Summer at home in Daisy Hill

Friday, January 2, 2015

SAILING DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI

On the 22 Nov we boarded the American Queen river steamboat for a cruise down the Mississippi to New Orleans stopping at towns on the way. We were with our neighbours, Rob and Kathy.
 We boarded the boat in the afternoon and after settling into our cabin (last post) we watched the sunset over the mighty river.
 Then we had dinner, which was delicious with as much wine as you like. After dinner we went to a show. It was very entertaining.

 It was late at night before the boat left the dock. We went on deck to watch but it was very cold.

Every time we left a port, the calliope was played. A calliope is a steam driven organ. The steam is sent through large whistles, see on the roof of the deck. The whistles are tuned to a chromatic scale but it has to be tuned often as the pitch is affected by the temperature of the steam, however the off pitch notes have become a trademark of the calliope. It is very loud and can be heard for miles. There is no way to vary tone or volume. In the age of steam the calliope was popular on riverboats. The player uses a keyboard. It was fun the first few times we heard it but after a while it got on your nerves.

The next morning the weather had improved. After a delicious breakfast we walked around the deck to take in the scenery, which was a little disappointing. There are steep flood levies on each bank and you can't see much above them but it was nice and relaxing. We had fun watching how the boat got under the low bridges.

These smoke stacks are too high to get under the bridges.

So they are lowered into cradles.

And thats how the American Queen gets under the bridge.

28 comments:

  1. Now that's clever. Who would have thought that would happen.

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  2. Classic boat on a classic river journey.

    Glad you liked the pictures on the blog - which is normally much more 'wordy' than the post you saw. Many more pictures, most of which are taken with smaller lenses (!) can be seen on my 'photo-gallery' blog!

    Cheers and a happy New Year - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  3. It's funny how some things are not what expected but are all part of the experience never the less. Those are some crazy looking smoke stacks. Have a happy 2015!

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  4. The Mississippi down to New Orleans. How romantic that sounds to someone brought up listening to a lot of American music! The calliope puts me in mind of a lady who moved in next door to a church near here; "Is there any way you can make the bells a little less noisy on a Sunday morning?" she enquired. "Yes" said the captain of the bellringers, "put some cotton wool in your ears before you go to bed!"

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  5. Seems that this cruise was well worth it with so much to see and do - day and night.
    Which begs the question - why sit in a cabin and watch TV?
    I think Carol-Ann hit the nail on the head - remove the bloody noisy TVs from the cabins.
    Just go to bed after a very active day and evening to sleep!
    Was there any part of this riverboat that you and TOH didn't explore?
    Cheers
    Colin

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  6. Can only say what a wonderful trip !

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  7. Those smoke stacks look almost like lifted arms and the windows like eyes! As if you look at a funny face. How clever they can put them down.

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  8. What flamboyant smoke stacks! Glad they are lowered and avoid being damaged. Thanks for taking us on your lovely riverboat trip. Most enjoyable.

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  9. What a great trip, Diane! I loved all the photos, especially the first sunset shot.. The lowering of the smoke stacks is cool. Thanks for sharing your cruise.. Have a happy weekend!

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  10. Well, there you go. Some years ago I educated you about the theremin and now you have educated me about the calliope. I will You Tube it to hear just how discordinate it is.

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  11. Your photos are indeed lovely. Interesting to learn.

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  12. i love photo number five of the bridge with the blue skies. awesome shots of how she gets under the bridge... i have heard calliope music and would not want to her that more than once.

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  13. Happy New Year to You and Yours... I hope that 2015 is filled with joy, happiness and lots of GOOD HEALTH.

    I would love that Riverboat Trip. We've never done it --but it sounds like fun...Maybe sometime we'll do it.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  14. so cool. i can imagine the repeating caliope would be maddening after a while. :)

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  15. Wow it sure does look and sound like you had a bloody great trip I think I would enjoy doing that

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  16. Hopefully the lady who played the calliope had ear protection! You made me smile when you said after a few times of hearing this it got on your nerves. I think it would me too. Fascinating about the steam stacks being lowered. All in all looks like you had a great time.

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  17. What a neat experience. Thanks for sharing the way the riverboat got through the low bridges.

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  18. What a wonderful trip you are having. I'll have to put a Mississippi riverboat on the list for when i manage to make it to the US again.

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  19. That all looks and sounds so wonderful but what has really, really impressed me is the light in those two shots of the bridge - that is something extraordinary surely. Thanks for the trip.

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  20. What a cool trip!! And even though it's not an Aussie one, I love the sunset too :D Happy New Year, my friend - I hope 2015 is good to you!

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  21. The American Queen sounds a little like the boat we sailed down the Nile in Diane.. was quite luxurious. I've enjoyed reading about your adventures I'm sure there will be many more in 2015 , all the best for the new year.

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  22. It reminds me of the old musical "Showboat ". We took the boat just on a harbor cruise from New Orleans. Yours was way more fun! Happy New Year..... You got your winter weather early on this trip! ( our Florida winter is more like your Brisbane weather currently than it is like most of the rest of the US. Thank goodness

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  23. Clever way of lowering the smokestacks and proceeding under the bridges. That is a beautiful bridge in the photo as you are leaving Memphis and glad you had some good weather to enjoy the Mighty Mississippi.

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  24. Diane that first picture is stunning and what an amazing boat! I had no idea about the calliope and I love it when you find those neat details to share with us!

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  25. Really interesting description of the steamboat and I am still laughing at your comment about the calliope getting on your nerves!

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  26. What wonderful photos! The calliope sounds glorious! I can see it would be a bit much though. :-) Too bad it was so cold for your trip, too!

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  27. Wow Diane... I don't visit for a little while and here you are off again - go you :D)!!! Enjoying your adventuring.
    Love the choice of steamboating. Had no idea about all the routines. Had a chuckle at your comment about the continuing calliope-ing!
    Fabulous photos and sooo interesting to see everything :D)

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