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-   -   Salute to our Golden BELLE! (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/steamboats-history/4959-salute-our-golden-belle.html)

Keith Norrington 04-30-2013 05:06 AM

Salute to our Golden BELLE!
 
3 Attachment(s)
FIFTY YEARS AGO... On this day (April 30) in 1963 the BELLE of LOUISVILLE made her "debut" in a steamboat race with the DELTA QUEEN. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Alan Bates and many others the BELLE was brought back to life from the derelict steamer AVALON to run again for the first time in nearly two years.

Hard to believe that five decades have passed since that bitterly cold, windy day when steamboat racing returned to the river. Equally amazing is the fact that the BELLE will be the focus of a centennial celebration next year!

A whistle salute to our "Golden Belle" and to all the dedicated crews who have kept her going through the years! Speaking of whistle salutes - the BELLE went by the museum a bit ago and Capt. Mike Fitzgerald blew that authoritative and beautifully melodious whistle -- same tooter that she's been blowing for almost a century!

IMAGES:
1: During the 1963 race
2: At the Louisville wharf in 1963. Pilothouse dome was bright yellow for part of that season before being returned to blue.
3: Passing under Sherman Minton Bridge at New Albany in 1963. Bridge opened in 1962 and is named for Indiana senator and associate justice of U.S. Supreme Court.

George Burch 04-30-2013 03:32 PM

Salute to the Belle
 
We second that Keith and wish the Belle of Louisville the best in the race. I would also like to thank for the Belle of Cincinnati for making the trip and participating in the race. Springtime in Louisville would not be the same without a steamboat race.

Frank X. Prudent 05-01-2013 11:43 AM

[QUOTE=George Burch;31657]We second that Keith and wish the Belle of Louisville the best in the race. I would also like to thank for the Belle of Cincinnati for making the trip and participating in the race. Springtime in Louisville would not be the same without a steamboat race.[/QUOTE]

Well, I wouldn't call it a steamboat race, when there is only one steamboat that will paddle up to the starting line this evening. What ever it is though I sure wish the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE good luck and best wishes for a fun race and successful season!

Wesley Paulson 05-01-2013 03:30 PM

BELLE Photo Question
 
What is hanging from the second deck and dragging in the water about 1/3 back in the first picture of BELLE underway?

Wesley

Frank X. Prudent 05-01-2013 03:46 PM

It's a wooden fender to keep her forward guard from riding up over the wharfboat, low lock walls, landingflats, etc. There's a pretty good possibility that there is one alongside of her engineroom guard too.

Jo Ann Schoen 05-01-2013 05:48 PM

Captain Al says they have a "steam" table and that should count. Love that guy!!!

Frank X. Prudent 05-02-2013 01:49 PM

I guess that Cap't. Al's steam table was enough steam for the M.V. BELLE OF CINCINNATI to bring the silver plated antlers to Newport until next year. Hopefully, by then the wheel will be working again on the BoC.

Keith Baylor 05-06-2013 07:57 PM

The "Belle of Louisville" ran the course in an hour and 42 minutes, but she came drifting in under the bridges on a slow bell (about 9 rpm) due, I suppose, to the medical emergency onboard the Cincinnati challenger. Captain Al's boat looked to be just above Jeffboat when Louisville's legendary lady passed beneath the Clark Bridge.

Pete O'Connell piloted, Ronnie Lawrence presided over the deck crew, and all the usual suspects were on watch in the engineering spaces (McCoy, Mattingly, Lewis, Coursen, and Johnson). I did not recognize the officer on the wing bridge, and I cringe to admit that I cannot now remember his name (even though I was told shortly after the event).

'Twas one mighty pretty day for a boat trip, a far cry from that cold windy day of 50 years ago.

Ted Guillaum 05-07-2013 07:06 AM

Medical Emergency
 
Was there some kind of medical emergency on the Belle of Cincinnatti during the race?

Keith Baylor 05-07-2013 08:04 AM

The Louisville media reported such. I don't know any more about it at all.


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