Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In the ditch

We are underway in the ICW, westbound toward New Orleans. The ICW here consists mostly of a dredged cut through the wetlands; straight and narrow, like an actual ditch.

Sunset from our peaceful anchorage at the Blind Rigolets.

This morning found us anchored in a cross-channel known as the Blind Rigolets (map). It is another outlet from Lake Pontchartrain into Lake Borgne, and as such it has considerable current, both tidal and wind-driven. It's closed to navigation by a row of dolphins that protect a railroad bridge, and so it makes for a nice, protected anchorage.

Shortly after I posted here yesterday, we cleared the two bascule bridges at the east end of the lake, and carefully navigated the narrow and sometimes shallow North Pass toward The Rigolets. At times the sounder registered seven feet, but we made it through without issue. I imagine there are wind conditions under which we could not make this transit.

We had another skinny section just before the deepwater Rigolets pass itself; the sounder went from seven feet to seventy feet in a matter of minutes. From there it was easy going, all the way to the ICW. The CSX swing bridge near the mouth of The Rigolets was open when we arrived and we zipped right through. A sharp right turn at Lake Borgne put us on the ICW, and in just a few minutes we were at our anchorage.

Approaching the sector gates of the surge barrier.

Like the Mississippi River, this section of the ICW carries mostly towboat traffic, along the busy gulf coast corridor. We planned our turn onto the ICW in a gap in traffic, and then had to negotiate with a couple of tows as we made our way to the anchorage. Tows in both directions passed all night long, but we were set back far enough from the channel that we did not feel them.

The Paris Road Bridge.

While technically we have been in the city of New Orleans since we awoke this morning, we've now passed the Lake Borgne flood wall and are entering the city proper. We're just passing the old MRGO and headed for the Paris Road Bridge. In a short while we'll turn into the Industrial Canal and should be at Seabrook Marine mid-afternoon.

Nasa's Michoud docks, complete with spacecraft transporter.


  1. As one day loopers, I'd like to follow your adventures. Can I do that through email?

    1. Yes, you can follow by email. I just added a link to sign up in the upper right hand corner of the blog. Thank you for your interest!


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