I am up and ready in the dark. An occasional barge passes as they did all night. I wait and eat pop tarts until sunrise, to give me a little better chance to see and be seen. The sun is out as I pass under the Hale Boggs bridge. There is no stopping today. I have to get past and below New Orleans by the end of the day.
My brother Curt is trying to arrange a photographer friend of his to take pictures of me as I pass the city. I tell him my expected time to be passing some landmarks and we stay in touch throughout the day. I have no photos of me on the river that’s not a selfie. I would really like some.
I reach the Huey Long Bridge, the first landmark, at 11:00, right on time. The second landmark, Audubon Park, is reached by noon. Still on schedule. Unfortunately no word from the photographer. I crossed the river there from West to East, holding my breath as I rowed as hard as I could squeezing in between the barges relentlessly go up and down the river.
There are people in the park enjoying their saturday, watching the river and looking at me. I wave. ‘BUWAHHH! BUWAHHH! A barge, which I thought was anchored was now moving along the bank. It honks at me even though I’m all the way over near the shore. I yell up unkind things to the bridge of the barge as it passes me and right in front of a group of 10 people now gathered to watch me get run over. I waved to them and continued on.
The photographer is not going to happen. I realize this when I reached the Crescent City Connection bridges and downtown New Orleans. I have to wait there for a few minutes as the paddle wheel boat ‘Natchez’ makes a Uturn right in front of me. I’m next to the river cruise ship ‘American Beauty’ and a uniformed officer is out on a balcony. “You guys passed me four times in the past two weeks!” I say to him. ‘Yep’. Was his only reply.
While I’m waiting I also called my brother. I tell him where I am. “I’m looking at a live webcam of the river.” He tells me. We each see the same barges and boats but he never does see me on camera. A screen shot of that would have been cool too.
I made my way slowly past the Riverfront. There is a plaza and a park for a half mile or so. Of course I can’t see anything except the highrise hotels or people who come over to the rail. As always the case on the river, I’m below everything. I am always at the lowest point of everything around me. I go close and slow and some people wave, some take pics and some just ignore me. I pass by the ‘Natchez’ now tied up to the pier as it plays ‘New York, New York’ on a steam whistle calliope.
Once around Algiers point the wind picked up and I put New Orleans behind me.