Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Floated Out of New Orleans

So I finally made it out of New Orleans!

There was so much rain down there this weekend that I feel fairly justified putting this in my sailing blog.

I was there to observe the loading of a huge container ship. The morning was pretty nice. Overcast with a nice breeze. Come afternoon though, it would be unfair to call it anything other than a torrential downpour.  Thunder. Lightening. The whole bit. Suffice to say, we didn't do a whole lot more loading. Besides, the crane has caught fire right before lunch so we were waiting for that too.

We finally start back up again at 4. 5 o'clock - more rain. 6 o'clock - no rain. 6:45pm - torrential downpour for an hour followed by light rain. I'm outside this whole time. Luckily, I'd brought my rain jacket. I needed it.

It stopped long enough for me to visit Bourbon Street that evening and try a local stout and have a gator-meat po'boy. Tastes kinda like a synthesis of fish, pork and chicken. Deep-fried. Ummmm.... :-)

Sunday, I woke up to thunder and lightening and a whole lot of rain. Again, a very heavy downpour. Anyhow, I trundle on down to the front desk to check out of the hotel early. The desk clerk looks at me like I'm crazy (one eyebrow raised almost to the forehead and the other trying to push her eye to down next to her nose) and ask "You drivin'?" with a Louisiana accent.

Me - "Yep"
DC - "Have you SEEN the storm outside?"
Me - "Yes..."
DC - "And you're drivin'?" [ her face softens, but only slightly]
Me - "Uh huh [with a smile on my face]"
DC - "Okay..." [ with a look down and to the left, raised eyebrows that suggest "your funeral"]

I have them pull my car around and there are a bunch of people just waiting around in the garage, trying to get into a shuttle. I get in and start to leave and realize that as soon as I pull out, I'm not on the road; I'm driving through a lake.

I had to circle the hotel to get going the right way and you couldn't see that there was a sidewalk at all. I thought my rented Nissan Altima was going to stall out from all the water I presumed was making its way into the engine.

I somehow make it to Canal (how apropos; I'm aware) Street and everyone is in one lane, the closest to the center because the road is highest in the middle and the water was shin deep on the sidewalk and thus  even deeper in the road. At one point I was stopped at a red light a huge black trash bin floated right on by me. It was comical in a nerve-racking kind of way.

I pulled onto the trolley tracks at one point, thinking they would keep me on higher ground but there were trollies coming as well as a cop car, so that was a short-lived dream. Managed to make it the on ramp to the interstate (I-10) and the Acura Integra, two cars in front of me appears to die and just stops. I felt bad as I drove by.

Finally made it back to the airport where I proceeded to wait from 10am to 8pm for a flight back to Baltimore.

There was a storm in Baltimore when I left, a storm in New Orleans that followed me around and its been raining off and on for three days here in Annapolis.

Some sunshine would be nice...hopefully some racing tonight.

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