Bringing MV Patriot Home to Texas (Part 3)

Day Seventeen January 30, 2014.   We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore.  Weather a cold 28 degrees F., clear, winds ENE at 5-10 mph.  Our planned course takes us from Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans to Houma, LA, City Dock, lock times permitting.   We departed at 0550 to make the Industrial Lock bridge opening.  We tied up at 0645 waiting the lock-master to grant us entry.  We entered the lock at 0945, made a 7 foot lift and was out of the lock at 1000.

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Entering ?? Locks, New Orleans, LA
Entering Industrial Lock, New Orleans, LA

 

Then we proceeded to Harvey Canal Lock.  We entered the lock at 1055 and were out of the lock at 1115.

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Now we enter the mighty Mississippi River.

Entering the mighty Mississippi River
Entering the mighty Mississippi River

 

Plotting our course through the Mississippi River
Plotting our course through the Mississippi River

 

Hows that for a deep river?
How’s that for deep water?
Waterfront view of the French Quarters, New Orleans, LA
Waterfront view of the French Quarters, New Orleans, LA

 

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Docked at the Port of New Orleans, The World, the largest private residential ship on the planet at 644 feet. With 165 individual Homes, the residences live aboard while the ship circumnavigates the world to some of the most exotic places on the earth’s waters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also docked was the ship Carnival Elation, at 855 feet and over 2,000 guests on-board.

 

We continued our journey on-board our own cruising vessel, the MV Patriot.

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The Industrial section of the Harvey Canal off the Mississippi River.
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The Industrial section of the Harvey Canal off the Mississippi River.
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The Industrial section of the Harvey Canal, off the Mississippi River.

 

 

Waiting for some tow traffic to clear the bridge
Waiting for some tow traffic to clear the bridge
Back in the Ditch (ICW)
Back in the Ditch (ICW)
The ICW plotted course though Louisiana
The ICW plotted course though Louisiana
Running behind some tow traffic
Running behind some tow traffic
A look at the radar
A look at the radar
MV Patriot wake in the ICW
MV Patriot’s wake on the ICW
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Moving along the ICW
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MV Patriot on the ICW
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Traveling the ICW
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Plotting our course through the ICW
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Sunset – we must be getting close to City Dock, Houma, LA.

 

Day Eighteen January 31, 2014.    We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore.  Our course takes us from Houma, LA to Shell Morgans’ Landing at Abbeville, LA.   Weather 43 degrees F., overcast, winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.   Departed 0632.

Passed some time at Bayou Bouef Lock near Morgan City, LA.

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Then as we continued to transit the ICW, we spotted a bald eagle!  Just couldn’t grab the camera soon enough to capture the sighting.

Lost the chart-plotter cartography.   Resolve was to reload chart-plotter software (easier said than done).  Lot’s of traffic on the ICW.

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We waited for some tow traffic to come through the open bridge.

 

Waiting for the Miss Caroline to pass
Turns out it was the Miss Carolyn. And we waited for her to pass
Miss Caroline
Miss Carolyn

 

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Overtaking Miss Carolyn

 

At 1400 the temperature was up to 64 degrees F., short sleeves for the first time in quite awhile.   At the 1430 engine room check noticed port racor fuel filter showing some a leak.  We will attempt to tighten seal screw when docked.

Ending log 1049 SM, 100 miles made good.  We fueled up taking on 350 gallons at $3.52 per gallon = $1230.32.

Day Nineteen February 1, 2014.   We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore. Weather 55 degrees F., overcast, wind SE at 14 mph.  Our planned course takes us from Abbeville to Muddy Waters Marina at Orange, TX (MM268).  Note: No shoreline power at the Marina.

Departed Abbeville at 0633.  Exited Leland Bowman Lock at 0716.  Chart-plotter remains a mystery, using Ipad as backup.  Arrived at the Calcasieu Lock and the Great Bayou Pontoon Bridge at 1340, were through by 1425.  And the chart-plotter was up and running again!

We arrived at Muddy Waters Marina in Orange, TX.  Ending log 1159, 110 miles made good. Ran generator all night to keep batteries charged.

Docked for the night - rather quaint.
Docked for the night at Muddy Waters Marina

 

Day 20 February 2, 2014.    I know what your thinking, but yes we did it – we filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore. Weather 66 degrees F., showers, winds S 5 to 15 mph.   Our course plotted takes us from Muddy Waters Marina, Orange, TX to Hitchcock, TX.  Departed 0630.

We anchored in dense fog at Neches River Buoy “2” to await for fog to lift – 0800.  We left anchorage at idle speed at 1115.  Had to dodge a dredge.

 

Hit a bit of fog - yikes!
Hit a bit of fog – yikes!
Better, but still a messy situation.
Better, but still a messy situation.

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Finally  we were able to reach cruising speed at 1250.  Revised goal to reach was Stingaree Restaurant and Marina, MM335, paying very close to water depths!  We arrived and docked in a 20 mph crosswind – fun!  Ending log 1231 SM, 72 miles made good.

Docked at Stingerays Marina/Restaurant. Nothing less than a 25MPH wind and no water below.
Docked at Stingaree Marina/Restaurant. Nothing less than a 20 mph wind and no water below.
Stingaree Marina
Stingaree Marina
It was Super Bowl Sunday! The restaurant was closed to the public, but they let us in and shard their mud bug boil.
It was Super Bowl Sunday! The restaurant was closed to the public, but they let us in and shared their mud bug boil.

 

Day 21 February3, 2014.   We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore.  Weather 43 degrees F., overcast, winds NE at 10 to 20 mph.  Our plan was to transit from Stingaree’s Marina at Crystal Beach, TX to Matagorda Harbor Marina, Bay City, TX.  At 0730 wind NE 10 to 15 mph, waiting on tide. No reading on depth meter.  At 0800 left Stingaree Marina.

At 0900 we crossed Galveston Bay.

Houston Ship Channel - busy as usual.
Houston Ship Channel – busy as usual.
Plotted course by Pelican Island, TX
Plotted course by Pelican Island, TX
Texas City, TX
Texas City, TX
Under and past the bridge.
Under and past the bridge.

 

We arrived at Matagorda Harbor Marina Bay City, TX only to find no diesel fuel available.  This was not part of our plan.  No choice but to head out in the morning.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 22 February 4, 2014.   We filed what we believed was our last float plan for this trip with our designated contact on shore.  Weather 51 degrees F., overcast, winds NNW 10 to 15 mph.  We departed Matagorda Harbor Marina at 0645.  Port engine did not want to start.  Checked diagnostic codes and found something had caused an interrupt.  We reset the system and she started right up.

Our course takes on our last leg of the journey from Matagorda Harbor Marina, Bay City, TX to Cove Harbor Marina, Rockport, TX.  We cleared the Colorado River Locks without issue as they were wide open at 0715.  We slowed to 10 mph to conserve fuel, hoping to use less than 5 gph fuel.

We decide to contact Matagorda Harbor Marina, Bay City, TX and discuss their lack of diesel fuel.  The harbor master credited back our $50 dock fee.  We ran Matagorda Bay in slight fog and 20 mph crosswind.   We transited safely between several tows.

Matagorda Bay
Matagorda Bay
Homeport insight.
Homeport insight.

 

As we approached the Rockport cut on the ICW, we could see our destination marina.  We made phone contact with the Cove Harbor Marina office and they asked for us to hold up in the fore-bay  while another large cruiser was heading out.  We waited and saw nothing approaching for some time.  Calling back to the office, we were told to transit in as the other vessel was delayed.

We entered the channel and found our way to the assigned slip – #3 on the F dock.  Finding that there were no pump outs at the slips (as information provided early so stated), we left the slip for another close-by public pump out system.  We decided not to fuel as there were things to do before the night came upon us.

We then returned to F3 slip and began a clean up/wash of the MV Patriot.  We had an early morning rise to get Captain Shircliff to San Antonio for his return flight back home.

In her slip at Rockport, TX. MV Patriot finished her trip 1400 miles in 21 days.
In her slip at Rockport, TX. MV Patriot finished her trip 1400 miles in 22 days.

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Our journey from Florida to Texas was a huge success.  MV Patriot was at her new home-port and all crew was safe and sound.  I suppose now the only thing left is to start another journey.  Another blog someday.

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