Captain Luke Moore

Captain Luke Moore has steered the Mary Evelyn boat for more than thirty years, going up and down the Mississippi River from Minneapolis-St Paul to New Orleans countless times.

The Mary Ellen pushes numerous barges, tied together. They are called the tow. The boat and its tow move non-stop —
during the day, at night, in the fog, through rain and snow, because of the economic value of the cargo, which must be transported. Satellite/GPS data as well as tremendously powerful headlights aid Captain Moore.

Three time-lapse videos shot by Captain Moore give a unique perspective on the navigational experience of the Mississippi River.
* Mary Evelyn departing Winona MN arriving at Lock 5 April 2022
* Mary Evelyn passing through Clinton IA RR bridge April 2022
* Mary Evelyn Lock 15 Rock Island April 2022

This image  and the text that follows can be found here in the original. This article is relevant to the work Captain Luke Moore discusses in his interview (above). “The Mississippi River is a vital commercial waterway, with barges constantly plying its waters carrying a staggering amount of cargo. These flat-bottomed vessels are essential for transporting bulk commodities like grains, coal, petroleum products, and construction materials. But just how much can a single barge haul compared to its land-based counterpart, the semi truck? A standard Mississippi barge measures 195 feet long by 35 feet wide, with a depth of around 12 feet. These behemoths can carry an astonishing 1,500 to 1,750 short tons of dry cargo. To put that into perspective, the average semi truck can only haul around 25 short tons of freight. That means a single barge has a carrying capacity equivalent to 60-70 semi trucks! The ability of barges to transport such immense quantities of goods is a game-changer for logistics and supply chains. Moving cargo by water is also incredibly fuel efficient and environmentally friendly compared to rail or road transportation. One gallon of fuel can move one ton of cargo an astounding 514 miles by barge versus just 59 miles by rail and 202 miles by truck. On the Mississippi and its tributaries, barges are often lashed together into massive tow units with 30-40 barges being pushed by towboats. These tows can stretch over 1,200 feet long and carry over 50,000 short tons – the equivalent of 2,000 semi trucks! No wonder barge transportation is the backbone of freight logistics for bulk commodities throughout the heartland of America.”

The density of commercial shipping on the Mississippi River is visible in this shot of the river in the New Orleans area, a testament to the skill of Captain Moore in guiding his valuable cargo.