CFFC: Things People Drive (or pilot- or captain- or sail)

I might be a little late for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week, but I’m jumping in anyway. I just got in from work (offshore) where I have minimal internet access and I’m ready to catch up. Here are a few photos of ‘things people drive” on the water…

drill ship

PS- the last one is of me ‘driving’ one of the drill ships. I think it was the Ocean Rig Poseidon. I don’t get to do as much actual ‘driving’ as I used to since I’ve been working more as a DPO than anything else. Dynamic positioning takes all the fun out of ‘driving’ a boat. 😉


SoCS- Odd Even

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January challenge is: SoSC– Odd/Even.

I really can’t think of too much to post except the obvious (numbers). So, here goes…

2- even number of boats

2- even number of boats

3- odd number of boats

3- odd number of boats

Seems pretty lame, but I’m running out of steam here lately.

I took these photos out of Port Fourchon, last time I was working up there. I really hate working out of that place, but I’d be real happy to be headed back there right now. Just happy to have some work anywhere right now.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat

Here’s my entry for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat. I have LOTs of good pictures for this one. Here are some pictures of the kinds of ships I see daily while I’m at work.

Yeah, they’re all afloat, tho I sure don’t know how a couple of them manage it. 😉



Photography 101 Challenge: Double

It’s almost over. In fact, I think it is officially over. But here’s my post for Day 19: Double of the Photography 101 challenge anyway.

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Historic Michigan Tugboat Sinks At Dock

Historic Michigan Tugboat Sinks At Dock | Working Harbor Committee.

I got news of this in an email this morning. What a sad loss for owner Jim Bradley and the people of Michigan.

The former US Army Corps of Engineers tug ‘Wilhelm Baum’ sank at the dock Sunday (2/23/14). No explanation has been found yet. 😦

Sad to say, I know EXACTLY how Mr Bradley feels.

My father bought a boat when I was growing up. The ‘Island Girl’ was a beautiful antique staysail schooner. She was originally built in Detroit in 1910. She was 72′ LOA, built with a wooden hull. My father fiberglassed her in the late 70s, trying to give her a few more years of life. I remember spending a lot of time helping. 🙂

We spent a LOT of time on that old boat over the years. My father – Capt Bill- sailed her around Florida from the late 60s til I finally convinced him to bring her over to Texas in the late 90’s.

He originally bought ‘Island Girl’ in Miami, sailed her up to Madeira Beach where we grew up. Took her down to the Keys and up the East Coast a bit. Then back down to the Keys and up to Bradenton for a few years before finally bringing her to Galveston and then Freeport, Texas. Sad to say, my father wasn’t able to sail her much after that.

Soon after he managed to get the ‘Island Girl’ to Galveston he got the bad news. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. They gave him just a few months to live.

After he died, he left the boat to me and I did my best to take care of her. Sorry to say I just wasn’t able to. I was still working offshore and really didn’t have either the time or the money to do it. It costs a LOT to keep any boat in shape and an 80+ year old wooden sailboat costs more than most.

We did get to sail it a few times out of Freeport. Eventually our luck ran out and I was awakened with a phone call from the dockmaster. The ‘Island Girl’ was on the bottom. She looked just like the ‘Wilhelm Baum’ in the linked video. 😦

I was so sad I was actually sick. We’ve had that boat in our family for over 45 years and it was such a big part of my life. I was just so sad. 😦

To this day, I don’t really know what happened. I have my theories, but it was nothing obvious like burst through-hull fittings or any leaks in the hull. I would really like to know what happened to finally do her in but I’ll probably never know.

I did re-float the boat. Immediately. We pickled the engine and she started right back up- no problemo! It was a Perkins 4 cylinder diesel. We did get to sail her a few more times. We had to keep the sails below the owls nest in the main mast. 😉

Schooner 'Island Girl'

Schooner ‘Island Girl’

I actually managed to sell her. I didn’t really want to but I had to just admit that I would NEVER be able to find the time or the money I would need to spend to do what I wanted with her.

I heard later that she sank again. I STILL don’t know what happened to her. The new owner had her moved to Mammoth Lake where there is a dive center. At least someone is still getting use and enjoyment out of that old beauty. I’m glad for that at least.

I wonder if they will ever figure out what happened to the ‘Wilhelm Baum’? I’d like to know if it was the same thing that happened to the ‘Island Girl’.

Zero to Hero Challenge- Day 12: Inspired by the Fourchon Shuffle

The assignment for day 12 of the Zero to Hero Challenge builds on the one from the day before. The one for day 11 was to leave comments on 3 blogs you’ve never commented on before. Today’s is to build a post out of one of those comments.

I made a comment on the New England Watermans’ blog yesterday. I really liked his post with the video of Port Fourchon. Here’s the link to my comment again.

His video was a time lapse of his work over the last year. Both offshore and in the port of Fourchon, La.

I liked it because it reminded me of a lot of the same things I see all the time at work. He also mentioned the Global Orion which is one of the vessels I used to work on.

Global Orion

Global Orion

I’ve been in and out of Fourchon more times than I can count. It’s NOT my favorite place! It’s the largest port in the USA for the oil and gas industry and it is VERY busy! Usually it’s a huge pain in the ass to go to Fourchon.

We call it the Fourchon Shuffle. Bring your boat to the dock so you can unload your deck cargo. Oh, your halfway done but there’s another boat that has a higher priority. So, MOVE.

OK, so you go to another dock to get some fuel. Wait, there’s no space there. So, you wait. Wait some more. It’s not like parking a car, you can’t just put a boat in park and walk away (tho some DPOs might think so).

Oh, now they’re calling you back to finish unloading. No time to spare, you have to get back offshore again ASAP.

Oh yeah, you still need fuel so go back over there. This time you can get to the dock. Now you need to go to another dock to load up more deck cargo. You’ve got priority so you make 2 other boats move out of the way for you….

That’s just a short verse, the Fourchon Shuffle goes on and on. They’ve improved it slightly with some additional dock space but it’s still far from ideal.

No one in Fourchon ever gets any peace at the dock. I always just wanted to get the hell out of there and back offshore as soon as possible. At least be able to get some rest again.

Here are a few photos I took in Fourchon recently…


Luckily, I don’t spend too much time driving around Fourchon anymore. Lately I’ve been working on a lot of large vessels like drillships and they don’t usually go into port. I only go to Fourchon to fly in or out to the rig. 🙂


PS- the orange boats are the ones belonging to the Cajun Navy 😉

A Word A Week Challenge: Lines (man made)

haul in those lines!

haul in those lines!

boats! all in a line ;-)

boats! all in a line 😉

lines on a boat

lines on the way to the beach

lines on the way to the beach

beautiful lines on a car!

beautiful lines on a car!

building with lines

city sky lines

city sky lines

Here are some photos for the Word a Week Challenge, if you want to see some of what others have done, or enter something yourself, here’s the link…