Harvey, Industrial Locks, and the Mighty Mississippi : PART TWO

PART TWO: From 15 mile Mark Anchorage to Pontchartrain Landing Marina, New Orleans. (8 hours).


Harvey Locks


Harvey Locks. No wait. Very profeshional lock master, explained process and what he expected us to do. We rose a couple feet, not much turbulence.  The tug ahead of us was very kind and took care with the throttle as he left the lock.


Brian at the helm. I’m tending to the lines. The sooner I am confident with handling Rain Dog in close quarter situations the better. Deck work is very hard, lots of running around and line work. Brian ( and I) would much rather have me at the helm. But I’ve not completely mastered RD’s prop walk in reverse. So in the lock I wanted him at the helm.


Brian very excited to be in the Mighty Mississippi. After clearing the lock we made contact with New Orleans traffic control on channel 12, they wanted us to monitor traffic communications on channel 67. So to recap. We have one hand held VHF on 67 and 12, one 13/16, and then channel 14 for the locks 🙂






Mess of lines from the lock, and lock yet to come.( I made sure they would not find their way to the prop).


Radio #2 to monitor New Orleans traffic control on 12 and communications with other vessels on 67. Brian is talking with the German cruise ship who is just leaving slip and heading south for the Gulf of Mexico.


Downtown New Orleans


More beautiful scenery along the Mississippi


Crossing from West Bank to make for the Industrial Locks Inlet and continuation of the ICW on the east side

 Industrial locks.

Here is what Garmin Blue charts have to say about this lock and its procedure:

Locking Eastbound (River to Canal) Coming out of the Mississippi River and heading towards IHNC Lock, follow these procedures: 

1. Contact the Lock on Channel 14 VHF. Give your vessel’s name, number, and that you are in the River and request to lock to the Canal. You will be instructed as to where to position your vessel for locking consideration. Throughout the locking procedure, please keep your radio on Channel 14 so that you can be contacted with any necessary information. 

2. When the Lock Operator advises you to enter, you then call the St. Claude Bridge on Channel 14 to request a bridge opening. 

3. Depending on our traffic your wait will not exceed three lockings. The Lock works on a first-come/first-served basis. Therefore, if they have Red Flag tows on turn (hazardous/flammable tows), you will have to wait, but your wait will be no longer than 3 lockings. To expedite your wait time, they can lock you through with a non-hazardous/non-flammable tow. (By regulation, recreational vessels cannot lock with Red Flag tows.) 

4. After the Bridge is fully open you will enter the lock chamber. Be prepared to moor on your port (left) side, bumpers in place as needed. You may be required to moor on the side on another vessel at which time you will be given further instructions. 

5. If locking on the wall, Lock personnel will lower a mooring line or two for you to attach to your mooring cleats. Lock personnel will instruct you how and where to tie up. It will be your responsibility to adjust the slack in the lines as the water lowers. 

6. Your vessel will be attended until the water in the Lock Chamber is lowered for departure. 

7. The gates will open. At that time you will be instructed to release your lines, then you can proceed out of the Lock chamber heading towards the ICWW. Vessels with high masts must contact the Judge Seber/Claiborne Bridge on Channel 13 VHF to request an opening. 

There are some kevels on a short dock to the south of the bullard on the south wall of the lock. This is a handy place for recreational vessels to tie up and wait for locking.


Industrial Locks and surrounding bridges.



Once off the Mississippi and in the inlet for the Industrial Locks. This dock is not visible from the channel. The Lockmaster told us to stay clear of the red flagged tug next in line to “lock in”, and at the same time told us to proceed to his( red flag tug) starboard and to the “guys”. This would bring us even closer to the dangerous cargo red flagged vesse and up to theses great big cylindrical piling that had no obvious cleat, post, protrusion etc.  When we hung back, investigating the situation, the Lockmaster basically chewed us out. Chastised, we proceeded blindly forward and found hidden behind the big steel support pilings was a dock. Why the Lockmaster didn’t just tell us to go tie up to the dock in the first place is beyond me. Listening to his many communications,he seemed to have a bit of a God complex. This is the only lock or bridge where we had issues. First time we felt communicating with a bridge or lock tender would only make things worse..?Maybe we were both having a bad day..?





St. Claude Bascule Bridge is right before the lock, which you must coordinate to have open when it is your turn at the locks.


Industrial locks! Peeking through the retaining wall, you can see the gates for the locks,  then another bridge, North Claborne. So the lock is sandwiched between two bascule bridges that you must call and arrange passage through. Then there is the Florida avenue bridge about a hundred or so yards up the channel once you clear this batch of bridges and locks.These bridges monitor 14 on VHF.


Locking up! we dropped about 3-4 feet. No real turbulence. Very nice. Was a very cold day, we had so many layers of clothing, long johns,hoodies and jackets, that our life jackets almost wouldn’t fit!😀



We are staying a Lake Pontchartrain Landing Marina and RV park. There is seabrook haul out facility right next door that we will call and arrange repair of the rudder gland. I needed a rest too. I’m having an absolute blast but two weeks of running is very exhausting and I haven’t completely healed from my fall in the cockpit a week ago. So I’m resting up, doing small easy projects. Brian will get some big projects done and do some sightseeing. Scupper is happy to snuggle up in the bunk and go for walks on nice green grass.



2 thoughts on “Harvey, Industrial Locks, and the Mighty Mississippi : PART TWO

  1. So excited to see ya’ll on the Mississippi! I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never seen a sailboat on the Mississippi River! I know it happens, but evidently not all that often. The weather’s been miserable … sun is supposed to come out tomorrow and be a pretty sunny weekend too. We hope to work on our sailboat this weekend while it’s “on the hard”. We’re about to start painting the deck.

    We can’t wait to get out there, and we have sooo many questions. Wish we didn’t have such a busy work week (I’m at work right now and snuck on your site)! =)

    • Sorry we missed you. We were the only sailboat on the Mississippi, the rest were a mixture of workboats, freighters, cruise ships, navy ships, paddle casino thingy, tug boats etc. was not fun but great boat sight seeing 🙂
      Can’t wait to catch up with you sometime. Hugs

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