11.04.2009

Fall Tug Boating








I was shooting the bull this morning with some guys at "Da Camp" when the conversation turned to how the Flotons and water lilies come out to fill the waterways of South Louisiana in the Fall. It seems the summer growing season slowly fills the slack water with lillies and the north winds of Fall push the lillies out into the bayous and canals of the swamp land. This coupled with an unusually wet October made the floating lilies especially bad this year and made a lot of favorite fishing spots unreachable to the fishing boats. I know well the guys' complaints. It is hard enough pushing a barge down some of the narrow, shallow channels we travel; the addition of a thick mass of matted lilies and grass sure doesn't help. At times, the wheels of the tug get so choked with lilies, we have to reverse the clutches and try to get the boat to 'spit' out all the 'salad' it has collected with it's rudders. All this vegetation makes the boat vibrate and shake and 'complain' as the blades of the propellers slice through the 'salad'. All this vegetation makes navigating the bayous impossible for the weekend fishing boats, and a real pain for us tugboat cappys. The good things about Fall at work far outweigh the problems though. The cooler temperature is a blessed relief and the low humidity makes for some great sunsets.
So despite all the lillies and flotons clogging up the waterways Fall is not a bad time to work on the Bayou after all.
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