Barbers Cut / Houston Ship Channel

I have great respect for Houston pilots. When I ran up there as mate we bunkered at Barbers Cut on a geared container ship to get one metres clearance with the funnel under the Houston Bridge with the mast folded down. We were one of the first container ships there and there was very limited space between the ship’s side and the wharf sheds for the containers. The only drama we had was when we stopped in high winds in the basin at the end and the tugs couldn’t hold us and we drifted down on some Lash barges pushing them under the wharf.

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Were you bringing a container ship up to the City Docks? That must have been a long time ago

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It would have been the late 70’s. While we were at Barber’s Cut some of the crew went up to Gilleys (?) some place where they filmed 'Saturday Night Fever " a short time before. There was some kind of mechanical bull there apparently. I was head down and ass up making sure that I had calculated the air draft accurately. A metre looks awfully small when the ship is approaching the bridge. From memory the clearance under the bridge was 40 something metres. I saw some tall buildings but I never made it off the ship.

:joy: think you mean “Urban Cowboy”, not “Saturday Night Fever”.

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The place was co-owned and named after country music legend Mickey Gilley and located in Pasadena, Texas . … Later in 1989, Gilley and Cryer had a falling out, and Gilley’s closed down. On July 5, 1990 an Arson fire attack destroyed the main building.

Low bridges in the U.S. are typically 135 feet or 41.2 meters. That’s what the ones on the Ship Canal are IIRC. We had to lower our antennas to get under.

We usually had at least a meter of margin.

There was a quintessential burger joint right on the tip of Morgan’s Point at the entrance to Barbour’s Cut where the channel narrows. You could walk over from the terminal and munch on a burger while watching the ships go by. They sailed close enough to hit if you were inclined to throw something at them. It was closed shortly after 9/11. I was told it was for security reasons.

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Ahhh, but G’s Icehouse rose from the ashes in Pasadena. It too has since shut down but was an interesting place to grab a cold one up until about a decade ago.

The “Goat Ranch” as it was referred to if I remember correctly. Straight up Texas icehouse with garage doors and yes, you could spit to the ships. I’m pretty sure it survived until 2005 and as I recall the rumors at the time were that the owner had died, his kids took over and ran it into the ground. It could have been a security risk, but then again, that old turnstile they had leading in and out of the terminal on that side with no security guard was probably the real problem :rofl:

I thought it was the Chicken Ranch. Either way had more than a beer or two back in the 80’s.

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In the late nineties it was called “The Point”. What a spot!

Wasn’t there a “Chicken Ranch” near Vegas, a “Gentlemans Club” ?

Maybe. Definitely a Mustang Ranch.

That was it, LOL, Mustang.

The Mustang Ranch is was near Verdi NV closer to Reno. Legend has it it was a fun place in the late 70s early 80s. Don’t know if there was more than one.

Yes, Reno. Saw the guy that owned it passed recently.

I never realized that there was a typical clearance under bridges in the US. I was working from memory from over 40 years ago, a memory that was deeply fried at times.

Typical is not right word. IIRC the bridges we had to lower our antennas for were 135.

The Houston Ship Canal, on the USEC the Tobin Bridge in Boston, passage through the Cape Code Canal. Those are only ones that come to mind off hand.

Foreign there is only one that required lowered antennas, in Japan, 40 meters IIRC.

We never passed under a bridge with a height of less than 135 ft or 40 meters. There are lower bridges of course. And many higher, the higher ones don’t require the lowering the antennas so I don’t remember the heights.

The only other bridges that I passed under were the Golden Gate and Oakland bridges. I have driven over many of the bridges in the list.

Went over many, under many, but that Chelsea Street bridge in Boston was a bear,wasn’t the height, it was narrow as hell and right after a turn. Inbound loaded, was ok. Outbound light, with a beam wind, don’t miss that transit at all. It was on one of the simulators in fact at Newport .