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Ted Davisson 06-19-2008 11:02 PM

River Pilots - Louden & Zimmer
 
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Greetings From New Orleans ,
As I was going through some boxes in my attic I came accross this shot of Capt.'s Harry Louden & Art Zimmer on board the Str. Delta Queen back in May of 77' . I could not help but imagine what they were thinking at the time and my only regret was that I didn't take more of these men but the others as well that served on the " Queen " while I was there . I remember the times in the Delta Queen's pilot house and listening to them as they told their stories of not only Life on the river but of Life in general for them and others of that Day . What a shame their not here with us now to offer some common sense and wisdom that is so sorely lacking in this Day .
Smoothe Sailing !
Ted Davisson

Bob Reynolds 06-20-2008 05:36 PM

Oh, Ted, if that picture could only talk!!! Those old men are what I think of when I think of "the good old days" on the DQ. And while they could both be irrascible, I can remember Keith, Lexie and me singing old hymns in the pilothouse with both of them on the Ohio River, 4 part harmony. And to get them started on the galley crew.....watch out!

Bob Reynolds 06-21-2008 08:04 AM

What some newer riders of the DQ boats may not realize is that prior to the 1990's, First Class Pilots were required everywhere the boat went, not just below Baton Rouge. One cannot even obtain this license above Baton Rouge nowadays, but prior to the new rule, we had to have pilots who were licensed in their respective areas...just anyone with a Master's license could not take a big inspected vessel anywhere.

Capt. Harry Louden was an Ohio River Pilot, though he did have a bit of mileage on the Tennessee (about 25 miles) and the Monongahela (a couple of miles) in order to take the boat to Kentucky Lake and up to the landing in Pittsburgh. Capt. Art Zimmer was primarily an Upper Mississippi River pilot, though he did also run the DQ on the Ohio and the Illinois, where he had first class license. Zimmer also had license to down to Baton Rouge (but not below!) on the Lower. He did not like to go down there and rarely did. Zimmer's license also went up the Cumberland to Nashville. In 1977, we made a trip to Nashville, and Zimmer was the only pilot they could find who had the proper license. Capt. Tommy Utter had the license, but no radar endoresment, and the USCG would not let him stand a watch because of this, even though both the Master (Chengery) and the Mate (Rainbolt) held radar observer endorsements. Utter made the trip as a guest, more or less.

Below are some of the pilotage routes of the older pilots as I remember them:
C.S. "Rip" Ware: Lower Miss, Upper Miss, Ohio from Cairo to Parkersburg (though he never took the DQ above Cincinnati), Tennessee River. Ware also had license up the Red, Black and Ouachita Rivers to Camden, AR! He had the longest stretch of first class pilot license of any of the pilots on the boat in the 1970's.
Oren Russell: Mississippi from St. Louis to New Orleans and the Ohio from Cairo to Cincinnati.
Walter Karnath: Upper Mississippi. His license went to Cairo, but he never rode below St. Louis.
Bill Foley: Upper MIssissippi
Howard Tate: Mississippi from St. Louis to New Orleans. Tate's license also went up the Ohio as far as Louisville, but he did not like the Ohio and only made one trip above Paducah, to my knowledge. Often we would change pilots at Paducah; Louden getting off and Tate getting on, or vice-versa.
Fontain Johnson: Pittsburgh to New Orleans.
Ted Davisson: Lower Mississippi.
Bobby Powell: Pittsburgh to New Orleans and up to St. Louis on the Upper.
Ed Winford: Lower Miss.
Arthur McArthur: Lower Miss. and up to St. Louis
Charlie Fehlig: Mississippi River (Minneapolis to New Orleans)
Joe Gale: Lower Miss. and Ohio.

I'm sure others will chime in on other pilots I have neglected to metion. Ted, remember Rick Blackman? And Capt. Gilbert Manson used to take the boat down to Fort Jackson as Ted's partner.

The biggest thing for newer folks to understand is that we used to change pilots quite often when moving to new areas of the rivers.

Judy Patsch 06-21-2008 08:54 AM

Foley and Doc's pilot licenses
 
Great posting Bob. I remember at times waiting at Paducah or Cairo for our next river pilot to arrive. Those weren't the easiest places to get to back then. I do want to add to Bill Foley's description. He was probably the quietest, most humble pilot we ever knew and he was not one to brag about his license. But here it is, and I believe it is more extensive than even Rip Ware's: "First class pilot on the Mississippi River from Cut-off Light Louisiana(mile 88.8 AHP) to Minneapolis Minnesota; Old River and the Atchafalaya River and Basin from the Mississippi River to the Gulf Intracostal Waterway; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Harvey, Louisiana lock to High Island Texas; Calcasieu River between Choupique Island and West Lake Louisiana; Houston Ship Channel from Morgan Point to Sinclair Refining Company Docks Houston Texas; Ohio River from its mouth to Millwood West Virginia; Kanawha River from its mouth to Charleston West Virginia; Illinois River and waterway from its mouth to Chicago Illinois(including Chicago River, Drainage Canal and Harbor)." This is on his license Issue 9 Number 10 December 18, 1973 And here is Doc's pilot's license: "First Class Pilot of steam and motor vessels of any gross tons upon the Ohio River from mile 470.3 to Mile 981.0; on the Tennessee River from mile 0.0 to mile 44.2; on the Lower Mississippi River from mile 953.8 to mile 89.5; on the Cumberland River from mile 0.0 to mile 32.8." And another one of our DQ pilots in the '70s was Ray Pritchard who had UMR and the St. Croix River. I think he was the only St. Croix pilot we had, right? I remember going up there 3 times: the first time we went to Hudson and turned around, the second all the way to Stillwater(23 miles) and we turned around, and the third time when Jim Blum was Master we went to Stillwater and made a shore stop. Beautiful country...

Lexie Palmore 06-21-2008 10:01 AM

Texas Joke: What's the highest point in Texas? Answer: High Island. (It's probably about 1 foot above sea level.) Wonder why the license stopped there as Galveston and Houston are only a short distance away. Quite often these guys would serve as master when needed. So often you would see Capt. Louden, Mr. Ohio River, in New Orleans. I first met Cappy in Natchez.

And of course, what Cappy would have to say about all this DQ/Oberstar nonsense would be unprintable.

Bob Reynolds 06-21-2008 10:37 AM

Yes it would be unprintable, Lex! And of course how could I have forgotten YOU!?! Lexie Palmore: Ohio River and Mississippi from St. Louis to New Orleans.

Yes, Judy, Prichard had a license on the St. Croix, but I think Karnath did, too. Butch would know. Prichard's license went to N.O., and he took the boat down there one time while I was on there, and boy, was it a trip! He had not been below Memphis in a LONG time!

As far as a license only to High Island, I wonder about that myself. And, his license went from Morgan's Point (at the head of Galveston Bay) up to Sinclair in town, but he was missing the bay from the ICW to Morgan's Point (25 or so miles) as well as the 40 or 50 miles from High Island to the Houston Ship Channel. My guess would be that he didn't get to draw that when he was in the CG office, and for some reason never went back to get that gap.

Bob Reynolds 06-21-2008 10:57 AM

Judy, you may be right about the length of Foley's license, but Ware gave him a run for his money. Not included in my description of Ware's license (because the DQ did not go there at the time) is that his license on the Tennessee went to the head of navigation, 652 miles. He also was licensed up the Illinois to Lockport Lock and the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. He MAY have been licensed on the Kanawha as well; I can't remember.

Charlie Fehlig obtained license up the Arkansas to take the DQ up there in 1972. His partner was Gary Davis from Alligator, MS, who had had a license up there before the river was improved for navigation. Now don't you know there were some stories told on THAT trip!!!

Bruno Krause 06-21-2008 01:50 PM

Got some questions...Bob, you mentioned that "First Class Pilots" used to be required everywhere the boat went, not just "below Baton Rouge". I take this to mean that the pilots on the boats now have a different license, have taken a different test, or something. I guess I'm confused, could you enlighten me? I'm one of those newer riders and I have had the privilege of getting to know some fine pilots and masters on the DQ, the AQ and the MQ and I sense that the pre-1990's pilots had a tougher time to get where they were than today? I sure hope there isn't the suggestion that today's pilots aren't anything but supermen, my word...could you describe the differences between pre-1990 "First Class Pilots" and today's "Pilots"? Are there any First Class Pilots still working for the company? I guess so to travel below Baton Rouge... Is a First Class Pilot working above Baton Rouge a rarity? And I know that time back it was required during the test for a pilot-to-be to draw the complete river from memory, and that requirement is no longer required? And why aren't first class pilots required above Baton Rouge anymore, what changed?

Second question, I have surmised that the Master of the vessel needs to be in command any time the boat is about to touch something, such as a lock or a landing, and also the departing from that "touch". But underway the pilots are actually "in command" and the Master is free to leave the pilothouse. True? If this is the case, is the master allowed to be in command on a river that he isn't licensed for?

Third question, don't all masters have pilot licenses? Isn't that how they got promoted to being Master by being a pilot previously?

Fourth question, the DQ used to go on the Missouri...How far up the Missouri did she go (Sioux City is the last big stop due to Gavins Point, right?), and why did she stop going on the Missouri? And she went on the Missouri for a very short time?

As always, thanks in advance. Great thread...

Ted Davisson 06-21-2008 03:40 PM

Pilot License
 
Greetings From New Orleans ,
First of all , thanks to everyone for their posting on this particular thread and this topic is something that has become rather near and dear to me since the Coast Guard in their infinate wisdom has recended the regulation for vessels and personel to sail under a First Class Pilot's License above Baton Rouge . Both the Govt.'s and Coast Guard's mentality has always amazed me from a number of different perspectives and this act of gross negelence on their part is certainly no different . Personally , I feel that regardless of the route anyone that stands behind the " sticks " of either a ship or a towboat should have a First Class Pilot's License ! If the public at large had any idea of just what goes up and down the river in those chemical tank barges , I think that they would first of all move as far away form the river as possible and then secondly demand from their elected politicians and the Coast Guard that the people that man these vessels have a superior license to what they are getting away with now . For example , someone with an operators license , regardless of local knowledge of the route or area can legally go anywhere on the U.S. waterways with no prior knowledge and with the most dangerous and hazardous chemicals known to man . Does this make a Lick Of Since ???? Go Figure and Go ask your local politicians why they allow this to take place at all times of the day and night and in all times of weather and river stage !! Just food for thought Folks and by the way , my First Class Pilot's License goes from Pilot Town on the Lower Mississippi River and up to Cincinnatti , Ohio on the Ohio river .
Smoothe Sailing !
Ted

[QUOTE=Bruno Krause;11236]Got some questions...Bob, you mentioned that "First Class Pilots" used to be required everywhere the boat went, not just "below Baton Rouge". I take this to mean that the pilots on the boats now have a different license, have taken a different test, or something. I guess I'm confused, could you enlighten me? I'm one of those newer riders and I have had the privilege of getting to know some fine pilots and masters on the DQ, the AQ and the MQ and I sense that the pre-1990's pilots had a tougher time to get where they were than today? I sure hope there isn't the suggestion that today's pilots aren't anything but supermen, my word...could you describe the differences between pre-1990 "First Class Pilots" and today's "Pilots"? Are there any First Class Pilots still working for the company? I guess so to travel below Baton Rouge... Is a First Class Pilot working above Baton Rouge a rarity? And I know that time back it was required during the test for a pilot-to-be to draw the complete river from memory, and that requirement is no longer required? And why aren't first class pilots required above Baton Rouge anymore, what changed?

Second question, I have surmised that the Master of the vessel needs to be in command any time the boat is about to touch something, such as a lock or a landing, and also the departing from that "touch". But underway the pilots are actually "in command" and the Master is free to leave the pilothouse. True? If this is the case, is the master allowed to be in command on a river that he isn't licensed for?

Third question, don't all masters have pilot licenses? Isn't that how they got promoted to being Master by being a pilot previously?

Fourth question, the DQ used to go on the Missouri...How far up the Missouri did she go (Sioux City is the last big stop due to Gavins Point, right?), and why did she stop going on the Missouri? And she went on the Missouri for a very short time?

As always, thanks in advance. Great thread...[/QUOTE]

Judy Patsch 06-21-2008 06:53 PM

Bruno, you can't count! You had 7 questions in your first question! Bob is probably on duty right now, so I'll answer a few of your '4' questions briefly until he appears with better answers. Yes there is a different license now above BR. Yes, the drawing of the river is no longer required for that, which would tend to make one think it might be 'easier' now than earlier to get license. Yes, there are First Class Pilots working for the company. I'd guess most have it. But the difference would be that in earlier days you had to have First Class for the area you were working in, as Bob pointed out. That is why we had so many different pilots. This discussion is not denegrating today's pilots by any means. But there can be occasions now when someone unfamiliar with an area is steering (can you say EON?) That was not previously the case. As to your second/third question about the Master - they aren't licensed for rivers or piloting. Their license is for the tonnage of vessels they may command. Capt. Ernie Wagner had not one mile of pilot license. He was a true Roof Captain.


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