Welcome to Delcambre #57

Still Thursday, June 13

Delcambre rhymes with welcome and that is certainly how we felt. We were greeted at the dock by T Boy Fox, the harbor master. He was born in Delcambre and made us feel very welcome. We also immediately met the folks on the houseboat tied up next to us as well as a guy who is captain on a fishing boat


T Boy drove us into town for dinner at the Texaco station. The restaurant is located in the convenience store but is not typical convenience store fare. It was some of the best fried shrimp we've had anywhere. The owner of the restaurant came and talked with us. Everybody in Delcambre is very friendly. While we were there several people came up to say hello and welcome us to Delcambre.

Delcambre is a shrimping community. They also grow rice and sugar cane. They are very proud of their Tabasco factory. They also have the friendliest people you've ever met anywhere. Hurricane Rita hit them pretty hard and folks are still rebuilding and recovering from that one. We also learned of the 1980 Lake Peignour disaster that happened just north of them. The Delcambre Canal was very much. affected by the disaster. Follow the link below to see a great video about it.



We met many of the folks who were tied up at the marina. Everyone made us feel like celebrities. They all wanted to say hello and find out who we were. If we had stayed longer we would have been hosted to tours of the local Tabasco factory and no doubt gotten to participate in one of their parties we read about. We met folks from Rockport who went there for a bag of ice and had stayed eight months.

A group of folks showed up with a welcome basket of goodies for us. Katherine and her husband, Jim, do this for all newcomers in the community. It contained rum cake, locally made sausage, bacon wrapped shrimp, several local products including Tabasco sauce, Steen's Cane Syrup, Cajun Power Garlic Sauce, Vermilion Hand Sanitizer, flowers and pamphlets about lots of local things we have yet to absorb.


We regret that we could not stay longer and will just have to come again someday. We made the following videos as our gift back to Delcambre. We certainly felt welcome in Delcambre and this is our way of saying thank you for your warm hospitality. We sincerely hope to return someday when we can stay longer.




The flowers have found a permanent home on our boat. They will always remind us that we need to return to Delcambre. We so enjoyed our welcome to Delcambre.

Life is good,

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen


from Houma heading west down the ICW #56

Thursday, June 13

Yesterday afternoon was an event which did not make the blog because we needed to get on with our evening fun. However, at some point close to our destination, Manny,who had been following us with a barge for many hours, radioed and asked to pass us. We were happy to oblige. He said there was traffic ahead and he wanted to get ahead of it.

Boy, he wasn't kidding. We saw a couple of barges that were more like trains. They each had a tug at the front and one in the back. They were longer than football fields. There was a lead tug called the George W that sort of ran interference for them. Manny radioed them and said he was coming around. We kept up with Manny and passed them, too. It was exciting. I wish I had taken a photo of Ralph's face as we went around. I suspect he was smiling really big! It was a big thrill. And not scary like the thrill we had in the lock. Fun!

We pulled into Houma last night around 6:30 p.m. We docked at a lovely little dock site by a new park area they have built under the new highway overpasses. Very charming and only $25. They had electricity (for our AC) and water. That was everything we needed.

For dinner we walked a few blocks int the downtown area. The harbor master had indicated we could find a good restaurant there but we failed with that. But we recognized beer signs and headed to a local bar. We had drinks with the locals and they suggested a place called Al's. The bartender called us a cab. Arlene and Franci were thrilled to be able to take their cocktails with them. Louisiana is after all a place of its own. However Al's was closed when we arrived at 9:30 p.m. Our cab driver, Belinda, said she knew a good place and that she did. We had a seafood feast at the 1921 Seafood and Oyster Bar. We even got to visit with the owner who was proud to show us the award his restaurant recently won. If ever you are in Houma, it's the place to go.

Upon leaving this morning our first mission was to go through a basculle bridge. The bridge has what they refer to as a “curfew” which is to say that it does not open between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. giving morning car traffic the right of way. We had no problem getting there before 6:30 a.m. We left at five o'clock in the morning.


It was a peaceful morning ride though a gorgeous cypress marsh. For miles and miles both sides of the canal were lined with cypress trees. The debris cleared up and it was lovely. We saw no barge or tugboat traffic early on. We did see quite a few small motor boats. Was it the weekend already?

About 10:30 a.m. we arrived at the Bayou Bouef Lock. We lost no time there. We got to go in immediately. We were in there with a barge again but this time he was the one in the back. All went very smoothly.

Soon after the lock we arrived in Morgan City. The right side of the canal had turned industrial many miles before we reached Morgan City. Lots of industry, ship building, tugs and barges. The debris in the water returned. This would continue into and past Morgan City.

After that the canal became deserted again with forest on either side. This time it did not appear to be cypress tress but it was lovely just the same. We continued to see barges and tugboats.


At some point we saw this brown yuk in the water. We don't know what it was but it looked yucky.

At some point Ralph put in more fuel.
Stephen enjoyed a turn at the helm in the afternoon.

Our destination was a small community called Delcambre, pronounced “del come”, a place we learned about from Roger and Laurie, the folks we had dinner with at the Seabrook Marina the other night. They reported to have really enjoyed their stay there. It sounds authentically Cajun. It's a few miles off the ICW but sounds like it may be worth checking out. We arrived by early evening after having traveled 90 miles that day. We all took showers before our arrival so as to ready for a night of partying. We heard that they sometimes party pretty hearty there.

We hoped to get an opportunity to bring out the musical instruments. It would be fun to meet some authentic Cajun musicians and jam. More on all that later.

Life is good.

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen


New Orleans to Houma #55

Wednesday, June 12

Today is our daughter Jenny's 26th birthday. She is big in our thoughts today. She lives in Portland, Oregon where she has completed her second year of law school. We are very proud of her.

We left at 4:20 a.m. this morning hoping to get through New Orleans before traffic got too heavy. It was a beautiful ride through the city.

At some point Ralph added more fuel.

We had two locks to go through….one before we got into the Mississippi River through New Orleans and one when we left the Mississippi and returned to the ICW.

The first one, the Industrial Canal Lock, we had to wait our turn behind a very large barge. Then we went in behind the next large barge. We tied up to the back of the barge. The excitement came when the barge started up his engines to exit the lock. He made an incredible wake and we found ourselves wheeling in circles, the captain driving excitedly forward and reverse trying to keep us from hitting anything. Stephen and Arlene ran from port to starboard with boat hooks also trying to keep us from hitting anything. We regret we did not get a video. It was more exciting than any amusement park ride. We, by the way, did not hit anything.


The next lock was less eventful. We got to go in immediately and had the entire lock to ourselves. However, after the lock opened we had to wait a long time on a railroad bridge that had opened for a train. Eventually the train came and our trip resumed.

One more basculle bridge to go.

By now it was 9:30 a.m. and we were all hungry. Arlene cooked a big breakfast with ham, fruit and pancakes. Before we got to eat there was a slight delay. We had picked up a stray line on our port prop. We had to tie up to a nearby parked barge ( no small feat) and Ralph got into the water to free the obstruction.

After that, breakfast was especially delicious.

We spent the rest of the afternoon motoring peacefully down the ICW. We know we're getting close to home. It's really hot in the afternoons now. We're again grateful that we have the shore powered AC for our evenings rest.

We traveled west through the swamplands of Louisiana. There was lots of debris in the water. Much of it was a plant named Hyacinth that seemed to be spreading everywhere. There were also lots of logs and sticks. We had to be careful driving through the debris as well as make frequent checks of the engines to be sure they were clear of the floating grasses.

We saw lots of industry and many cranes along the way.

We also saw many barges and tugboats. The tugboats all monitored Channel 13 on the VHF as did we. They all identified themselves, their location and the direction of their travel to each other. Ralph did the same, letting them know who we were and where we were going.

We were really happy to see a rain cloud appear before us. We welcomed the relief from the hot sun. The rain never came, but it was definitely cooler for the rest of the afternoon.

We passed several bridges. One of them was a pontoon bridge. It looked almost like a barge itself. This was the first bridge of this sort we had seen in our travels. We also went through a swing bridge.


We arrived in Houma at 6:30 p.m. It was a lovely tie up by a city park with electricity and water with a nice restaurant nearby.

Life is good.

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen


On to New Orleans. #54

Tuesday, June 11

We left Pt. Cadet Marina at 6 a.m. but not before our friend David stopped by with doughnuts. He had gotten in too late the night before to rendezvous with us. That's southern hospitality. We were pleased to see him again.

We took off down the ICW and it was a beautiful day. The ICW was hopping with lots of barges, fishermen and pleasure craft. We cruised down the ICW most of the morning.

Arlene cooked us eggs with spinach, cheddar cheese and feta cheese. It was yummy.

We invented a way to have shade for the helmsman. The sun in the mornings can be brutal now.

The afternoon was spent going down a canal that led through the swamps and to the north side of New Orleans. We passed a couple of barges and saw one tugboat with no barge. Other than that it seemed we were the only ones going down the canal that day. Franci enjoyed a turn at the helm.


Just before arriving in New Orleans we passed a massive flood gate structure. It's new and no doubt is part of flood control following the Katrina disaster.

We made it to our marina site at the Seabrook Marina by 5 o'clock. We had to go under a lift bridge with a clearance of 50 feet. They don't start working the lift until 8:30 tomorrow morning so we are hoping the tides are in our favor and can get under in the morning as well. We, of course, plan to leave very early.


A neighboring boat helped us identify and dock into our assigned slip. This ws once again a place with RV sites as well. Later, after showers and a few cocktails, we would meet up with the same folks again. We enjoyed dinner together at a nearby restaurant. They had many good stories to share. They have now sold their home and businesses and live on their boat. They own land in the Grand Bahamas and may someday settle there.


Life is good.

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen