.

All photos, WVD, who really needs to get to Delaware River ports more often.

Another TBR is in the books.  Where else can you see very upclose and personal some much-loved boats. I can and might do a post on each of these boats, but for now, just a survey.

Shoofly . . .  complete name is Shoofly Pie. If you want actual detail, click here and scroll;  you’ll see some profile of each of these boats (and others).  All I’ll say about Shoofly is that she’s a WW2 naval vessel evolved into a rat rod (We need a new term for this category.) vessel.  It has also likely sailed the greatest number of places, freshwater and salt.  I’ve photographed this boat before, but somehow, it’s never made it onto this blog.  Some explanation follows.

I frame this as a comparison of push knees on Edna A and J. Arnold Witte.  

How about this as a frame– l to r, Nathan G, Margot, Benjamin Elliot, and Edna A. — involving two-thirds of the NYS Marine Highway boats participating in the event. Then another set of NYS Marine was not present  . . . working . . . .

CMT Otter . . . represented Coeymans.  I learned some modification history of this boat last weekend.  It was once Delta Ram and looked like this.

This vessel is the fourth in the series of Atlantic Hunter boats.  I had photos of Atlantic Hunter IV (under a different name last year) but those photos like those of Shoofly  . . . disappeared.

My Pal Sal is not the latest government boat purchased by NYS Canals, although you might suspect otherwise.  To stray down a tangent though;  Sal has a song named for her;  we really need a popular ditty about canal tugboats . . . any or all of them. Lobby your favorite songwriter or channel your own inner songwriter muse.

W. O. Decker looked spectacular!  Last time I saw her some details were not the same.

Joncaire is several years into her new livery;  she used to be the red of NYPA Niagara River boom maintenance fleet, as seen here (scroll).

Here’s the view from the 4th Street Bridge, and

here from the 2nd Street Bridge.

All photos yesterday, WVD, who got out there before many people were crowding the bulkhead.

I missed a lot of folks who were there because I stayed in the welcome center most of the time, listening to the talks.

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. 

I’m calling this the last batch, although there are dozens of photos I’ve not posted.  I’ll do the same as yesterday and number the shots, commenting on some.  I didn’t have access to my VHF, so whatever announcements were made, I didn’t hear them.  However, photo 1 shows the boats jockeying for the best position when the race signal was given. 

1.

2.  Once it was given, schooner Brilliant flew that bulging sail (a spinnaker or an oversized jib or a golly wobbler? ) and raced ahead.

3.  The race was on.

4.  Brilliant was way out front racing downwind.  It appears the jib has not been raised. 

5.  It soon became apparent that for some reason, there was a problem and the race was off.  Secondhand information said that incorrect instructions had been given, so the race needed to be restarted.  That meant getting all the boats back to the start line.  For power boats, returning to the starting point is direct and easy, but for sailing vessels, 

6. …  herding cat fish comes to mind.

7.

8. I believe this was part of the line up, and the race was restarted. 

9.  Below, the two nearer boats are in the lead;  the three a bit farther off and sailing to the right have yet to round the the inflatable buoy. 

10.  Here was the most exciting duel of the afternoon;  l to r, When and If and Narwhal.  In photo 10, Narwhal was trailing but moving to overtake When and If

11.  And here, Narwhal makes the move and races to the winning time. The two schooners on either side have still not rounded the buoy. 

12. Click here for the 2022 race results.

All photos, WVD,  Thanks to Artemis for the ride.

 

The following photos were all taken between 12:30 and 1:00, my favorites from a half hour’s harvest of photos just before the race began.   I’ll number them for reference purposes in case you choose to comment.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

All photos, WVD, who will post the race–the recalled one and the real one–in the following days.  Post time is always noon.

Again, I was crewing on Artemis.  Check out her site here.

 

I’m having a hard time deciding what to post . . . so I’ll do multiple posts.  Hundreds of photos from the schooner fest is an amount that overwhelms my decision making even as the clock ticks down the time until noon.  So here goes . . . for today, random sights.  Maybe by tomorrow, I’ll have a plan. For today then, just a few photos, minimal identification. 

I crewed on ketch Artemis and as a ketch, we were not involved, although we tested her wind-propulsion from the sidelines and did quite well. Artemis is a popular name these days.

Sail rigs of every sort caught the breezes and my eye.

A parade of sail took place in the morning in the Inner Harbor, or maybe this could be called a re-enactment of one of Fitz H Lane’s  canvases.

Human power crossed the harbor also.

I’ve no idea why those folks are trying to sail that navaid.

Some sailing vessels had white sails, some tanbark, and some had both.

 

 

More tomorrow . . .

All photos, WVD.

I’ve a question for longtime Gloucester area residents:  my first trip to Gloucester was in winter 1986-7 or 87-88.  I took a half day off work in Newburyport because I’d read in a local paper that a Soviet factory/trawler had been granted permission to enter the harbor for a few days, and I can’t recall the reason.  It was a raw day, but the sight of a large rusty ship with the hammer/sickle on the stack was unforgettable.  I did even own a camera in those day . . . maybe I’d left my smartphone at home . . .  .  Does anyone recall details, get photos?

I was thinking to call this “summer sail,” but that didn’t seem to fit.

This leg of the trip is shown in brown, covering the area of Louisiana coastline from what this link calls the “bird’s foot delta to the St. Bernard delta, which once ended at the Chandeleur Islands.  More on those islands later.  This link shows how the lobes of the delta have changed over time, during the time before we tried to “tame” the river.

Dawn found Legs III  spudded down in East Bay, along the east side of the channeled mouth of the Mississippi, the grassy delta seen as the green margin along the horizon.  When spudded down this way, the ‘boat becomes a platform.

As we made out way around the low lying Pass A Loutre Wildlife Management Area and all its bays, traces of oil/gas infrastructure were everywhere.  “Pass A Loutre” translates as “Otter Pass.”

Some platforms–eg. the one with the tanks topside and the crew boat to the left side– seemed active, whereas others

might have been in process of being dismantled by EBI liftboat Jimmy Holmes Elevator.  EBI claims to have conceived of the basic design for liftboats, although EBI boats have the single leg on the bow, whereas most other liftboats, including Legs III, have that single leg on the stern. Legs III was launched at Blue Streak and then fitted out at Marine Industrial Fabrication Inc.

See the two workers below the hook and headache ball . . . ?

I’m not sure which channel or pass through the grassy delta ABI C emerged from, but she overtook us, giving us a clear look at the 

stainless steel IBC totes used to transport liquids of all sorts safely between shore and platform.

 

Farther along we passed a platform

where Ms. Tami was flying the dive flag.

A GOL boat, Sea Service 1, stood by a platform.

 

A sizable flame burned off its flare boom  (or burn boom).

I gather most platforms along Pass A Loutre were pumping, given their flares.

Others might be relics of a time when they were active and now seemed like patina-encrusted industrial sculpture.

In late afternoon we began to follow our goal for the day, the long, thin, crescent-shaped sand bar called the Chandeleur Islands, part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge established in 1904 by POTUS 26, T. Roosevelt.  I’d noticed the 50-mile chain of islands from the air as I flew into New Orleans on my way to port of Iberia, and they looked roughly like the lead photo here, which shows them from a north to south perspective. 

Those boats are anchored on the inside of the islands in Chandeleur Bay. 

The islands are accessible only by boat AND seaplane.    Southern Seaplane out of Belle Chasse LA offers many tours, but also brings folks out to this fishing lodge, spudded up on the inside of the Chandeleur Islands.  More on the lodge– Chandeleur Islander–in this Youtube clip. Yet another option is Compass Rose if you want to fish by kayak but ride over on a mothership over from Biloxi.  Surfers have laid claim too, although they might want to keep it a secret. 

All photos, any errors, WVD, who looks at the photo above and tries to imagine what it’s like when a hurricane barrels across it….

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

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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