Hey. Thank you for all the cold front warnings. It is quite humbling to think of the vast amount of people taking the time to think about and then warn me what I’m in for.
I’m writing this from a barge. Yes, I slept on a barge last night, haha! Not the enemy guys, I promise. Just a construction one that’s contracted through Kirby…which means nothing to people who aren’t barge people or paddling people.
They took me in after they saw my tent. I was looking to camp on the bank right next to them because the rain made it so I wasn’t visible. The coast guard and sheriff had already checked on me and patronized the sh*t out of me. Acted as if I hadn’t made it this far and I was taking a recreational paddle through Baton Rouge for the day. I think it’s because they didn’t fully comprehend my starting place. When asked I said I came from the headwaters and they said “where is that?” Oh well. I don’t need them to recognize how far I’ve come but when they take an hour out of my paddling to lecture me about the necessity of a solar charger for my phone theeeen I’m bitter. “Sir, I do have a solar charger but if you look up…there is no sun.”
Oh well.
I was in the barge before daylight decided to leave so I got to go on errands with a captain whom the others call Roe. We went to pick up an inland pilot and bring her to a ship (the ginormous things) from Singapore. Any international ship coming into the river needs an American pilot and they take command over the captain…because they are more familiar with the river. This girl was so cool. She gave me her number and is going to help me navigate the traffic and what not. We also picked up a part time actor from a barge who had to go to wardrobe for a movie.
At night, the boys ordered us pizza and we watched “A Most Wanted Man” but mostly I fell asleep. The boys, Courtney and Corey and Jeff, made a bed of coats and opened the oven for extra warmth. Haha!
I have to be thankful for my gender here. Apparently, the three deaf men that paddled earlier this summer stopped here and the old supervisor shooed them away. Can you believe it? Roe said it’s illegal for a company like this to deny anyone on the river help and the supervisor was an ass. Or he was telling me it’s not that they want to help me…they have to. Kidding! I think. But they offered after my tent was pitched.
I have to go decipher these winds. I’m ready for this trip to be over. I have canned peaches waiting for me at the ocean!

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