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Thread: Obervations of the AQ from St. Paul, MN

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    West St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    40

    Default Obervations of the AQ from St. Paul, MN

    I went down to Lambert's Landing in St. Paul, MN to watch the American Queen depart tonight and came away feeling a tad let down. Look I understand that Lambert's Landing is an incredibly sterile port of call for any vessel to be moored at. Adding in the fact that the City of St. Paul has done a terrible job of fixing up or upgrading Lambert’s Landing surely doesn’t help. But after watching the fanfare of the AQ’s departure in Red Wing, MN yesterday I came away tonight feeling let down. First thing the AQ was scheduled to depart at 7:30 but for no apparent reason they dropped the lines and departed at 7:19 as if to say that they couldn’t get out of St. Paul soon enough. Secondly there was a very feeble effort to sound the whistle to announce her departure. Finally once again there was no calliope for her St. Paul, MN steamboat enthusiasts! This happened last year as well on a couple of occasions and for the life of me I don’t know why. You could just sense that there was a huge let down for all of the spectators gathered to see the AQ depart.

    I guess the good news is that the AQ actually made it to St. Paul a week after the QoM claimed that they couldn’t due to low river levels so “Thank You!” I just wished that the AQ would treat us in St. Paul to the same show that they give all of her other ports of call.

    Great to see her, would have been nice to hear her as well.

    Sorry but no pic's since it was very cloudy and gloomy conditions.

  2. #2

    Default

    Ditto to CJ's message. I took a group of friends down to Lambert's Landing who had never seen the AQ. I figured if we got there by 7:20 we'd have plenty of time, but as we got there she was just pulling away. The whole thing was pretty underwhelming - I didn't bother to take photos.

    I do have some from her passing Prescott, Hastings, and Lock 2 on this trip which I'll post eventually, along with some video.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    In sunny Central Florida. . .but my heart is on the UMR!
    Posts
    63

    Default There must be a logical reason

    After reading and re-reading both postings I wonder if the early departure was due to traffic or other navigation issues. A hasty departure might not allow enough time to build up steam for anything more than a "feeble" whistle and would certainly not seem to be adequate for the strong calliope sounds we like to hear. Just sayin' since I don't have a "Captain" or "Engineer" title in front of my name. Hope someone gives us an expert answer.

    We sure look forward to following her again when she gets a little further down river.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    268

    Default

    If the wheel was rolling, and I'm sure it was, the she had plenty of steam for the whistle and calliope. Both items use very little steam in the grand scheme of things, and when underway the AQ's boiler is always carrying a full head of steam, which I know is over 300 psi. I don't remember the exact operating pressure of the AQ's boilers, but it is up there far above the DQ or Belle of Louisville's because it must be regulated down before it gets to the main engines.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
    Posts
    3,879

    Default Some other theories

    1) Travis isn't aboard. There are very few other crew members capable of playing the calliope who have the desire he has to play it, so if they were otherwise busy (there could have been a sailing party somewhere), they wouldn't necessarily have broken away to play the calliope, as Travis might.
    2) Due to the narrowness of the channel there, the navigation crew may have requested it not be played so they could hear their communications better. However if this was the case, the calliope could have been played prior to departure for the locals.
    3)Unfortunately the idea of entertaining/pleasing the locals on shore isn't high on the priority list of today's companies. Previous owners back in the day realized that new passengers might be gained via things like calliope concerts, boat tours, handing out brochures at landings and locks. That isn't in the business model today.
    4) Crew may have changed from the upbound Redwing stop and someone less enamoured of calliope music may now be aboard.
    5) The early departure caught the player by surprise and they couldn't make it up there in time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Copperas Cove, TX
    Posts
    530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy Patsch View Post
    1) Travis isn't aboard. There are very few other crew members capable of playing the calliope who have the desire he has to play it, so if they were otherwise busy (there could have been a sailing party somewhere), they wouldn't necessarily have broken away to play the calliope, as Travis might.
    2) Due to the narrowness of the channel there, the navigation crew may have requested it not be played so they could hear their communications better. However if this was the case, the calliope could have been played prior to departure for the locals.
    3)Unfortunately the idea of entertaining/pleasing the locals on shore isn't high on the priority list of today's companies. Previous owners back in the day realized that new passengers might be gained via things like calliope concerts, boat tours, handing out brochures at landings and locks. That isn't in the business model today.
    4) Crew may have changed from the upbound Redwing stop and someone less enamoured of calliope music may now be aboard.
    5) The early departure caught the player by surprise and they couldn't make it up there in time.
    Judy, my guess is #5. There were 3 players on board. One (the back up player) was busy playing the first show with us in the band. Yes, Travis LOVES to play the calliope and usually is available to do so. But, as you say, he was not on rotation that day.

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