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Old 04-22-2011, 01:16 PM
Ted Davisson Ted Davisson is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.
Posts: 673
Default Try Working In These Conditions !

Greetings From New Orleans !
First of all , try working in these conditions ! Its been my observation after working in these high water conditions for over thirty five years that a number of events and changes in the " normal " routine of river navigation take place that will make Christians out of everyone !
Furthermore , I contend that the hardest part of navigating large and loaded vessels , such as loaded grain ships with over forty feet of draft , is to literally stop or check the swing or turning of these vessels below the points that we go around !
The other trick is to stay out of the eddies , especially when in a high water condition , they will extend almost half way out into the channel !
Another issues is simply to have adequate tug boat assistance for docking , undocking and or turning . Because of the high water many tugs are in service just pushing and holding loaded ships alongside their respective docks ! This uses up the supply of available tugs in the area once again for docking but especially turning a large ship around . To further complicate turning large loaded ships around in a high water and restricted channel , a peculiar event takes place . Just like how the wind has an effect on the sail of a sail boat when it is tacking through the water , when a large loaded ship is turning into excessive current , the force of the current acts just like the wind on the sail and tends to give the ship headway through the water ! The problem with this is that in a narrow and restrictive channel we simply do not have the extra room to allow the ship to get headway and to cross the river . Consequently , a pilot will need additional tug power to slow or stop this current driven headway on the turning ship .
Another problem we have to deal with is simply visability ! This time of year , we are still experiencing fog and needless to say this brings on another whole set of challenges when we have to deal with not only the the high water and current but now also the fog and having to find room in the anchorages and tug boat assistance to turn these large ships in these small and restricted anchorages !
One other issue we encounter with high river conditions is the problem with pilots or operators , and there is a big difference , that are NOT familiar with strong current and the effects that it has on vessels of any kind .
Last but not least , another issue we have with high water is simply there is now not enough vertical clearance to pass under the respective bridges between New Orleans and Baton Rouge ! The Huey P. Long bridge has always been the lowest bridge in our route and now it is even lower now because of the construction that is taking place to widen the deck of the bridge !
So , long story short , these high water conditions make it especially tough even on the older and more seasoned Pilots that now have to navigate in all these varied and sordid conditions !
Just Another Day At The Office !
Smooth Sailing !
Ted Davisson
Attached Thumbnails
Upper Mississippi flooding-p1010207.jpg   Upper Mississippi flooding-h-w-47.jpg   Upper Mississippi flooding-h-w-49.jpg  

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