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Wake of the AMERICA trip Sunday 7/2/06

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    Jim, you neglected to mention the Cincinnati codfish that floated past Louisville.


      Alan, when they removed the extended Texas on the Belle, which gave more passenger room, didn't the CG actually reduce the capacity by a couple of hundred? As to the Natchez' capacity/loads: she's licensed for 1650. The most I've seen on her is 1300. I'd suspect the '82 Tell City trip might have been her highest, somewhere around 1400. As big as she is, there is only inside seating for 258, including the Texas and Magnolia. Add all the outdoor seating and she's probably got a total of 700-800 seats. A crowd of 1100 gets cozy on a regular public trip. 1100 on a charter with free food in the dining room gets REAL cozy. At 1300, its shoulder to shoulder everywhere. They rarely cap the limit, mainly in bad weather for charters or dinner trips to be able to get everyone inside, at least for a while. That cap is usually around 500. Hopefully they'll be having those problems again soon!


        Yes, Judy, that is true. Doc Hawley knows more about that than I. It had something to do with enclosed spaces and registered tonnage. . .let's not start THAT again. The Idlewild was allowed 1,600 when she was new. The Belle of Louisville's ultimate passenger allowance today is unknown to me. The operating board restricts the number of passengers by limiting the number of life jackets aboard to 800. It was 1,353 when I was mate and I know we carried more than 1,600 on a trip on Green River. I was told to stop counting at 1,353 and did so. A double line of patrons containing at least 300souls came on after that. It was the trip from Hell. We ran out of ice and the ambient temperature was above 100 degrees, Fahrenheit. The concession stand served hot drinks (Coca-cola, etc.) and soon ran out of that. The people loved it! We left Rockport with a bare boat, literally!


          I thought perhaps a trifty hen was a Hebrew Pullet.


            The Old Swimming Hole

            Anyone who swam in the river in the '50's has many tales to tell of meeting certain floating objects sharing the same water space. Our swimming hole on the Licking River was below one of the largest sewer outlets that served the Latonia suburb. Right after a rain we had to be especially wary of "floaters", as we called them. After a while, we boys developed a unusual style of swimming whereby we pushed a wave of water away from us with each stroke. This proved very effective in warding off unwanted objects fresh from the huge concrete pipe above camp.

            Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, developers of the first polio vaccines, made it possible for kids, like us, to swim in the river without the fear of contracting that terrible water-borne disease. And that's the gospel truth. Before them, the Monday newspapers carried the names, in very small print as there were so many, of those unfortunates who had contracted polio over the weekend. The polio vaccines opened the door to one of the greatest enjoyments a kid could have. Swimming in the river!