A special flag on the Belle of Louisville

News from Capt. Kevin Mullen from the Belle of Louisville:

When the Belle of Louisville defends her turf here in Louisville racing the Natchez, we will be flying the American flag that graced the casket of our great friend and Belle/Natchez Chief Engineer Bill Prudent. The flag was flown once last spring during the Derby Festival Race with the DQ.

I would like to also dedicate flying this flag to our friend, teacher and mentor of so many of us on the Belle and Natchez,Captain Roddy Hammett.

I am sure that Bill and Roddy are looking down on this event with big smiles. Roddy always said that the Belle always reminded him of the Little Train That Could with "I think I can,I think I can." The same thing can be said of the crews of the Natchez and the New Orleans Steamboat Company.

franzneumeier | November 2, 2005

Natchez just passed Lamb, Indiana

I just looked at Steve Huffman's webcam with a view from the Loretta Howard looking aft, and there she is: The NATCHEZ passed Lamb, Indiana, Ohio River mile 545.9, today at 1:21pm.

franzneumeier | November 1, 2005

Natchez at Rising Sun

Don Sanders reports the NATCHEZ saluting the Grand Victoria 2 as she passes Rising Sun on Tuesday, 1 November 2005 at 9:15am on a wet day in the Ohio Valley.

franzneumeier | November 1, 2005

Chris' Victory picture

From left to right in Chris' picture of the trophy ceremony: Capt.Alan Berstein of the Belle; Natchez officers Capt. Don Houghton,Chief Scotty Viegas, President Gordon Stevens, Capt. Steve Nicoulin, Capt. Finley Fraser, Chief Juan Mendevil, Capt. Steve Villier.

judy | October 31, 2005

Race Report from Cincinnati

Report and picture (click to enlarge) from Christopher Wirtjes: Back in 1982 I was fireman aboard the Str. Natchez when she tramped upriver to Louisville for the Great Steamboat Race against the Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen. Of course the Natchez won. Today I was onboard the Natchez for the race against the Belle of Cincinnati. The chant back in 1982 was "Knowbody matches the Natchez" still holds true today as the Natchez won the race!
I have to admit at first I was a little concerned, having worked both boats I knew what they could do and I knew that the Belle of Cincinnai was fast off the starting line. The cannon shot and the race began with a cheering crowd! Shortly after I could feel the Natchez getting her stride. You can feel the rhythm of the boat as she charges forward from the bucket boards slapping the water all the way up on the Texas deck. I knew they were puting the steam to her.
The calliope serenaded us on the cool sunny morning. What a beautiful day. I was in heaven.
As we rounded up for the home stretch I was concerned as I thought that the Belle of Cincinnati with her hydraulic paddlewheel, bowthruster and twin screws would have the advantage coming around. Of course all the Natchez has is her true paddlewheel and electric bowthruster. I was impressed as through careful planning and navigation the Natchez came around quickly and ran for the finish! At that point the Belle hadn't a chance. I think that Capt. Steve and Capt. Don did show a little mercy and cut her back to "tease" the BOC and let her gain, but at the finish I know they ran her all out at the finish.
The whistle is music to my ears. Hearing the whistle and calliope echo when passing beneath the bridges sends a chill down my spine! Last I talked to Chief Scotty and he was beaming and told me how he got 22 1/2 RPM out of the wheel at almost 14 MPH! How exciting!
After we returned to the dock alongside the BOC Capt. Alan went to the dinning room along with the all of the Natchez officers and presented the Natchez crew with their trophy, a large engraved "crystal I believe" mug and in keeping with the tradition of the antlers, presented the Natchez with a mounted set of small baby antlers! That was typical of the unending good humor that Capt. Al always presents. Captain Alan Berstein, Captain Nichoulin and Gordon Stevens all said truely heartfelt speaches and their sentiments made me truely proud to be in the presence of such humble, gracious men. I would be remiss if I neglected to mention that Capt.
Alan Bernstien and the crew members from BB Riverboat have supported and helped the New Orleans Steamboat Co. and crew with much support and even help with supplying additional needed crew members to work the Natchez! As Gordon Stevens said in his speach in quoting the song "Proud Mary", "People on the river are happy to give". That is not more apparent here than with BB Riverboats and the New Orleans Steamboat Company in their Katrina relief tour. And the tour has only just begun.

franzneumeier | October 30, 2005

Natchez wins Race against Belle of Cincinnati

Great picture from Bryan Oliver (thanks!!) and the brief report "The Natchez won easily."

franzneumeier | October 30, 2005

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