Sunday, July 3, 2011

Locking Through

Locking through,Traveled down the intercostal waterway along the Rigolets came upon what looks like a wall with a door, must be something for hurricanes or salt and fresh water intrusions.   

 We entered the industrial canal just as a storm wall was starting up lighting was putting on a pretty good show, winds picking up.  We went under the Florida ave.  Bascule bridge immediately after that we passed through Sebert “Claireborne Ave” lift bridge approached the lock contacted the lock master on VHF 14 had to provide boat name, length, draft and beam.   He then instructed us to tie up on the starboard side behind the Barge.  We were then told to hold as the barge opted to wait out the storm before going through the lock he backed out of the lock.  We were starting to get a light rain, we were then told to tie up just behind the light boat.  We later found out a light boat is a tug by itself.  The lock master tossed us down 2 lines; tied off and lifted about 6 feet to the height of the Mississippi river.  As the doors opened we passed under the St Claude bascule bridge.   As we exited the lock the lighting and rain was starting to pick up.  We closed up the isinglass as we finished getting the last one on the storm then turned to the north west of us.   From here we entered the Mississippi river just east of New Orleans.  We went 5 miles upriver where we had a full view of downtown New Orleans, French Quarter at Jackson square.  We saw the New Orleans ferry, cruise ship and an old paddle boat.  We closed up the isinglass as we started to get a light rain, the storm then turned to the north west of us.  

Arrived at the Harvey lock and hailed the lock master on VHF with no reply multiple times.  When he did finally answer he told us we were in a restricted area and needed to move 200 yards down river.  Told him I was sorry he said don’t let it happen again pretty sure he was a little upset with us.   We waited down river for 2 ½ hours in time out as barges were unloading from the east on the intercoastal.  Finally another light barge heading west approached the lock after another 30 mins we were called to load in the locks behind him.   We dropped nine feet when the doors opened we went under a small lift bridge controlled by the lock which started to close as we were going under.  A quick u turn and a sorry from the operator and we were on our way again.  We approached the Harvey canal twin bridges, then the Lapalco Blvd bascule bridge.  I was amazed to see the cars running around the closed gate to get across the bridge before it opened so we had to wait for them.  The operator was kind enough to call the local tugs and see if they knew of a safe area for us to anchor out due to our time out it was getting dark and we would not make our destination Boom town casino allows boats to tie up allow the levy.  We called and were told where to tie up.  Around 11pm we woke to the sound of the security guard knocking on the boat.  We had to move the costal guard regulation would not allow us to be that close to the casino boat.  Moved the boat had the supervisor come out and check to make sure we were good upon his approval we headed back to bed.