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That Time Of Year

 
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:22 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.
Posts: 673
Default That Time Of Year

Greetings From New Orleans ,
Well its getting to be that time of year again for Fog Season . Generally speaking , from October through March , with few exceptions we see the development of late night and early morning fog . Some pilots I know fear it and some I know welcome it , for any one of a number of different reasons . Having said that if you've never " stood a watch " behind the " sticks " with zero visability ahead of you , well your in for one H_ _ L of an experience . One of my favorite ol' time Pilots , Capt. Joe Gale , one early foggy morning personally showed me what it meant to take care of your partner . At the time , I was still a " green " pilot on the Str. Mississippi Queen , when early one morning , I came on-watch into the Queen's pilot house , and there was Capt. Gale , alone in the wheel house , in shut-out fog , with his head in the radar and his left had on the sticks . When I made my presence known , he softly told me , " we're here below St. Catherine's Bar , and nothing coming down " , and then just as softly told me , " You got it " and then left the Pilot House . Well , to say the least , my head also went into the radar and with much trepedation , I gathered my wits and learned how to navigate solely by this " seeing eye dog " , some refer to as a radar . Needless to say , many thoughts ran through my head , one of which , why did Capt. Gale not stop the Queen but chose to run the better part of the night in this soup . Then when I most least expected it , I heard that unmistakable and familiar noise the Queen's pilot house door made and with a quick glance in that direction , there once again stood Capt. Joe Gale . Latter I learned that he had only left the wheel house long enough to freshen up but had every intention of returning and to teach me a very valuable lesson .Then without saying much , as was always the case with Capt. Gale , he calmly walked over to the radar , stuck his head back into it , and simply TOLD me , " you steer where I tell you to " ! I steered by Capt. Gale's rudder commands and between the two of us , the Str. Mississippi Queen made it that morning to Natchez , Mississippi , and in time for its scheduled and lucretive bus tours . To the best of my knowledge , very few knew of this joint effort and certainly the company never showed or expressed its appreciation for Capt. Gales unselfish efforts but I for one certainly learned a valuable lesson that early morning that has stayed with me to this day . Now , when I am out on a job and I hear on the radio the voice of either NOBRA 27 , NOBRA 127 , or NOBRA 90's voice , I can't help but think of their father and grandfather on that early foggy morning below Natchez , Mississippi and how he took care of his partner .
Smoothe Sailing !
Ted Davisson
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