National Geographic : 1978 Feb
Fog patches continued to plague us that night, but shortly before dawn a chilly "blue norther" whistled in, causing an abrupt drop in temperature. We were among the few Gulf Coasters who welcomed it, for it blew the fog away at last. Petroleum and petroleum products account for most of the traffic on the Gulf Waterway. We passed barges bristling with pipes and valve wheels. "Some of the barges cost more to build than this towboat," Judge remarked. In most of Louisiana the waterway weaves inland, following bayous connected by man made canals. Here alligators and other wild life far outnumber people. Each time we passed another tow, I was reminded anew of what a tight, self-sufficient world a towboat is. Eating, sleeping, working-leading lives that seldom touch the land moving past. At Morgan City, Louisiana, the waterway Delicate residents, roseate spoonbills, great snowy egrets, and other water birds find sanctuary in the marshes of Sydney Island, built with soil dredged from the -1 k *"-'Slte a^^ .