Why did I ever, ever, ever write poorly about Biloxi, Mississippi? Hindsight is 20/20, that is for certain.
Welcome to Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Known to the crew as Port FoSho, I also like to refer to it as the world’s armpit. Or F.A.L. There was a question as to what Fourchon means, with a response of “foreskin,” so it is also occasionally referred to as such. Regardless of what you want to call this place, I can understand fully now why Ian was making a huge deal about how badly he didn’t want to be here.To the point where he flew home for a long weekend.
I’ll start off with what went on before we actually got to dock — not much. I woke up and we were anchored off the coast of Port Fourchon, close enough to see land and the traffic of boats coming in and out of the channels. We were all pretty anxious to dock (kind of) because we were curious as to what the town offered. It didn’t take a lot of effort to find out.We finally found a location that we could tie up to while we wait for parts to arrive for our engine. With all the industry and oil focus that’s right along the water, I’m surprised there wasn’t some sort of place that we could have gone that was legit. Let me express this in a photo.
Yes, we’re docked along the edge of this abandoned field that’s full of broken pieces of cement, rusty metal, fire ants, and rats. There is also a large, concrete slab that’s up on 4 pillars not too high off the ground. It’s so strange. We’re right next to a make-shift local of BP’s clean up crew. There’s no water hookup to get water on the boat or really, anything. Just tied up and slightly stuck in the mud. Even getting off of the Odyssey was kind of tricky. We placed the dingy between the boat and the decrepit concrete pilings and then had a large, rusty metal grate from the piling to the cement shore. Better make sure that you’re certain of your footing and balance when stepping off the boat.
Coming in to port, most of us hung out on deck to see what was around outside — there were 10-15 dolphins that were swimming in between all the boats moving around. They literally are the largest dolphins I’d ever seen. But, other than that, there wasn’t much to see. Bailey was beside us in the dingy trying to help the boat limp into port without much of an engine. The only highlight was that Tania and I hosted up the USM flag to fly high while we’re docked. Matt happily announced, “You’re officially part of the crew!” Woohoo.
Once we were settled, it was time to explore. I walked out to the road with Kait, Captain Bob, and I think maybe Steve, but I can’t remember. We were looking around and Cpt. Bob went over to start talking to some workers who were clearly coming off a shift cleaning up the beaches. They had heavy Spanish accents, but told us there was a gas station down the street that had a lot of things that we may want. It was within walking distance, but they kept trying to offer us rides. Kait and I came to the conclusion it was partly because she had a tank top and shorts on while I was in shorts and a bikini top. I leaned over and said to her, “I have never wanted a shirt more badly in my life than right now.” Let’s just put it this way. Ian said later to us, “You literally are probably the only 20-something’s in this town, if you’re not the only girls in this place.” It made for an interesting trip to the gas station.
So, Dr. Bob, Cpt. Bob, Kait, Tania, and myself decided to take a walk to see what they had for us. I’m just gonna lay it to you straight and hope it doesn’t come off as vain. I’ve never been honked at, whistled at, or had cars slow down to try and talk to me and offer me rides more times than I did in that simple half mile walk to the gas station. Kait and I just looked at each other in disbelief. Are these people for real, or what? Once there, I didn’t find much that I wanted. It wasn’t offering too much except that if you bought 100 gallons of gas, you’d get a free buffet. HA that made me laugh pretty hard, along with a sign that Bailey pointed out (he showed up not long after we got there) that said “Alcohol will not be sold between 2 and 5 am.” So, you’re saying I can show up at 5:30 and start my day with a beer? Right on, Port FoSho. There’s only 3 hours of the day where you can’t access alcohol. It’s AA’s worst nightmare.
I went outside to stand on the oversized and very busy porch that was filled with workers who were plopping down with 6-packs after a long day. Needless to say, I was surrounded. I wasn’t even out there for 2 minutes before I had some older guy (read: older than my father) make conversation and quickly ask if he could “have my digits to talk to me on the phone.” No, sir, you can’t. I don’t give them out. Ever. Geesh. I looked over at Bailey who had a huge smirk on his face because, after all, it was pretty entertaining. Kait and I stayed for a bit and waited for Bailey to finish up the couple of beers he bought and we walked back. We weren’t about to walk back by ourselves! When we arrived, everybody was in the salon eating pizza and fried chicken that Sandy and John had gotten. Bailey announced, “These two little ladies are the talk of the town tonight. Literally. I was in the store paying for something and everyone around me was murmuring about the two girls outside.” Alright. Go ahead and laugh now. I am too just remembering it. He also said that while we were standing there talking, he looked around from behind his sunglasses at everyone else on the porch(es) and there wasn’t one person who didn’t steal glances. Flattering? Mildly. Sketchy? Definitely.
We ate some food and were all in the salon cracking jokes and talking. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life than I have with these people, but it was especially funny for some reason that night. Ian was laughing so hard he was crying and I think at one point Bailey may have been on the floor rolling around laughing. That just ended up being the overall theme because Kait, myself, Steve, Bailey and Ian walked back down to the store later and then brought some beer back to drink and listen to music in our abandoned field/concrete-slap land. It’s so awesome to be around people who are just constantly having to lean back and lay down because they’re laughing so hard. We put on a little Johnny Cash and Bailey spun both Kait and I in circles dancing. Speaking of Johnny, he also came out to join us for awhile. I don’t know what time we got out there and starting sitting around, but I do know when we came back in it was around 2am.
Ended the evening with a bunch of us crowded around the table in the galley eating ice cream out of the huge tub because, really, what else are we going to do here?