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A few notes from the first AQ cruise

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    A few notes from the first AQ cruise

    We set out on Friday evening the 13th, returned this morning. Great trip, some interesting things to report, but the on board interent was s....l....o..........w, Must have been steam powered so it was impossible to post photos or download big files.

    Great to be back on the river, meet old friends and especially lots of the former
    DQ and AQ (and some MQ) folks are back working on the boat.


    Will try to post some photos while waiting for a flight at the airport.
    seems to want to do only one phot at a time, so this may take a while

    1. Departing New Orleans
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    #2
    Bob is back!

    Tried to post a second photo, but the airport internet now seems to have file size problems as well, will try laterl

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      #3
      Internet at home, some more from the trip

      Pardon to those who have been on the AQ before, we only rode the DQ prior to the events a few years ago, so for us this was really a great experiance.

      1. Bob is really back, better than ever. Here he is seen at New Orleans prior to departure. The only problems that day were scheduling, as his songs were interuped by the passing Natchez whistle and Calliope. He then had to break a bit early to allow passengers to attend the 4:30 safety meeting and muster station review.

      2. The boarding sign we have all be waiting for the last 4 years...
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        #4
        The Natchez approaches and makes a loop

        We had visits by the Natchez, the Creole Queen, and even the ferry boats went out of their normal route to make a wide circle next to the AQ.

        If you look closely at the second photo one can see the steam from their Calliope

        Bob took this in stride and changed his song to play along with the Calliope, a unique mix of steam and string powered music.

        Also, in the third photo, the Natchez gave us a bit of whistle salute during the turning.
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          #5
          Three paddle boats at NO again!

          The Creole Queen approaches her dock while the Natchez heads back to her dock. From the AQ, this makes 3 (operating) paddle-river boats at the same time.

          The Creole Queen makes a backup move next to the AQ while docking
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            #6
            Steam Coaches (buses)

            At most ports (Natchez, St. Francisville, Vicksburg) as part of the fare, each passenger gets to tour the town on GASC provided buses, which they have dubbed "Steam Coaches). No, not steam powered, but most are decorated in AQ motif. At the start of the day, to avoid crowds, passengers board using timed tickets (free) at about 15 minute intervals. You can hop on and off at designated stops along the route. This allows you to visit various venues at your own pace. After about 9:30 no tickets are needed.

            It started out a bit rough as many folks did not understand or how it worked at the first stop, but as the trip progressed things worked out well.

            They had 5 to 6 busses at most ports, so there was little waiting. I had to wait 10 minutes at the most.

            Sorry for not posting more photos at this time, got a message that there was a server error. Will try later.

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              #7
              Steam Bus Photo...

              One of the wrapped "steam coaches" running shuttle service in New Orleans between the Weston and the dock
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                #8
                Safety drill options

                Make sure you have a life jacket on yourself, and any valuable bottles...
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                  #9
                  A few from onboard

                  The bell. Photo of THE BELL (MQ), would not load. I have been getting lots of error messages in German regarding the URL, will try again later.
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                    #10
                    From the Mark Twain Room

                    A tribute to our DQ, a great scale model built in the 1980's. Not sure if this was here before, first time for us on the AQ,
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                      #11
                      Meanwhile as departure approaches

                      The front porch swings and rocking chairs beckon passengers to start relaxing.

                      Departing New Orleans
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                        #12
                        Entertainment the first night

                        What better way to start a journey up the Mississippi than having Mark Twain himself entertain in the Grand Salon.
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                          #13
                          Osk Alley

                          First stop was Oak Alley, great to see a steamboat peaking above the levee again.

                          Travis gives the Calliope a few good keystokes before departing Oak Alley

                          And, passing Baton Rouge that night, on the way to St Francisville
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                            #14
                            Greeting at St. Francisville

                            As with all the stops, a party of locals met the AQ to welcome her back. Local merchants were especially happy to see riverboats back. At most ports, Mark Twain accompanied the AQ captain in presenting a small gift. The AQ delivered a piece of the paddlewheel board (removed during renovation, not from the current configuration!) with a rope nicely mounted.
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                              #15
                              More interior views

                              Every passener received a bottle of bubbly, and ours soon sported the extra life vest.

                              This time my wife Pat joined in the Mark Twain room photos.

                              And for a great start to dinner, Bob Shad, assisted by Jackie at the piano, entertained in the lounge area outside the dining room.

                              What better way to start the trip!
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