Backtrack - A Quick Summary from Houma to Biloxi Part 1
21 May 2013 | Biloxi, MS
The days have gone by a lot faster than I anticipated and we are only a day or two from leaving Biloxi. So, I guess I will have to do a Reader's Digest Condensed version of our travels along the GIWW from Leaving Morgan City to our current location in Biloxi.
We left Morgan City on the 25 April. The morning was cold and cloudy with a light wind. We were fortunate that the afternoon was partly sunny and a bit warmer. After a little boo-boo of failing to turn to port after the RR bridge to continue on down the "GUI", we backtracked and continued on our way with only one lock to traverse before reaching Houma, LA.
We arrived in Houma just before 4pm and stayed there for 3 days - long enough to get the circuit board for our refrigeration and install it, and to wait out another round of bad weather.
I didn't go out much, but the city dock was nice as was the city park.
On April 29th, we headed out to our anchorage in Bayou Villars to carefully plan our route through the many bridges and two locks in New Orleans. We arrived at Bayou Villars before 4pm and anchored. We spent the rest of sunlight having sundowners and watching the airboats zoom their customers all along the bayou for their swamp tours.
Now what is the old saying about "best laid plans"? We had planned carefully to leave at first light and get through the first bascule bridge, Harvey Locks, the "river" (as the locals call the Mississippi River) to the Industrial Canal and the 4-5 or so lift, bascule bridges in between. WE thought we had it made. Duh.
Our first indication that things were not going to go well was the fog we woke up to on the bayou. Great. We waited for it to lift and left just before 7:30am. We got into the New Orleans area and went through the first bridge at 9:30, arriving at Harvey Locks at a little after 10:30......and there we "sat", tied to an old metal barrier on the side of the waterway, watching the barges go in and out of the canal and riding through a major thunderstorm......and we sat from the time we arrived until they finally called us in....some 5 and a half hours later...at 4:05pm.
We got in the locks and attached ourselves to the wall; and as the water rose, we broke away from the wall; and after a meeting with the stern and the wall, we were tied up again with the help of the lock employees. What fun!
The river, believe it or not, was not all that busy and we ended up hanging around for close to an hour until the restricted bridges were opened again.
By the time we arrived at the Claude St. bascule bridge just before the Industrial Locks, we decided we had had enough for one day. Since they asked us to wait behind the dolphins at a dock on the east side of the locks, we just asked for permission to stay the night and go through in the morning. That was not a problem with the lockmaster as long as we didn't leave the boat - and that was not a problem with us.
The next morning, we notified the lockmaster that we were ready to enter the locks. And another day of uh-oh's had begun.