Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday May 9, 2013  posted on Friday May 10.

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday May 8, 2013

Gulfport Yacht Harbor ICW mile 70+4  to Ponchartrain Landing marina Industrial Harbor Canal, New Orleans ICW mile  35+28
67 miles today
We left the slip at 8:20 after a 15 minute false alarm delay over  a steering issue, all was OK in the end.
It was a beautiful day out on the water, a light breeze and chop on the sound and warm for a change. We proceeded about 30 miles on the MS sound then took the Rigolets (Rigolees) Pass into Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans. There was a 40 min wait for the decrepit CSX railway swingbridge to open, then up to and across the lake to the marina it is new and quite nice., and right along the ICW on the way to the locks which will take us across the MS. River tomorrow.
We had dinner at the marina's BBQ restaurant.
To see our location today click on the link below,-90.03384&ll=30.02630,-90.03384&ie=UTF8&z=12

some of todays pictures below

Morning reflections

Leaving Gulfport harbor into a calm MS. sound,
 crab trap buoys on the right an incoming tow ahead

Out on the sound three of these guys came buzzing by, FAST
See what they were sporting fore and aft!

After crossing Lake Pontchartrain we came to the Industrial harbor Canal entrance; a highway bridge
then the Railroad Bascule bridge and a floodgate all in one spot to keep Hurricane surge out, and help prevent another Katrina like episode

Gumbo in the Pontchartrain landing Marina, it is pretty shallow in here. I hope the tide doesnt go out much overnight we might have a problem getting out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday  May 7, 2013
Lulu's Homeport Marina ICW mile 155 to Gulfport Municipal Yacht Harbor ICW mile 70 + 4 miles
89 miles today

We got up early and left Lulu's at 6 am to take advantage of the light winds forecast for today. We travelled West on the Alabama Canal the part of the ICW that goes into Mobile Bay from the East it was like glass. We crossed the bay it was a nice ride a very light chop for the crossing and then on to the Mississippi sound where conditions were nice until we were south of Biloxi mid afternoon and the winds picked up to about 15 MPH from the West. The next few hours to Gulfport MS were bumpy but without incident. We entered the Gulfport marina behind two boats from the Houston area. The marina is new replacing the one which was destroyed by a hurricane several years ago. It is very nice and big there must be a couple of hundred slips being new quite a few are empty.
We took the short walk into town for dinner.
The plan is to leave here tomorrow, Wednesday, morning and travel to a marina near the Industrial Lock in New Orleans, Spend the night there and cross the Miss. River Thursday. tomorrow's forecast looks good, so we'll see how it goes.

To see our location at Gulfport Yacht Harbor please click on the link below:,-89.08707&ll=30.36329,-89.08707&ie=UTF8&z=12

                                       The ICW at sunrise, the bridge is right next to Lulu's

the ICW was like glass out to Mobile Bay

The Dauphin Island Bridge at the west end of Mobile Bay conditions on the bay were very good.
The  water was murky from being churned up by the wind action the last week or so.

                             Westbound tow on the Miss. Sound conditions were still very good

One of the Classics at Lulu's





Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday May 6, 2013

The Wharf Marina ICW mile 158 to Lulu's Homeport Marina ICW mile 155
3 miles today.

This morning out friend Ted from Mobile came down to the Wharf to do some work on his boat which is also at the marina. He loaned us his car to go pick up some last minute items from the grocery store. After lunch with Ted we got our boat ready and left the Wharf for Lulu's at 2:15 pm. Lulu is Jimmy Buffett's sister and her restaurant and marina are a landmark around here. It was a short trip, only 3 miles, but after almost a week at the wharf we are ready for a change of scenery. Lulu's is a very nice facility, but a bit distant from anything else, the restaurant is very good, the marina is first class too. We had dinner before the big crowds arrived, it is a busy place usually full at noon and dinner every day.
The plan is to leave here early Tuesday morning to try and get as far across Mobile Bay before the winds pick up, we are hoping for light winds the bay and Mississippi sound can get very uncomfortable when it is windy. We will be heading almost due West all day tomorrow. Gulfport, Mississippi is our planned destination but if we don't get that far we will stop in Biloxi.

To see our location at Lulu's please click on the link below

Some pictures below:

There was a wedding at he marina last night the happy couple left on this boat, It must have been a good party one guy (not the groom)  fell off the dock into the water and there were wine glasses on the dock the next morning.

Reef builders location near the wharf the stone "pyramids" and the ship will wind up as artificial reefs out on the Gulf bottom somewhere off the coast. 

Arriving at Lulu's, this is the restaurant overlooking the ICW. Boaters can tie up at the dock to go in for lunch or get fuel at the dock on the right side.

                       Homeport Marina, Gumbo is on the left with Lulu's restaurant in the background. The floating docks are well laid out and very nice

There are some nice boats at the docks, this is a steel trawler cruiser

A nice sailboat

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday May 3, 2013
The Wharf Marina

The weather has been terrible rain off and on and lots of wind it looks like we will be here over the weekend. So I'll resume posting Monday when I hope we'll be back on the water.
Please check back Monday.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday May 1, 2013
Roberts Bayou Anchorage ICW mile 165, to The Wharf Marina mile 155
     11 miles today

The weather front broke up before passing over us so we didn't have any problems ar anchor last night the wind was pretty strong and it did rain some but the anchor held tight. Today is another windy and rainy day so we left Roberts Bayou at 7:30 it was windy and cool we arrived at the Wharf about 9:00 and tied up in our slip. This is a very niche Marina it is part of The Wharf Complex in Orange beach Alabama there are shops and restaurants and many other activities on the development and nearby. The marina is right next to the ICW it has floating docks which are easy to tie to, the facilities are very nice..
Our friends Ted and Mona from Mobile keep their boat at this marina also. They drove down so we had a nice visit and a glass of wine on their boat before driving to a nearby restaurant for lunch with them.  On the way back to the marina we stopped at a Publix grocery store to pick up some things we needed.
The forecast calls for high winds and thunderstorms for the next few days so we may be here till things clear up.
To see out location at The Wharf click on the link below,-87.63164&ll=30.29374,-87.63164&ie=UTF8&z=12

Some of todays pictures:
Leaving Roberts Bayou the buildings on the beach are
 the Pirates Cove bar and grill where the dogs are.

A grey day on Bay La Launch

Resident Heron at the Wharf

Gumbo at the Wharf the yellow boat in the background is for Dolphin watching tours.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday April 30, 2013
Anchorage at Redfish Point ICW mile 177  to Roberts Bayou ICW mile 165
12 Miles today  Winds 10-15 SE cool and overcast

Today dawned grey, cool, and breezy We pulled the anchor up and were on the way west on Big Lagoon the body of water between Perdido Key and the mainland. There was a very strong current giving us a good push so we gained about a mile in speed. We travelled on the ICW to Roberts Bayou
which is  a small bayou which makes for a good anchorage as it is well protected. At the mouth of the bayou is Pirate's Cove Marina and Restaurant this is a really "rustic" looking place which is very popular on the weekends. They serve burgers which are very good, and a few other simple dishes they also serve LOTS of beer. Seating is outside on rugged plank tables and benches. There are always several dogs hanging around begging food as they wander amongst the tables. No one minds and the dogs are well behaved.
Once we were anchored in the bayou we launched the dinghy and rode over tot the restaurant for lunch.
We have only 10 miles to travel tomorrow friends from Mobile are meeting us at The Wharf Marina on the ICW in Orange beach.
The weather is unsettled wiht a strong front passing through here tonight then windy for the next few days so we'll see how we make out.
To see our location at Roberts Bayou click on the link below,-87.53806&ll=30.32634,-87.53806&ie=UTF8&z=12

Some of today's pictures below:
Bridge over the ICW at Perdido Key

The strong current was causing swirls behind this channel marker buoy

Roberts Bayou

                                                    Gumbo anchored in Roberts Bayou
View of the bayou over our bow

Pirate's cove and a few of the dogs, there are about 7-8 of them, all big but friendly and gentle

This girl rested her chin on my knee and just stared at my burger.
I had to give her half, who could resist those eyes