Shrimp Boats Be Trawlin’ While Trains Be Haulin’ and Ballin’

by admin on 2017/04/17

Jimbaux barely gets by.

Hello, and happy Easter.

We’re in a place more than one-hundred miles west of New Orleans and dozens of miles south of Lafayette today.  Today’s pictures, from Easter Monday, are the first of a series of pictures from spring break in Acadiana.

To The End

Here is something different.  This morning, we will see a transportation device other than railroads, and not a land transportation device, followed, at the end, by a few pictures of railroad activity and small-town architecture.

The Silence Is Deafening, But The Damage Was Already Done Long Before

I’m not sure what to make of the mostly muted response from the railroad enthusiast readership to the last non-retrospective-anniversary article, wherein I responded to the hypocritical and stupid complaints of “political” coverage on this site, and, especially, the rather stupid accusation that I posted political topics to railroad related internet forums, as if the non-railroad content on this site justifies discussion thereof on the railroad forums.

Maybe some of the old readers are tuning out, and I knew from the minute that I decided to discuss any other topic that that was a possibility.  Oh, well.  So be it.  This is and always has been a personal blog, and I never intended for it to not be that.

Or maybe some read it and understood the points that I was making.

Regardless, it’s very disheartening to have learned over the last year that many in the railroad enthusiast community are really hateful and callous human beings.  I had thought that persons who engage in a hobby that the general public often thinks is weird and freakish would have some empathy for their fellow outcasts, but such is, apparently, not the case for many; white privilege is a hell of a drug, I guess, as is misogyny.

I won’t be silenced, and I couldn’t not speak out about the horror that many of you inflicted upon the world and upon your fellow human being.  If I assault and rob you, you’re not supposed to complain about it, right?

The Dock

It’s time for pictures.  We start out this morning in Intracoastal City, Louisiana.

Plenty of shrimp boats are based here.

Soon, we shall see a shrimp boat arrive and unload shrimp.

That is the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Here comes the CAPT HUNG, with 40,000 pounds of shrimp after being out at see for a few weeks except to come back once to refuel.

Do you like shrimp?  I love eating shrimp, especially fried!

That doesn’t look like a train, does it?

But, hey, it runs on diesel!

I was glad that it was a bit cloudy, since the lighting might not have worked well had it been sunny.

A part of me wishes that I could work on one of these boats.

I like this next series of shots, showing the men on either end of the side of the boat that is docking.

At this point, it becomes more than just a picture of a boat in action.

Many Vietnamese persons settled in this area after the Vietnam War, and many Vietnamese work alongside Cajuns in the local seafood industry.

It’s about time to toss the hawser to the neighboring docked boat.

And, now, here is the shot of the day.

Well, now, contact has been established.

Isn’t it great to see the pride in these men’s work?

I’m trying to imagine how these tasks would be automated, and I can’t imagine it; I almost hope that nobody else can imagine it, either.

I’m all for automating much of the economy and funding unconditional basic income from it, but I worry about the social and cultural effects of killing jobs like these and like railroad jobs.

There is a culture about what we see here, and it is something to behold.

Tie that hawser!

This is a way of life.  I hope that it is preserved.

And being able to photograph it is why God put me on this Earth.

The problem is that, although this seems to be the best use of my God-given abilities, and although people see it as valuable, I can’t feed myself doing it.

So, that is why, at the suggestion of some friends and some fans of my work, I will soon set up a Patreon page so that all of you who are able to do so can donate a dollar or two per month so that I can keep doing this!

I could not take another picture ever again, and I would still have new content to put on this site for the next nine years due to my decennial retrospective postings, and, it should be noted, I usually keep those postings just about the pictures and not much “political” since they aren’t, like these, of contemporary events.

So, part of the reason that my postings of rare modern day pictures are so political is that I pack almost all of the political commentary into them in order to keep the decennial retrospective articles (the “10 years ago today” articles) free of such content.

Does that make sense?

Of course, there are oodles of old film pictures from the very late 1990s until I went digital in 2005 that need to be scanned and posted.  Donating money to this cause would help that happen, too, and I’m open to publishing my pictures elsewhere, too.

This work is my work.  I am good at it.  If only I could afford to do it.

The same things said today about Muslims were said about many of these Vietnamese immigrants decades ago.

So, now, it is time to offload the shrimp.

The shrimp is already in sacks when it arrives at the dock.

The sacks are put on a table at first.

Cajuns work right alongside Vietnamese!

This is a major part of the local economy.

It’s also a major part of the local culture.

The sacks are taken from the table and put on a pallet.

As the sacks are put on the pallet, one worker wraps plastic wrap around the sacks to hold them together.

As the stack of sacks gets higher, the plastic wrap follows.

As best as I can guess, this is done before the stack is completed so that the weight of the sacks on top of the stack don’t push out the sacks at the bottom.

I like that picture.  Below, we see three more sacks being hoisted from the boat.

Once each stack of sacks is completed, a forklift takes the stack by the pallet and moves it to a freezer.

Later, the shrimp will be trucked to a local processing facility.

The dogs don’t seem impressed by the spectacle.

Fr. James Nguyen comes by to bless the dock.

Ironically, rain was starting to fall at this time.

That was fun and educational.

Is there a word to describe anything that is at once educational and entertaining?  I’m thinking that the word “enriching” doesn’t adequately do the job.

Apparently, the people running the country are for entertainment that doesn’t include education.

Now, it’s time to go and chill for a little while.

Loading Rice

Five hours and 40 minutes later, I swing by the rice mill in Abbeville to see this.

There were only three cars at the whole mill, which was sad, since it suggests that the Louisiana & Delta Railroad’s Abbeville Branch’s future is in real peril, as I noted with the low car counts on the train that I photographed in November and the train that I photographed in December, and the loading of them made me think that the train would be served tomorrow.  I hope so, because I hope to get some shots of the train while I am here, and I hope to go back east to go home, soon.

Searching . . . . For . . . . ?

Next, I went to reconnoiter New Iberia, primarily in search of either this train or evidence of when it might run.

Of course, there is more searching than there is just for a train, as I feel my life slipping away, feel like I am dying in this world, made worse by election results.

Anyway, here is the track at ARA, with some hot sauce cars.

It’s an obligation that I get pictures of a moving train today, so that I can include photographs of at least one moving train in this essay.  This is harder to do now that the Union Pacific Railroad no longer runs any train other than the MAVBT – which does the L&D interchange in New Iberia – this way.

I found an eastbound BNSF Railway manifest train in New Iberia, and I got ahead of him at Jeanerette.

Hey, man, shrimp boats be trawlin’, but them trains be haulin’ and ballin’.

Check out this gondola car, still with NORTHERN PACIFIC lettering!

I’m guessing that it is in Maintenance-of-Way service.

Search . . . Back . . . . ?

Done with chasing moving things for the day, I decided to get a couple of downtown scenes in the neat little town of Jeanerette.

I need to get some bread here some time.

Let’s look to the west before we go there.

Finally, here is one clouded scene of L&D locomotives parked by the headquarters in New Iberia.

Well, that’s all for the pictures today.  There will be more tomorrow and more on Wednesday.

Ten years ago today, I got an interesting set of pictures in New Orleans and in the Bonnet Carré Spillway.

Miscellaneous Commentary

So, once again, happy Easter.

Yeah, I know that many of you don’t like the personal commentary, but this is a personal blog.

Oh, you meant the “political” commentary? as if, in this regime that denigrates and threatens humanity, the personal can be separated from the political?

Well, remember, I don’t do the “political” stuff for the anniversarial retrospective blog articles.

So, if you see a blog article that has a date in the title, and you’ll see plenty of them if you look on the home page, then that article is probably mostly or completely devoid of “political” content.

I keep putting “political” in quotes because, despite the obnoxious statement by P. C. Wolfe, I don’t have any particular candidates or parties that I advocate.  I’m really talking more about humanity than I am about politics, but, apparently, despite the marvelously technological world in which we live, humanity is now political.

I just wish that you’d demand every day that we get instant-runoff voting so that this toxic either-or choice can be a thing of the past, and it would really cut down on the demagoguery of Trumpism and Bernie Sanders, as well as prevent personally unpopular candidates like Clinton from rising.

With instant-runoff voting, we’d get an almost entirely different set of candidates from which to choose.  The only one who is well-known whom I think would do well in a world with instant-runoff voting is John Kasich, and I voted for him in the primary.

I just wish that people would see the folly in this stupid “bring back jobs” stupidity that all candidates of both major parties endorse.

And that’s what I mean when I imply that I’m really not political.

But, no, some of you had to turn the entire world into a soap opera.

I wish that you’d step back and see that the problem is not in any way a shortage of material resources.

Precarity really is no longer necessary.  So, the cruelty of the current system is no longer necessary.

We ought to be embracing the fact that so many of these jobs aren’t coming back ever.

I know that some people see this as a problem of “being dependent upon government,” and that is an understandable concern, but I cannot enough stress that if jobs have to be “saved,” “brought back,” or “created,” it means that you already are dependent upon government.

With basic income, it still would be a good idea to do paid work opportunities as they come to you; few if any would want to live just off of the basic income amount.

Until then, and until we get instant-runoff voting, we’ll have to be subjected to more such toxic stupidity.

This tribalism business is no longer necessary!

We don’t need to make contempt of our fellow human beings a hobby anymore!

Why all of the hate, people?

I think that I know why.  Hate is a spawn of fear, but, worse, it’s because so many are proud to be ignorant.  Why?

Don’t be ignorant!  Learn!  It helps you, and it helps the world; that’s what I try to do here, to learn and to teach through pictures and writing, and I hope to do more.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bob June 8, 2017 at 12:42

Nice stuff here. I especially like 017583 (rear of Capt Haug in the cool sun light), 029914 (they guy looks like the shrimp is important in it) and 029942 (the bakery). I’ve always liked you photographer eye, your ability to see a picture not just capture an image.

At work we have a ‘quote of the day’ on the internal web site, yesterday’s was from Walt Whitman: “Get curious, not judgmental” (or close to that). That attitude seems to have largely evaporated these days. Keep doing what you are doing and don’t let the haters get you down. I don’t think total agreement is a requirement, but a desire to understand should be (i.e. willingness to learn/be educated).

Bob Courtney


2 Douglas June 22, 2017 at 15:51

How DARE you use facts and numbers and verifiable evidence to try and convince me to not be a angry bigoted small-minded idiot!!!


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