Pontchartrain Landing Marina ICW mile 5,+3, East of Harvey Lock to Houma Louisiana Mile 58 WHL
Miles today 66
We left Potchatrain landing about 8 AM, it was cool and calm, still shallow in the marina dock area but we got out without problem. About a mile down the canal the railroad bridge was closed, waiting for a train to pass, we waited about 20 minutes there then continued to the next draw bridge which was under curfew. This means they have certain hours they don't open for marine traffic, usually during the automotive traffic rush hours. In the case of this bridge it is from 6:30 until 8:45 AM and a similar period during afternoon rush hours. So, we didn't have a long wait, we continued to the Industrial Canal Lock which will lift us up to the Mississippi River level. When we arrived at the lock we had a maybe 20 minute wait while it lowered a couple of "light boats" (tugs without barges) then called us to enter. We entered followed by a small shrimp boat going to Dulac which is near Houma so they will be with us all day we both travel about the same slow speed 8.5 to 9 mph. We pulled up to the lock wall the lock gates closed and the lock tender lowered ropes for us to hold onto as the water level was raised to lift us up to the river level this takes about 20-25 minutes. The river is very high now because of snow melt and lots of rain up North. Today we went up 11 feet, usually it is about 6'. The lock gates to the river were opened and we pulled out, a tow with two barges was in position to enter and hadn't left much room for us to get out but we managed to slip by.
Next up river about 5 miles,we were moving very slow about 5-6 mph today because of the fast currentagainst us and lots of debris, logs and branches, from the high water. After about an hour we got to Harvey Lock in Harvey, Louisiana. As usual we had to wait for out turn, about an hour and a half this time. Thenwe were called into the lock and lowered 11 feet to the level of Harvey Canal portion of the ICW, from here all miles are designated WHL or West Harvey Lock. Our plan originally was to spent the night nearby at the Boomtown Casino bulkhead and proceed the 60 miles to Houma tomorrow, but the weather forecast calls for a front with strong thunderstorms to come through the area tonight and linger all day Friday and most of Saturday. Since we finished locking at 12:30 we decided to just carry on to Houma non stop. The rest of the trip was long but uneventful and we reached our slip just before 8 PM Marsha's father met us ther,e we secured the boat in our slip and went home. To come home today was the right decision, the front hit us at home about 3:30 AM with strong thunderstoms, lots of lightning and high winds
So, we were gone 45 days travelled about 750 to 800 miles and burned about 300 gallons of diesel.
It was a good trip, we got to see and spend time with some of our good friends along the way and met plenty of nice people and see lots of interesting sights. Gumbo did her part and ran fine the entire time!
This will be the last entry for now, when we make another trip. I'll let you know.
Gumbo is in her slip in Houma
Some of todays pictures below:
Sunrise over the Industrial Canal
North Claiborne Av. Bridge with Industrial Lock in background
Two light boats exiting the lock, on the left is a small shrimp boat with two guys who are bringing her to Dulac, a shrimping port near Houma
In the lock, the water level has been raised to the river level, the doors will open for us to exit into the river
St. Claude Bridge is raised, we are cleared to the river, this tow waiting to enter hasn't left us much room, we did manage to squeeze by.
Blain Kern's Mardi Gras World on the river docks, this is where many of the Mardi Gras floats are built and stored, it is also a sort of museum with tours.
On the ICW, almost to Houma, skies are clouding up. The shrimp boat (Deacon Blues) that transited the locks and river with us is just ahead, he will have about 15 miles to go after we get to Houma