October 6, 2010–Mile 180

Despite last night’s activities, I rose early and managed to have breakfast and fill my water vessels at a reasonable hour.  The channel after Baton Rouge becomes significantly deeper, which allows large ocean-going vessels to navigate up the river, and indeed I saw four or five of these large tankers moored along the shore.  One was from as far away as Liberia.  This deepening channel also results in a slackening current and I was reduced to speeds not made since above St. Louis—around 5 mph.

This section of the river abounds with grotesque petroleum and chemical plants, bristling with piping and towers and some even spouting enormous orange geysers of flame.  It is a jarring contrast to the still beauty of sand and willows and flowing water.

At the end of the day it was the sailor who caught up with me, and we are encamped together off a small beach.  I enjoy the camaraderie of a fellow traveler and adventurer and we get along famously.

Day 63:  50 Mi.


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