Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Here we are in New Orleans, land of the Laissez Faire attitude! Love it. The barge men, tugboat caps, and masters of the bridges are great. They are friendly, genuine, and glad to help whenever it's needed. It's all about being relaxed. Even the language is relaxed..."all right" is pronounced "ah-eye". Paul and I are practicing saying it, but we are fledgling speakers of the language. It's all in the relaxed tongue!! I really enjoy the banter between the captains on channel 13.  We went up the ICW to the Harvey Locks (built in 1918). This was our second experience in a lock, our first being outside of Morgan City, but it was different than the first. This time, Paul got to take an active part in the process. I am at the helm during this process. One might think being at the helm is easy...trust me when I tell you it's not...at least not always. Pulling up beside a wall without scraping the side of one's boat is rather a tricky business...at least for me it is.
Paul holding the line that kept the boat by the side of the lock.

Water has risen up to the top rung. Paul holding on for dear life!!Check out the muscles on that dude!!!

When the man opened the gates, we were out in the Great  Muddy Mississippi River. Talk about feeling small!!  I knew the Mississippi was big, but being in our boat on huge this river was a humbling experience, indeed! I kept thinking of Mark Twain and his characters, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, and how they used to paddle their little raft on this humongous river. Kinda' boggles the mind after seeing this river up close and personal.

We had the current behind us, so were chugging along at 7 knots. It was an exhilarating experience.  We went around a big bend in the River and were in 45 feet of water, when all of a sudden our poor boat did a complete stop. Everything in the boat was thrown forward, including us! From 45 feet of water into a sand dune!! Wow! Couldn't even believe that! Everything was ok, and we were able to get out, but it shook us up a bit.
New Orleans Bridge

New Orleans and the bridge
Old Church in Old New Orleans
Downtown NO
Beautiful Downtown NO

Paddle Wheel or River Boat by the NO Bridge.


We had to go downstream about 5 miles to get to the other side where the ICW continued. Just before we got there, it started raining. We got into the ICW to discover we had another lock to go through. We had to wait for another big barge to come through, and in the meantime the rain started pouring down. We couldn't see much of anything, but got the boat into the lock, and tied her up against the side while they emptied the water out. Poor Paul was out in the rain the whole time. I was at the helm, which was inside our enclosed cockpit! My good fortune! 

After getting through that lock (Which was called "Industrial Lock"), we had 5 other bridges that had to be opened for us. All went well, until we came up to the last bridge separating us from our marina. Turns out, it was an unmanned bridge, so we had to call the phone number tacked up on the bridge to get someone out there to open her up. It took an hour. It was right at 5 o'clock rush hour, so we didn't really expect anyone to be there for a couple of hours, so we were happy when they showed up. When our friends, Tom and Laura, went through, they said they had to wait for 3 days!!!! Talk about needing patience!! By the way...for your future travels, this unmanned bridge is called the "DANZINGER BRIDGE". If you read your Waterway Guide, it will mention something about it. Pay attention to that, because we didn't, and it was a bit of a rude awakening for us.
When we finally made it to our marina, it was just before dark, and the rain started coming down in buckets again. We ended up staying two nights here due to weather. Before leaving, we filled up on diesel and gas, water and ice. We also met another family there who were headed in the same direction, so we buddied up and sailed over Lake Pontchartrain to Rabbit Island together, where we both anchored for the night.  
Our New Orleans Marina

Seabrook Marina, New Orleans

My main man, Capt Paul

The Docker:
VIP :)

At my post
Before we left Seabrook Marina, we waited for our buddy boat who was going to sail along with us.


Happy Mondays behind us on the left, and on the right is the last bridge we went through to get out of New Orleans: The Pontchartrain Bridge.

We arrived at Rabbit Island just at sundown, and found a nice anchorage where it was very peaceful throughout the night. Got a call from my son, Jason, that night who had been worried about us because of me posting on our SPOT Tracker that we were still in NOLA while he is looking at our boat out in the middle of nowhere on the tracker. Sorry, Jason!! I'm just going to make very vague statements on the tracker from now on, unless, of course, something happens and we need help.  That way it won't confuse people and I won't have to think about changing it often. Just don't always have the power to turn on the computers to do this.

Had a good sleep that night and woke up to Paul above clanking around. He took some pics of the sunrise while up there, and they are stunning.

Our buddies went on to Biloxi, and we ended up motoring to Gulf Port, Mississippi. We had some rough weather out on the Gulf the whole day with constant and rather violent nose-into-the-water, rocking horse motion. Believe it or not, neither Paul nor I got sick!!! So proud!! :)

So far, we have only managed to sail for about 2-3 hours on this trip. The winds have been on our nose the entire trip except for those few, rare occasions where the wind was in our sails. I guess this is what they meant when people told us that "sailing" is about 75% motoring.

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