Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Try to understand, we have lost everything. Community. Lives. history. family. everything.

I just had my 1st communication with my sister since sat. She is good. She,husband and her 2 month baby have lost all. Complete. jobs even Gone

1-800-help-now please help the relief effort. your help is desparately needed. Thank you.

Water back off. Must have been some sort of rechlorination push. Mardi gras probably officially cancelled.

Water pressure! Probably not drinkable, flushable though. had burgers on grill for dinner. Going down the street for drinks with neighbors.

Just me and dog now. Parents went to stay with family in st amant. I know y'all mad e it. Love.

I see at least 70 helos flights every 24 hrs. Even funny old mash copters. worked on clearing roads today. hot.

First signs federal gov-blackhawks, chinooks, c130, air force one. Before all petro service helos. We get no outside news. Thanks for all help.

All home reports are superficial/done from bicycle, in no way indepth. Sorry not more today.

Hrc: robin nth:9525,9604-lt rf/9533 roof.midway rbn cnl:291,307,311,315 lt rf. Sparrow:ok. Shdy oak:24 lt.slvr oak:309,316,321 lt rf. More thurs

Home roll call:if nt lstd ok bt may dmg:gardn ok:9635 frm rbn-cnl:339,327-lt gate:ok.Southern: 303,305,310 lt roof.

Ventured central ave.No futher.unsafe.Harahan sealed borders.Hard to get through.Op dl. see, told y'all no live harahan.

Saw orleans marina on tv. got visual on pier 3. Capt. Al was grilling dirty burgers.

House roll call: d.lambert-ok both.c.n.oliver-ok.Seamster-ok.doc jackson-ok.

Send in troops to kill dead ender criminals. armed gangs roaming streets. Massive looting uptown, st charles, garden district.

Nopd station shot up by automatic gun fire in french quarter. only 1 Armored perrsonel carrier moving into city. help new orleans please.

Noyc still stands! The reason why still in slip.Aloso colmbine. Orleans marina looks good!

Please help new orleans.

Bull shark seen on i-10 service rd in metairie. New orleans not releasing death count.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

May take months to pump water out of orleans parish. 17th st canal breach 2.5 blocks. new orleans schools will not reopen until december.

I am still getting vm. I may receive txt msgs. Still no landline or cell calls out. Cheers.

Water in slidell freemo st south. mostly has receeded. Rats nest rd no longer exists. Hwy 90 still impassable.

worked on rebuilding the new orleans economy today. Traded labor and chainsaw for gasoline.

Waverunners seen on new orleans. Gospel singing in superdome.

Night is the hardest. It's when you reflect on what's lost. Today neighbors got together to clear roads. Good progress. Lots of joking.

River ridge house damage:e.Williams-ok.L.williams-ok.D.guidry-tree roof.Seese-ok.b.becker-lt tree. Crawford-ok.thionville-ok. Ok:notmeannodamage

Bad bad news...Hole in 17th st canal is becoming worse. expect 9 feet of water on st. Charles ave.

Large ship loose from bollinger shipyard sails upriver nails diesel tanker in gretna 1000's gallons fuel dumping into mississippi river.

Nopd officer shot by looters in back of head. Things are begining to fall apart.

Prisoners rioting in orleans parish prison.

Plaquemines parish reclaimed by river. Little woods in east no longer exists.Breach in 17th st canal continues. Water continues to rise.

Helos everywhere. Only exit in and out of new orleans is crescent city connection. All other roads impassable.

According sen.David vitter 80 percent east jefferson homes have water in them. Lakeview at least 8 ft water.

Nopd being issued hose's in order to siphon gas. They are running out of fuel.

We have just lost phone lines. Cell only works while standing on roof and aimed towards gov base in elmwood.

Well that was interesting.

First of all here is the status of River Ridge (70123)...

Major, major debris, lots of trees down. Flooding - the usual suspects, all now drained. Streets are impassable either because of water yesterday or currently because of major oak trees down. Power poles broken in half fairly common. Power lines generally still up in the air not many on the ground. Most roofs INTACT. No window damage except where trees have dropped onto homes. Soniat Canal was a raging river (still high), but has not come over the banks. That water went somewhere, probably Kenner...

Evacuees have been calling me non-stop. Everyone is furious that all media coverage is of the CBD and French Quarter. But I can understand that. It may very well be a week before anyone can even get here.

Where I am, we are completely isolated, either by old growth oak trees coming down through houses onto the roads or by floodwaters.

The roads are IMPASSABLE. Jefferson Highway appears to be open.

Flooding here during the storm equals the May flood of a few years back.

Utilities other than BellSouth, cellular (though cell fading) and natural gas are unavailable - this includes power, cable, and WATER. Cell and telco lines are extremely difficult if not impossible to dial out, but calls do come in.

Walking the streets is very eerie. The only sounds are of wind and alarms going off in the distance. It's a struggle to walk around with all of the debris and water. After this post and especially tommorrow, I will venture further out on foot and report back. Today I will check out Citrus.

INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!! Katrina Pictures.

I'm almost shaking I'm so nervous about getting these pictures up.

Here they are, then another post to follow.

Intersection of Robin and Midway. That is a street straight ahead. Inpenatrable.


That is an electric pole sitting in the back of that car. More example of TOTAL UTILITY DISTRIBUTION DESTRUCTION. Or TUDD as I'm calling it. lol. I'm kind of delirious.

Jefferson Hwy & river directly behind me taking this shot.

That's Red Gate off to the right. This street, Garden Oak has around 5 major roadblocks.

In the distance, another major roadblock on Midway.

More to come!

A few more pics. Your house Mr. D.

As requested, here is your house Mr. D...

And another pic from down the street.

Must sleep,but before... I'm tired of crying. I'm having trouble even get my head around syc burning down. And i'm not even a member.

No entering st tammany parish.

Twin span was submerged.

Two block hole in 17th st canal. Nola. 1inch minute rising. midcity.

Two block hole in 17th st canal. Nola. 1inch minute rising. midcity.

Curious... All posts i receiveconfirmation. the omnly reject msg is from post re large death num in specific bldg.

Parts twin span between slidell nola gone. Not like pcola. Gone.

Steve n marguerite-3 to 4 feet rising. Midcity center of bowl.

10 feet h2o bywater-next to quarter.

My cell better reception towards lights in elmwood direction. Report of 50 deaths nursing hm ms.

Had a scare,check.Oddnoises.then alarms in distance. lights toward elmwood, prsh bldg,lg p lot-gov set up base. Helos pass that direction.

Call came through from barach.Shocking.told him no i will not draft his team for him. Sounds of tree fall to my right. Oak. Becoming pro. Cheers.

Am receiving vm. Someone call brooksie and tell bama sucks. go Tigers! Sorry greenvegas.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Didn't want that to be last post.Use to say cat 5 destroy nola i leave...I lied. V-e-r-y proud to call new orleans home.

Land lines still pwr but no call out. Drinking beer. concerned kat make me give up drink n smoking in few days. Lol.

accordg radio- cell towrs run out of power soon. ?? Martial law declared. Nola closed. No entry for at least 1 week.

Est. 12 people nbhood. Only sounds gennies. Tonight more apprehensive than last. human danger. Carry sidearm. pitch black. Sky stars beautiful.

Southern yacht club burning to the ground.

Unknown people in neighborhoodon foot. Neighbors arming selves. no imminent threat.

Southern yacht club still stands.

Cell coverage fading rapidly.

Blog zip 70123.

Roads impassable. total utility destruction. Calling out still impossible.

Calls come in, not out.

Cell and telco service become circuit busy.

Trouble gettingoutside line. Report asap.

Pictures coming10 min.

Levee breach on westbank.

Major debris. Matchstick power poles.

Making coffee on grill. After, elec from gen. Will be able to post.

We and house ok so far. Taking pics for gen elec.

Streets flooded hi waters.

Wow. Trees down everywhere. Neibor 3 trees on house.

Just woke up. Recon.

Winds up. Hvy rain. Ktrna 70 miles away.

Pwr out.cleanedculvert. H2o in st gone. Weird sounds.

Already Flooding

In the time since my last post, the street that runs perpendicular to the one that I'm on and which is about a good three to four feet lower than us has flooded. No water in any houses yet. None of those houses have ever flooded.

Luckily I didn't go to sleep because if I hadn't gone out to check the culverts, water was about to back up into the rear of my house. As it is now, the swimming pool is nearly full.

The New Orleans metro area has the world's greatest pumping system (fact). We can take one full inch of rain for the first hour... then only a half inch an hour after that. Luckily these heavy rains are, at this point, only coming through in bands which will give the pumps a chance to catch up.

Unfortunately, what no one has seemed to realize is that with the vast majority of people evacuated, the moms and pops will not be going outside to clear out the culverts.

I guess it's time for me to go find a rake and do my little part... for whatever that's worth over the long haul.

Tropical Storm Force Winds Hitting

Did a reconnaissance. Moderate rains and definite gusts of 60 knots.

I stood in the center of an intersection of two streets. You can look down one (west) and see rain just sheeting through street lights, but what's wild is that you can hear the wind in depth, in perspective. You know there is a nice sized gust kicking across the block coming from the north, yet where I was standing there was only a slight breeze. You can hear and see the gust as it walks its way towards you.

Katrina has not yet made landfall. She is still about seven miles or so from South Pass (one of the mouths of the river).

There is some slightly good news. She is heading almost due north now, with her 'first' landfall going to be in Plaquemines Parish. Potentially her second will be either St. Bernard Parish or Hancock County, Mississippi. Even one mile east at this point could save a lot of lives in New Orleans.

Like I said in one of my earlier posts... This could be Camille version 2.0

WWL Radio is still out as is WWL TV. All other local channels have fled and are broadcasting from Jackson or Birmingham.

I can really hear the wind & rain against the house now. Must sleep.

Back To Reality

Holy shit. After I just finished writing that last post, I went outside to smoke a cigarette. Damn, this place is a fortress. It's kicking up like hell out there!

The rain is pouring and coming down at a serious angle. Not horizontal or anything weird yet.

Gotta go.

Still Have Power

Raining now. WWL Radio - The Big 870 is still off the air. Trust me, that's a big deal. It's really odd that we'd still have TV, but not the foremost AM news station in the Gulf South during a Cat 5 hurricane. They're located downtown, east from me. That picture above is from earlier in the evening.

I don't remember half of what I've written today, so maybe I should give y'all an indication as to why I feel somewhat assured that I will not be going up into the attic with an axe and my flare gun in five-ten hours. (and no, I would not put other lives in jeopardy to come rescue me during the weather. I will not seek assistance nor do I expect any if needed until possibly many days from now.) Back on topic... This house is a half mile from the river, and rivers tend to build ridges. Don't ask me why, ask my friend Bud - she's a coastal geologist or an orthopedist or something.

Anyway, this house is situated on one of only four true ridges throughout the metro area and is close to the river. You can go four blocks south from here and find stretches of homes that have flooded since before they stopped counting May floods. FYI: Every five years or so, we have a May 8th flood. This house has never had a drop of water in it. Now granted we've never had a catastrophic world-ending hurricane hit either, but you know.

Funny. I actually had the opportunity to eat Red Cross doughnuts once. I can't remember what hurricane it was, but the power was out and the storm had passed. I had close to a foot of water in front of my house and was sitting on the porch having a cup of coffee - that's one of the great benefits of having a natural gas stove - when the Red Cross drove by. They saw me and offered me doughnuts. I sat there eating them, sipping my coffee and laughing to myself, "I'm eating Red Cross doughnuts."

In two weeks, I may be a connisseur of Red Cross doughnuts. Or do you think we'll get Red Cross beignets?

I was rummaging through my pockets a minute ago - here's the hurricane pocket inventory: Many different sizes of screws, 2 lighters, a drill bit, half a pack of cigarettes, a digital camera, two single car keys, cell phone, some lint, one dollar, two dimes and a collapsable beer koozie.

It is officially raining non-stop now. Nothing too heavy. I'm going to have to go out and check the culverts in a bit. They periodically get stopped up with leaves and debris.

Here's some pictures -- through all the minor hurricanes and TStorms I've been through, photos at night of rain and trees blowing in the wind aren't so exciting... so here's one of our generator on the porch before being moved out back.
And here's the way I should be comminicating for the rest of the night. Starting... soon.

Practice cell post.

Here she comes...

Lights are starting to flicker a little. Winds are definately starting to kick up. Probably about to lose power.

We will not be using the generator tonight. So there will probably be nothing but cell phone text messages after this one until sometime late tomorrow. Trust me, I'm not going to have much to do other than spell out little messages.

There was a really sweet lady on WWL Radio just now. She's from Dallas and even said that her husband had packed up all his tools and some supplies in order to come down and help rebuild afterwards. Very cool. Hopefully her husband and FEMA show up.

WWL Radio just went off the air... I know there is a serious band coming in through downtown New Orleans... maybe that got 'em.

Anyway. Well here we go. Best of luck to everyone.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Wind - No Water yet.

The winds are picking up. Still not much rain here. I ate dinner, took a shower and decided to put on my Lake Pontchartrain Racing Circuit baseball cap - figured it was appropriate. That's a sailboat race by the way... you know, wind & water.

I'd estimate that currently the winds are gusting up to 40 knots and coming from the Northeast.

I heard from a good friend of mine up in central Alabama, GREENVEGAS Baby! They were having a cocktail party and told me, "We're having a catastrophe! We've run out of ice!" Three of them live in New Orleans and evacuated... uh... yesterday I guess.

Our power is still doing fine, not even flickering yet, and am thinking about my first beer. You can work and still drink beer right?

Alright, beer and some final preps and I'll shoot out another post ASAP.

This picture is from Tropical Storm Isidore in 2002 my car is parked up on the curb. Again, that's water from only a brief tropical storm.

Thanks everyone for all the good wishes and stuff.

Here She Comes... Welcome to New Orleans Katrina.

Well we generally like tourists down here...

Looks like it's about to really start kicking in. We are going through our final preparations (removing potential projectiles, securing vehicles in reasonable positions, etc.) I removed an antique bell from a side door only to discover a supremely large wasp nest... how I didn't get stung I have no idea.

The winds are starting to kick up. I've heard one transformer go, but our power is still kicking... not for long though. The rain has been incredibly light so far... steady drizzle.

Sorry for the short post -- more later. If they end up being really short posts -- that means I'm posting via cell phone.


Hope again for New Orleans, Bad for Bay St. Louis?

Katrina appears to maybe making a little jog north towards the mouth of the river. When a hurricane begins to make landfall, they tend to crook ever so slightly right. Maybe Camille ver 2.0? Each mile east... is good news for us... but of course bad news for our friends in Southern MS. In fact, a heck of a lot of ex-pat New Orleanians live in Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis.

Don't get me wrong - New Orleans is NOT out of the woods. We are just trying to find even a piss of good news for us - which as everyone probably knows by now, is the worst case scenario for a Cat 5 striking the US.

Currently light drizzle and winds that you couldn't even fill up a sail with... but we can see the bands that are in our near future.

Almost finished with boarding up... damn close. Beginning to jury rig defenses using incredibly heavy sugar pots to add weight to the doors. We're laughing though... none of us know what's heavy enough that 165 mph winds can't move... My parents went through Betsy back in 1965. They were actually at a hurricane party in the quarter when a wall collapsed down into a courtyard killing a dog. Luckily it was only a bedroom wall where they were storing coats.

I'm not making light of any of this. With the stress that we're under and the little pieces of good news that we get which are suddenly an hour later quashed... even before the storm has hit we're getting a little punch drunk.

Just heard from my friend Robert. He left New Orleans at noon and is now seven hours later finally approaching Jackson, MS - it's normally a three hour drive.

The Ship Channel near Shell Beach is reporting massive whitewater. This is a fairly protected waterway.

Heard that oil futures have already topped $70 in markets that are opening for Monday morning.

Reports are that cars are beginning to run out of gas all along the interstate. North of New Orleans there is nothing but rural areas until Jackson. By the time Katrina is sitting over say Amite, LA or Brookhaven, MS -- she'll still be a Cat 4.

More later... oh yeah, there was a funny report about someone passing by a house down south of the river, where the owner had put his lawnmower up on blocks and covered it with a tarp...

Preparations Update

Everything is now secured except for our two main entrances to the house, these will be boarded completely shut. Part of our dilemma is to try and figure out which direction the strongest winds will be coming from and for the longest period of time in order to double up those defenses. So we're having to hold lumber in reserve until we know whether Katrina will pass to our east or west.

The first early rain band passed through -- easily 40 knot gusts and monsoon like rain for twenty minutes. It has already gotten very dark.

Worried about the people in line for the Superdome. If even a minor band comes through there could be some issues with people starting to lose it. Tensions are rising and VERY palpable. Even our dog is wigging out.

I fear Grand Isle will be completely lost. I'm sure that the Chandeleur Islands, and off the coast of MS, Cat Island & Ship Island will probably be severly impacted.

Finally saw our first Sheriff's cruiser patroling around.

More later... After dark I will have some time to compose a larger piece.

Hurricane Katrina - Hope?

I just again caught up on the track... disregard my last post... it's still coming.

Hurricane Katrina - Glimmer of hope for New Orleans?

Taking a quick break from these hurricane preps to eat some of my momma's potato salad, drink some water and catch up on the track.

Looks like Katrina is continuing on that NW path - pressure is lowest at Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish which generally means that's where a hurricane is going. The steering currents over Texas look like they might not take effect until after landfall. My thinking is a similar path as Andrew... Raceland, Morgan City and then a curve over Baton Rouge. Maybe.

As far as the city -- if my idea holds -- the winds will pile the water up in Lake Pontchartrain (it's not really a lake - more like a 600 sq. mile tidal lagoon and it's only 12 feet deep) with the most severe surge effects happening on the North Shore. That sucks, on so many different levels, but for me personally, that's where I left my car. It is though, slightly better news for NOLA... If that holds.

Nevertheless, preparations are progressing. All the cypress shutters are up and reinforced by 2x4's and 2x6's. These walls are think and could probably stop a cannonball. In the kind of winds that their forecasting... a Mardi Gras bead could hit with the same force.

The streets in this neighborhood are very quiet. We have not even seen a Sheriff's Deputy. We do have some neighbors who have also stayed.

Winds are gusting now to probably 35 knots, and I saw on TV that the first rain bands are curving through the lower parishes. Unfortunately America, this is where most of Louisiana's oil and gas infrustructure is located. We process and provide something like 25% of the oil & natural gas used in this country...

We opened the box to the generator -- according to Sam Walton this means that we now own it.

Traffic reports are that things are starting to back up again. I would prefer to be in a potential fortress than be caught in a car out in the open. There are 1 million people who live in the New Orleans area, and probably 2/3 - 3/4 have evacuated. I also hear that there are large lines of people trying to enter the Superdome - again, I stress that the Superdome was originally designed to only withstand Cat 2 winds. They have never done a study on whether it would withstand anything higher than that.

What's spooky is that on WWL Radio, when they play commercials, one of them is some preacher talking about the end of times and please come to a prayer meeting in Slidell next Wednesday. In the background they have the theme to Star Trek playing.

Well that was the first bit of thunder I've heard... back to work.

Harricane Katrina - Preparations

These doors to our house survived the Civil War.

My sister was married in front of them.

Hopefully Katrina won't bring them down.

The winds are starting to pick up, though no rain bands have crossed through the city as of yet. Katrina's track appears to be jogging ever so slightly east, which unfortunately means the we'll have sustained northerly winds over Lake Pontchartrain. The levees may in fact be topped.

Reports on WWL Radio are that traffic on Airline Hwy from the city to LaPlace is stopped. People are standing outside of their cars... this is a three lane highway.

More later... lots of work to do.

Hurricane Katrina - And it begins...

What a difference seven hours makes...

Bad news all around. Cat 5... New Orleans Mayor Nagin has called for a mandatory evacuation. Highways in gridlock, actually they are parking lots. Rumours of evacuation of the hospitals and tourists from the hotels. How the heck are they going to do that? Police escorted busses forging their way through the traffic?

I've been speaking to several people who are either on the fence about leaving or are staying. The consensus is that the roads will become chaotic. Remember that New Orleans is effectively an island and there are only three exits out of the city.

Oh well, I'm staying here with my parents, this house is an old plantation house that is built like a pillbox and withstood Betsy which was only a Cat 3, but...

I've got to go, time to turn this house into a fortress. I will be posting again as soon as I can today, probably around noon.

All the best.

Hurricane Katrina - Class Action Lawsuit Worries?

New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, in several interviews tonight, has been asked several times why he has not issued a mandatory evacuation of Orleans Parish. (All other SE Louisiana parishes have as of Saturday evening.) His replies have constantly been that he can't because of a legal matter that he has the City Attorney looking into.

Apparantly, if he orders a mandatory evacuation, individuals who can not personally evacuate the city for whatever reason become the legal responsibility of the City Of New Orleans. The closest estimate is that there are 100,000 New Orleanians who have no personal transportation.

The city simply does not have anywhere to put these people - the Superdome as a shelter of last resort has never been studied to see if it would withstand even a Cat 3. The New Orleans area schools are only designed to withstand a Cat 2. Vertical evacuation into the city's hotels and office buildings is also incredibly problematic.

Effectively, he may be worried that if Katrina nails New Orleans as a Cat 4 or 5, and we experience major loss of life - in the multiple of thousands - the city will be hit with a massive class action lawsuit.

By taking this in-action, he may, in effect, be sacrificing his upcoming re-election campaign in order to financially save the city in the aftermath.

In a similar vein - WWL Radio just reported that a couple of tourists just hired a New Orleans cabbie to drive them to Houston for $700.

Anyway... stay tuned, I'll be posting all throughout this weather event.

Hurricane Katrina - Pops Cat 4

Two minutes ago, the National Hurricane Center reported that one of their hurricane hunters reports that Hurricane Katrina is sustaining winds of 145mph.

She's a Cat 4.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hurricane Katrina III

These two pictures are from earlier this afternoon out at Orleans Marina. As I said before, only about half of the owners went out to tie up their boats properly. Tomorrow as the weather starts to kick in, I'll post some more before pictures, and then keep posting pictures as long as I can - sorry, no video. Text posts should continue throughout.

Been going through some of my gear. I gathered up my heavy weather sailing stuff, some flares and a flare gun in case I have to try and get rescued off the roof Monday night or something, and shotgun shells in case of looters. We have plenty of beer and wine, and I will be cooking a massive ham for sandwiches and some red beans & rice in the morning while continuing to board up the house.

Word on the radio is that already giant schools of turtles have been seen heading north out of the marshes (seriously). Animals have a sixth sense regarding bad weather and know when to head to high, or at least in this case above sea-level ground (apparantly not all humans do though). On the TV, they are starting to banter around Cat 5.

WWOZ is playing some nice jazz right now... it's not jazz funeral music though. Not yet.

Here are some current news links...

National Hurricane Center Director says, "This is really scary."
Bush declares state of emergency

Hurricane Katrina II

Just got back from buzzing through the city, helping to prepare some homes. Hit Uptown, Garden District, The Lakefront and River Ridge. Traffic in the city is light - but slightly manic. I never ventured onto the interstate system where Contraflow (evacuation traffic flowing in all lanes directed either East or West starting at a midpoint in the city) is in effect. Talk on WWL radio is of major traffic back-ups on Airline Hwy. headed west and complaints about major back-ups through smaller towns off the interstate system where people are being forced to stop for traffic lights. All else regarding Contraflow appears to be working.

I stopped at Orleans Marina around 6:00pm. I'd say that half of the boats were tied up properly. (pictures to follow later) The Levee Board will apparantly begin closing the flood gates at 6:00am. Reports are to expect 12-18 foot waves on Lake Pontchartrain. (the lake is only 12 feet deep)

Winds in the city are already gusting about 20 knots, no outer bands or rain at all as of now, and have heard that if Katrina does not turn fully north by morning, New Orleans will sustain a direct hit. Welcome to the worst case scenario for a hurricane strike in America folks.

Tonight though, it's kind of peaceful - I'm now enjoying the soon to be luxury of AC and a cold beer. Earlier around 8:00pm, on my way towards Earhart Blvd. from Uptown, I passed a church on Fountainbleau where there was a wedding taking place. Some things must still go on, though Sheriff Harry Lee has canceled his birthday party which was to take place on Sunday night. He actually announced this after the Gov. Blanco and Parish President Broussard spoke this morning - trying to keep everyone's spirits up.

I have worked out all the bugs technologically. I should be able to post throughout. Hourly updates to begin tomorrow around noon. Expect intermittent posts until then. The camera is ready to go and will publish those as long as I can manage that.

Talk to y'all soon.

Hurricane Katrina

Hello all. I am a freelance writer based in New Orleans and will be riding the storm out. I have a generator and will be posting from my computer as long as possible. I have also configured to accept posts from my cell phone.

Let's hope that Hurricane Katrina isn't going to be the proof to what we've been saying for so long to the federal government, that the potential devastation of New Orleans and the nations oil and gas infrastructure is REAL! Because of the outrageous loss of the Louisiana wetlands, and the inaction by the federal government - after tuesday Americans may very well be paying $4.00 for a gallon of gas.

Check it out at Americas Wetland.

Stay tuned for future posts. I will try to do so once an hour. Thanks and good luck to everyone!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Gulf Coast Anarchy

With Zephyr, a New Orleans J/30, being spotlighted on Sailing Anarchy - we thought it'd be interesting to do a general search on SA and find other Gulf Coast highlights from SA. Enjoy... Oh yeah - Don't forget to register now for the J/30 Nationals down in New Orleans October 20-23.

2003 470 Olympic Trials - Houston Yacht Club
A Class North Americans - Pontchartrain Yacht Club - Mandeville, LA
Bolyard, David - West Wind Sails - Mandeville, LA
Finn, Ryan - New Orleans Singlehanded Sailor (Transpac)
Galveston Bay Cruising Association - Steers & Queers and an Occasional Yacht Race
Kuebel, Cameron - In defense of Tiburon, KWRW - New Orleans
Longenecker, Geoff - New Orleans Junior Sailor - So. CA Lipton Cup Winner
Lovell, Andy - 2004 US Star Olympic Trials - New Orleans Sailor
Morvillo, Vince - Lakewood Yacht Club, TX - Ensign Nationals & Great Lake Race Spotlight - Crew of Menace
Scruggs, Dicky - N. MS Legal Anarchist
Sonnier, Scott - New Orleans - Lloyd Phoenix

This is in no means to be considered a complete list - though it may be - so if you know of one we missed email the link to us at gulfsails at hotmail dot com.

NOYC member, Anthony Hudson's (recently interviewed on fundraising is going well. In three days he's 1/5 of the way towards his goal of racing in the Laser World Championships down in Brazil. Keep the donations coming! You can help out by clicking here. Remember to specify ANTHONY HUDSON on the form. It's tax deductable. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Festoon Bay Yacht Club

Festoon Bay YC has reopened after a short siesta - Where is FBYC you may ask... It's in the tropics somewhere between the port of Indecision and Southwest of Disorder, but no parallels of latitude or longitude mark the spot exactly... Well, actually they have a fair amount of parties at Bay Waveland Yacht Club. Oh yeah, and members must drink the free beer. We've also heard through the grapevine that FBYC will have their own spectator boat for the J/30 Nationals down in New Orleans. To the right is a picture from one of the last FBYC general membership meetings.

...and speaking of the J/30 Nats - Looks like a J/30 Open Warm-up race will be happening Oct. 8th and 9th. Here's the NOR.

Here's the NOR for the Harvest Moon Regatta.

You can follow NOYC member, Ryan Finn's transit across the Atlantic in an Open 50 delivering Kip Stone's boat, Artforms, for the Transat Jacques Vabre....... here.

The registration deadline for the Galveston Bay Cruising Association's Women's Regatta is thursday the 27th.

Don't forget that the Jamaican Me Crazy luau is tonight over at Biloxi Yacht Club.

The following is not a FBYC sponsored event... It's Ladies Game Day over at Houston Yacht Club! No, seriously, this is not a FBYC sponsored event.

Here's a picture of the new fish cleaning station down at Cypremort Yacht Club.

Send us in your scoop! gulfsails at hotmail dot com

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Bay Waveland is looking for a protest boat for the upcoming Lipton's. For some reason one of the guidelines is that it must be air conditioned. I thought they were hardy out there on the bay. Nevertheless, check it out and help out if you can.

Discovered Revelry's blog. has the interview posted regarding Anthony Hudson attending the 2005 Laser World's. He is seeking donations to get him down there to Brazil in late Sept.

Working on an interesting compilation post for Wednesday or Thursday - so stay tuned.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Crazy Horse Wins!

Down on Vermillion Bay, Crazy Horse won the battle on the bay.

There's a growing swell of support for debanning Yoda from NOYC's forum.

Register now for the Pamela Sintes Regatta - August 27th.

If you eat over at College Inn tonight and mention the Leukemia Society, the restaurant will donate 20% of your bill towards looking for a cure.

The Jackpot Social Aid and Pleasure Club mourned the loss of a Gulf Coast musical legend at a benefit on the north shore. They asked that everyone help support Rusty McHugh's wife with some daunting medical bills and listen to some really good music at the same time by buying one of his cd's.

Word has really gotten out about GulfSails... already Long Beach and Ft. Walton Yacht Clubs have linked up to us! Thanks.

Has Southern Yacht Club declared war on the United States? Here's a post by some yeah bra doofus Tulane student who thinks so... don't bother reading the whole thing, just the last paragraph.

Fuzzy Lojic, a New Orleans J/130, has a website. Check out Stanton as he noodles around on his blog.

Still lamenting the loss of Java... well their website's still up... except now it's nothing but pictures of that Swift Trawler, 2nd Cup.

PCYC is somehow affiliated with the Christian Dating Directory??

For some small sailing - check out Pontchartrain YC's radio controlled sailing fleet - which meets this evening between 5 and 7pm. They actually have a pretty large fleet. Too bad the police jury or whatever the heck you call them on the northshore won't let you drink beer on the hard while steering those things. Unless, of course, they're really really small.

Friday, August 19, 2005

CE Mark

Here's a couple of bikinis from Navy YC's Bikini Regatta... More tomorrow - heck, while I'm thinking about it, send in bikinis on boat pics! We'll post 'em. gulfsails at hotmail dot com

Did anyone notice the good looking little blond that buzzed through NOYC's bar last night... well we did and after inquiring, discovered that she was there filling out an application for bartender. Anyone interested in helping her get the job send a recommendation email to katie at noyc dot info and put "Amy - GulfSails Rec" in the subject line.

The Big Mouth regatta and the Around The Lake Race are this Saturday!

Here's a link regarding an IRC Seminar to be held at Southern Yacht Club on September 13th.

Word on the street is that at CSA's recent board meeting, the proposed burgee design change was voted down. Here's what the new one was to look like...

Don't forget Happy Hour is from 5-7 today at Long Beach Yacht Club, and on Sunday - Dave the Sax Man will be shouting out soulfull tunes from 5-8pm. ONE hour longer than happy hour. Don't miss it!

And since it's Friday we're going to let everyone know what they're going to be having for dinner over at PCYC... you ready for this... Broiled Lobster Tail w/ Drawn Butter!

Over at Dallas Corinthians it's celebrate all August birthdays day! Woohoo! They're going to be eating something called Mesclum Salad Mix?? and chicken. I think PCYC wins that one.

We hear that at an upcoming fundraiser at NOYC, the shirt Bad Dog had ripped off of him at the bar a couple of months back is going to be auctioned off.

It's BINGO NIGHT at Tammany Yacht Club!

It's ON! Mar Key and Crazy Horse will be duking it out head to head on Vermillion Bay this Saturday the 20th. (See, we don't miss a thing. We'll let you know who won on Monday's post.) is a huge website, but sometimes navigating the folds and depths of the site for past information can be a bit like... uh, well let's just say difficult, so we've tried to make it easier. We've compiled all the links to every interview on the site below. So if you're interested in visiting the past - well here you go.

Baker, Tom - 2001 Mallory Cup Champion
Bancroft, Ryan - Wednesday Night's
Brennan, Donnie - The Merchant of MOJO
Brunken, Rudy - Ex-NOYC 2001 Commodore
Dane, John III - 2002 GLR Winner
Dog, Bad - Finn Sailor and pot stirrer
Faget, Benz - 2002 J/22 Midwinters Champion
Fanberg, Zachary -
Finn, Ryan - Singlehand Transpac Sailor
Flynn, Terry - 2003 J/22 Midwinters Champion
Hampton, Jeff - Offshore Challenge Cup Captain
Klyce, Steve - Ex-NOYC 2002 Commodore
Lovell, Andy - Gulf Coast Olympic Trials Organizer
• Lovell, Johnny - Olympic Silver Medalist (even we couldn't find this one.)
Maher, Bob - J/130 Java Retires
Murray, Stephen Jr. - 2002 KWRW
Rubin, Dave - 2002 KWRW
Steiffel, Bishop - Secrets of Bay-Waveland Yacht Club
Tempesta, Scott - Sailing Anarchy Founder

Hope everyone has a great weekend... oh yeah, and don't forget to attend NOYC's biggest blowout of the year...
THE ISLAND PARTY! see you there.

Oh yeah, no weekend posts unless warranted. Send in your links, pics, NOR's, smack whatever... gulfsails at hotmail dot com

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Inaugural Post

Since January 1st, 2005, The Times Picayune has published two stories regarding competitive sailing on the lake and the Gulf Coast. This apparently, in the mind's of the paper's editors, places our sport on equal footing with Bull Riding, Dog Jumping, Bocce, Concrete Canoeing, Kayak Fishing and Bobsledding, all of which had between one and two articles in the paper within the same time period. Whereas League Softball and League Bowling were covered 50+ times.

Here's the complete article breakdown and count (Excluding football, baseball, etc.)*:
• League Softball: 50+
• League Bowling: 50+
• Triathlon: 6
• Bull riding: 2
• Bocce: 2
• Skateboarding: 2
• Sailing:2**
• Dog jumping: 1
• Ping pong: 1
• Concrete canoeing: 1
• Kayak fishing: 1
• Rugby: 1
• Bobsledding: 1
• Ultimate frisbee: 1
* All information culled from
**Excludes articles regarding Olympic Silver Medalist Johnny Lovell.

Moving on...

Zephyr, winner of four J/30 National Championships ('04, '03, '02, & '01), will be spotlighted this week on Sailing Anarchy. With the upcoming 2005 Nats down in New Orleans, this will hopefully give NOYC some heightened publicity. If Zephyr pulls out the win it will tie them with BeBop ('90, '89, '87, '86 & '85) for total Nats wins, but Zephyr will have them on consecutives.

Speaking of Zephyr, rumours abound that they will also be spotlighted in the September issue of Southwinds... which by the way has changed their web address to the much easier

NOYC member, Anthony Hudson, is one of six qualifying Americans to be invited down to the 2005 Laser Worlds to be held Sept. 18-28th in Fortaleza, Brazil. will be running an interview with him starting Wed. He is trying to do some fundraising - so everyone give him a hand. He is currently ranked 291st in the world. Info on donations will be available soon on

NOYC member, Ryan Finn is currently transiting Kip Stone's Open 50, Artforms, in preparation for the Nov. 5th Transat. He sails for Europe on Friday, but we got a good quote from him as he was preparing to leave...

Ryan Finn: "People in Maine are weird. They are all like "Hey, what's there to be bummed about? People are nice and things are wicked pleasant. Yippity, yaddley yey!" It is too much for me. They are just a bunch of hippies with good jobs and sensible cars. Anyway, I could never contribute any good gossip for your blog. The solo racing world is too obscure."

I don't know, that wasn't too bad Ryan...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Open for business...

Your newest and hottest resource for information on sailing and racing throughout the Gulf Coast is now online!

Fully automated, GulfSails will have a robotic hunger as it sweeps the internet for information that is valid to you. GulfSails is a fully syndicated feed!

Imagine getting your daily dose of scoop in a truly high tech and humorous manner, in some ways not unlike the method below.

If you have scoop for us with any tie in to Gulf Coast sailing (Joe won this, Joe blew this shift, Sally's getting an Open 60) email us at gulf sails at hotmail dot com and we'll post it. Pictures are great! Links are good to.

If you want your event listed, drop us a line.

Gulf Coast NOR's will readily available and listed on the site.

Thanks and enjoy.

Monday, August 15, 2005

New Orleans Liveaboards

Published: March/April 2005
Living Aboard magazine

Yeah sure, everyone’s heard of Bourbon St., but for me, a life-long resident of New Orleans, the epicenter of the city is in West End on the other side of the floodwall running along Lake Marina Ave. In a city surrounded by water and resting nearly eight feet below sea-level, that’s home to three yacht clubs including the second oldest club in the country, has three major marinas with plans for another 700+ slips and has one of the most laissez-faire attitudes in the world, it should surprise no one that New Orleans is one of the few remaining liveaboard friendly cities in the country. And consequently, it has a very active liveaboard population that can rival the French Quarter for its characters.

I first discovered this world around eight years ago when I began crewing on an old Morgan 34’. Walking out onto the pier for any Wednesday night race, there was always some damn parrot squawking, the smell of a grill or a crawfish boil, Elvis on a stereo and ten or so people milling around one pier over. For a few years, I was clueless… I now know what it’s all about. Liveaboards. New Orleans Liveaboards.

These liveaboards are all mostly natives of New Orleans and southern Louisiana, and who, when asked what was the strongest draw for them to move out onto their boat, answered nearly unanimously… Independence and individuality.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, there were close to 25 people hanging out on the pier or sitting in Jazz Fest style fold-up chairs cooled by several Cajun air-conditioners. Some of the large dock boxes assigned to each slip were converted to food service and bars, while Elvis and Buffett wafted from a powerboat’s home stereo speakers. The talk is of boats, life and what Captain Al puts in his ‘dirty burgers’ as the sun slowly drops behind the nearby boathouses. Steve Breaux, a retired New Orleans Police Officer and his wife Corey somewhat jokingly respond to the question of what’s the mentality to being a liveaboard, “1st grade” and the pier party envy that’s been happening. “Years ago the focal point for socializing was Pier 5. These days it’s our pier. We’re sitting out here every Sunday grilling with our neighbors.”

And the neighbors are what make this place interesting. Put a grizzled retired ship Captain, a French Quarter caricature artist, an Alabama expatriate doctoral student, a hair stylist, a pilot, a couple of offshore oil workers and a lawyer together with several condo dwelling liveaboard wannabes throw in some crawfish, some spice, Breaux’s daiquiris, stir and you’ve got a typical Saturday night.

It’s not simply linear parties either. Besides the random lake raft-ups, the late-night bar sessions at the Hong Kong, the 50+ boat Wednesday Night Racing and weekend regattas, and the Mardi Gras and Christmas Boat Parades, there are 12 restaurants, five bars, two yacht clubs, a bed & breakfast, a grocery store, a Blockbuster, a park, a tennis club, and a 15 net volleyball club within a four block area of West End; and to boot, the French Quarter is only a 15 minute drive away.

Gary, a thirtish year-old pilot for a small airline who moved onto his boat seven months ago, states, “Boat people are different. I moved from an apartment on Magazine St., sold all of my furniture, most of my material things. Surprisingly it wasn’t important. It was really all clutter. Out here it’s more social. Atmosphere. Boats. People.”

Harris McFerrin, a doctoral student at Tulane who’s been living aboard for nearly three years, agrees. “We know everyone out here. There’s a lot of camaraderie. It’s great. We can take the boat out anytime we’d like. We’re outside in the environment, it’s inexpensive and eco-friendly.”

Ron Mobley, a hairstylist, lived and worked in the Quarter for 25 years until he finally decided that he wanted “something totally different. I had a desire to be more in control of my lifestyle. I gave away most of my antiques to my children, bought a sailboat, and now I’m approaching my one year anniversary. I have no regrets. It’s not a place to raise a family, but this is a middle-class neighborhood. On any given day I can walk off of my boat wearing a tuxedo, a suit or a t-shirt and shorts.”

Gary adds, “You have to be able to handle the space constraints though. It’s definitely not for everyone.”

“It’s a rustic, nomadic lifestyle and we all have a tan way before Jazz Fest,” replies Mobley.

And interestingly, not one of them living aboard their boat in the year 2000 was counted in the U.S. Census.

Their neighborhood is actually closer to a gated community since they live behind the hurricane protection walls of the Lakefront and have 24-hour security on site, provided by the Orleans Levee Board. These guards have even become part of the culture. While performing their duties, nearly all have developed a rapport with the residents. It has become a true example of community policing. On their off hours it’s not surprising to find the guards, sometimes with their wives, visiting with whatever liveaboard has set up his deck chairs and grill that afternoon.

Now truth be told, it’s not as manic as it may seem. I’ve personally sat for over an hour watching a mallard family paddle around in the marina, and don’t forget, untie a few lines there’s a 630 square mile lake (actually more of a tidal lagoon) a short Mardi Gras bead throw away.

The shores of Lake Pontchartrain are great for exploration and with a mean depth of 10 – 16 feet there are no difficulties to experience anything from piney woods to cypress kneed swamps. Incredibly quaint little towns with docking facilities populate the north shore, and transit down through Lake Borgne and the Rigolets, the Gulf of Mexico beckons with the scenic Gulf Islands National Seashore dotted with several historic Spanish forts situated right off the Louisiana and Mississippi coast.

Transients are welcome and can generally reserve a slip on the same day as arrival and are charged only 31 cents a foot a day at the Municipal Yacht Harbor. They can even rent Vespas at the nearby Dock Restaurant. Slip fees generally range from $300 - $600 a quarter, depending on the length of the boat with an additional $100 a month liveaboard fee charged by the marinas.

The New Orleans liveaboards, generally live up to the mantra of New Orleans, “Laissez le bon temps roulez”(Let The Good Times Roll), but become frustrated when they hear talk about other cities, such as Seattle, using access issues in order to crack down on liveaboards. To them this type of thinking is hilarious. Nearly all of them become visibly frustrated with the lack of activity on a large number of boats in the marinas. From each of their own boats, they can, without hesitation, point out a few mildew-ridden sail and powerboats of all sizes and dollar values that haven’t moved in years, let alone be visited by an owner. For them, and to any casual observer, it is a true waste.

To them, these are the real people hogging access. The Orleans Marina, run by the state, has a slip waiting list of over four years. The New Orleans run Municipal Harbor, the largest with 485 slips, has a waiting list of over a year and a half. Feasibility studies have been completed researching the expansion, much needed reconstruction and the dredging of Municipal Harbor, which would add 300 slips to the marina while utilizing the existing space, but no real action has been taken to move it forward. The liveaboards are equally frustrated by the lack of progress for the nearby Bucktown marina development

But they all shrug this off and the activities on the piers go on. A man in the market for sailboats wanders around, checking out the for sale signs. Captain Al’s caged parrot squawks. Several liveaboards work on the constant tinkering that is part of life on the water, and Harris and Spencer relax on the deck of their sailboat having a cocktail before going to dinner in the Quarter.

Outside the hurricane protection wall, the traffic for the volleyball courts at Coconut Beach begins to pick up along with the nightly business for all of West End’s restaurants and bars. These people drive by what they probably think of as a marina, not realizing there’s a whole little neighborhood going on in there.
Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.