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Old 01-09-2014, 05:01 PM   #1
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Transit Gulf Intracoastal WW North Section

Transiting the Gulf ICW from New Orleans to Texas Important Lock Info

Lock Status - McDonough Marine Service

Don't even think of going through this area without checking this BEFORE you leave.

A boater did not and is stuck at New Orleans from now, Jan 9th until the 17th. The lock is down for repairs.

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Old 01-10-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
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The N.O. Industrial Canal Lock is the one that is down. We met a couple on sailboat when in Houma a few days ago. I e-mailed them about the locks after I tried calling on cell phone. They arrived here last night and didn't check their messages until they arrived. Too late now.
Anyway, the only way around this to get to Biloxi area is to go almost 100 miles out of the way. Must go down to Venice and then back up. We are tied up at the Boomtown Casino bulkhead. we decide to get a motel for the night so that I could spread out my stuff and study the alternate route. Before I went to sleep I decided that we would stay put and wait the week till it gets fixed.
I woke up in the middle of the night and thought it was a stupid idea so in the morning, I told the admiral "tomorrow we are going to Venice". I knew if we took this route I should fill up my gas tanks. I called Venice marina to make sure they had gas. They told me they were socked in with fog. Since the next few days will be warmer, the fog will persist. By the end of today, we had the heavy fog here in Harvey also.
Looks like we will sit out the next few days here and take a wait and see attitude.
It could be worse - we could still be under the metal bridges at Morgan City with all the noise.
There are push boats and barges stacked up all over the place.
We did have a nice evening tonite with the seafood buffet at the casino. A bit pricey though - $60 for 2 people. Overall, I am starting to enjoy my retirement. If I had a sched, I would be screwed.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:36 PM   #3
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Boy Tony, that's going to be a mess even if they do get it fixed next week. The traffic is going to take another week to sort out after it opens, I would think. Here is a pic of "normal" traffic when I went through the lock 10 days ago...you couldn't have got a canoe in.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:44 PM   #4
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Going down to Venice is still not off the table.
We are closely watching the weather.
Wed. may be a good Venice Day followed by the Ocean Springs day.
I just hate to go almost 100 miles out of my way but I might have to.
So far, we still have plenty of food and water just no electricity. The Admiral says to treat this like a camping trip.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:07 AM   #5
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The original announcement was that the lock will be fixed and in service on Jan 17, which is this Friday. No way do I believe that, but it is possible.
I marked up my electronic charts for the jump across from Venice if we decide to go that route. Looking at weather, tomorrow would be a good day to go to Venice and Thurs would be a great day to cross the Gulf over to Ocean Springs , Ms.
Suddenly, after my chart plotting I felt like the urge to leave here is diminishing. Why? Because we made good friends with a couple here on a sailboat that we initially met in Houma. The tug boats left their barges on the Mississippi and everywhere else and they are now tied up here next to the casino also. With the walking back and forth we became a small community of friends. Then the realization of retirement finally hit me. I don’t have to be anywhere. The only rush to Mississippi was self imposed to meet up with friends and family, well, that could wait another week or so. When we cruised on the sailboat we were used to not being able to make schedules so why should this be different?
Then an old saying popped into mind: “We have no schedule and we are sticking to it”
Then another old saying popped into mind: “It’s not the destination, it’s the Journey”.
If that wasn’t enough, another old saying came to mind: “The only difference between a disaster and an adventure is your attitude” and this is no where near a disaster. Being tied up under the Morgan City bridges would be a disaster. LOL
The admiral is in awe watching the tow boats tie up their barges and break them apart. With the cross winds and current ,these guys are true masters.
So as for leaving here tomorrow, I don’t know and don’t care. I’ll just wake up and see what kind of mood I’m in.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:23 AM   #6
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Tony B, you have arrived. Not at a particular place, but a state of mind. 40 or so years ago a transient boat tied up in the slip beside us. It was middle of summer. I asked how long they would be with us. They said that would depend on when their friends arrived. I asked when they were expecting them, and they said probably in Sept. or Oct. Of course I looked incredulous at that response. They just said that they may as well wait somewhere. They were delightful people, and she baked really good stuff. Their names were Chet and Evvy, and we exchanged Christmas cards for years.

That was an eye opening experience. They were happy as clams just taking care of stuff on the boat and hanging around. So, piddle, hang around, cruise a little, and enjoy life. You've earned it.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:08 AM   #7
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Tony, you have the right attitude....in the wrong latitude Lol.
Lot of experience on those tow boats, you could probably get your generator fixed for a six pack.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #8
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Tony, you have the right attitude....in the wrong latitude Lol.
Lot of experience on those tow boats, you could probably get your generator fixed for a six pack.
Actually I thought of that already but decided against it. Don't want anyone fooling around with anything concerning engines and my fuel system while we are all considered transients and the 'mechanic' can be called away at a moments notice. Besides, being tied up at a casino is not exactly a 'booze free' environment.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:06 PM   #9
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Tony B, you have arrived. Not at a particular place, but a state of mind. ....... So, piddle, hang around, cruise a little, and enjoy life. You've earned it.
It's hard to get adjusted to retirement when I always used to have lots of things going on - sometimes even two unrelated professions at the same time. The thing that makes retirement difficult is that you don't get a day off. Maybe if I went to work on weekends, it would be my weekend off from retirement. I'm sure that would be a good reality check. Then again so would a good swift kick in the rear.
I'm learning though.
Thanks for the story.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:23 PM   #10
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As a side note, we met Steve Willett in Houma about 2 weeks ago. He came aboard like a New Years Santa without the beard and the belly. He was carrying white sacks of fresh fruit he had grown, some raw sugar and even cookies. The admiral and I have never met a nicer guy. He was very helpful and we now communicate via cell phones.
We have met a friend for life.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. Tony. Hmmmm.....Idle hands are the devil's plaything and an idle mind....well. Just a suggestion....OK, you're cruising and you enjoy it. You don't want to get a weekend job, trust me. That would just tie you down and put a damper in your plans, even if you don't have any plans other than enjoyment. How about a university degree? Lots of stuff available on-line. You can work at your own pace and set aside X days/week for studies.
Pick a subject you can get into which may or may not need be determined by past experiences.
Education is NEVER a waste-ever.

Archeology?
History (maybe of a specific era or subject)
Marine architecture
Marine biology
Literature/writing
Art/painting
Ornithology
Just a thought....
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:37 PM   #12
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RT, you are taking me too literally. I always have things going on. My mind is never idle. When I get to Ms. I will only be staying till mid march. Until then I have some small woodworking projects I want to complete. And hopefully I will be able to give some help to Swampu on his Cajun Rose. That is a beauty to behold. If you have never seen a Biloxi Lugger or some of which are called Chandeleur Boats referring to boats that regulary go to the Chandeleur Islands, you are surely missing something.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:44 PM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. T. I stand corrected.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:46 PM   #14
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Latest News

The Ind. Canal Lock is now open and
The North Claiborne Bridge is stuck in the low position - 40'
The N. Claiborne Ave Br. is just past the Ind. Canal Lock. You cant go through one without the other.

The good news is that I can now continue on my journey.
With the N. Claiborne Ave Bridge stuck in the down position, there is little to no traffic going through the lock. I am only 19' and I have no problem.

The bad news for me is that with no RADAR, it's too late in the day for me to get through it today. I will have to wait till tomorrow. However, tomorrow will be 18-20 Kt winds and with barges tied up and maneuvering all over the place, it will be tight. My maneuvering is not that great at low speeds due to the windage of my enclosure. Admiral wants to wait and I want to go. Guess who wins. Anyway, one more day wont hurt.

My new buddy in the sailboat wont be able to make the Mississippi crossing at all because he, like the barges, wont be able to get under the N. Claiborne Br.

Anyway, Thurs morning we will be past all of that and anchored out at Rabbit Island at night. With luck, we will make our jump to Ocean Springs, Ms on Fri. morning and get there in the late afternoon. I guess that means I have to shave before being seen in public.

This will complete the first leg of our trip. Come about mid-march/early April, we will be heading northward to Kentucky Lake near the Ohio River.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:42 PM   #15
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Good Luck! They were talking about the lock being down till the 17th. It isn't often things get fixed ahead of schedule around there!
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:45 PM   #16
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Tony, make sure everything is secured when you go across lake Pontchartrain. It is shallow so those winds will make for a rocky ride. Enjoy the rest of your trip and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:01 PM   #17
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Louisiana can suck you in like that. You find a nice restaurant or two, a nice bartender, and the next thing you know 20 years has gone by!
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:05 PM   #18
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I'm not sure he'll be going across L. Pontchartrain, but that warning holds for the Mississippi sound which can be a wild ride.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:37 AM   #19
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Thanks for the 'well wishing' guys.

We wont be going through Ponchartrain. Tomorrow we will be following the ICW to the gulf outlet just before the Rigolets inlet. We will anchor out at Rabbit Island for the night. Then the next morning we will carefully follow all of the channels around the oyster reefs on our way to Ms. By late afternoon, we should reach our winter destination of Ocean Springs, Ms.

For some reason unknownst to me, the Admiral is taking a bigger part in the trip than she ever did when we were sailing. All she used to do was just drive. Now she is the ship's meteorologist and radio operator. Even Blue (Dimer2) can attest to her skills.
With knowledge comes some pitfalls. Now she is worried about small craft warnings. She never worried about it before. Anyway, she has been really helpful which gives me a mental break. Soon she will be charting and plotting instead of just observing.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:08 AM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. T. Commendable that your Admiral is taking a greater interest in motor boating. A bit of a reflection on how much she liked sailing I think. (not much) Smart woman.
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