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May 19, 2010
Vol 5, No 1-10


Family Vacations issue tackles the question

Despite weather surprises and human-made setbacks, there's no happier subject for most families than "Where should we take the boat this year?" That's why this issue, solely devoted to family fun, features facilities and destinations guaranteed to deliver.
Sharing what he learned while researching for this year's Quimby's Cruising Guide, (have you ordered your copy yet?) Gary Kramer guides parents through the ins and outs of the many river museums in our area. Some are huge well-supported institutions that cover many topics; others are modest and run by volunteers. Here are pictures of two hidden gems, the Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville, Ind., and the Granville Museum, in Granville, Tenn.

The Howard Steamboat Museum

Granville Museum Photos courtesy of the museums
Children love this diving suit from Man in the Sea Museum, in Panama City Beach, Fla., as much as they love suits of armor.


And you cannot keep adults away from this snagboat displayed at the Tom Bevill Visitor Center in Pickensville, Ala.


Even Joan Wenner's Waterway Law department, which this month talks about arbitration clauses, gets into the act. The photo illustrating her column is of Capt. Charlie Meyer and friends on the Lake of the Ozarks, where Capt. Meyer operates a tow service. TowBoatU.S. recently gave him their "Tower of the Year" award. Here's his picture at the helm of the MV Point Young.

Photo courtesy BoatU.S.

Ever wondered about poker runs? Sandy Lindsey explains all about this popular form of socializing. More fun awaits in the Florida Keys, as newcomer Dan Armitage tells about how his own family relaxed in the warm sea and sun in June's Cruise of the Month. Just take a look.

Photo by Dan Armitage

Want some great destinations? We talk about them. James and Dorothy Richardson explain what makes Huntsville, Ala., such a blast--or blast-off--when they talk about the "Rocket City." Here's the complex that gave Huntsville that nickname.

Photo courtesy of NASA

River Harbour Marina in Bridgewater, Pa., and Blue Springs Marina in Ten Mile, Tenn. are Marina Profile subjects in June. And finally, publisher Nelson Spencer discusses vacationing in the one spot on earth without any water, the Atacama Desert of Chile. Here's a picture by Paul Shoul showing just how dry it is.

Photo by Paul Shoul


As big believers in the saying, "Life is short. Eat dessert first," we are happy to point out that Gumbo Ya Ya is scheduled to take place June 11-12 in The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District. Rock Island, Ill., is one of the Quad Cities. 

This "Mardi Gras in The District" invites visitors to the upper Mississippi to enjoy Cajun food, authentic southern Louisiana music on two stages, Mardi Gras children's activities, and a French Quarter marketplace. The festival is conducted outdoors, on the Great River Plaza. Here's a shot that our friend Jessica Waytenick sent of a band performing last year.

gumbo ya ya
Photo courtesy Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau

Children 12 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult. For details, call (309) 788-6311 or go to www.ridistrict.com online. See lots of other festivals on our Web site calendar, too.

In late-breaking news, Bsquared Promotions sends word that a new outdoor boat show, Making Waves, is planned for May 21-23 in St Charles, Mo., at the Heart of St. Charles Banquet Center parking lot. St Charles is just across the Missouri River from St Louis. (If it sounds familiar, perhaps it's because in 1804, the Corps of Discovery under the leadership of Lewis and Clark, left from St Charles.) For details about the boat show, call (314) 479-6702.

Shows displaying vintage boats, such as Muscatine's are a special summer treat. The 33rd Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show in Hessel, Mich. won't take place until Aug. 14, but here are some pictures of last year's show to put you in the mood.

alll 2
1 boat

Photos courtesy Les Cheneaux Historical Association  

Remember, you can find boat show listings any time on our Web site.


About Those Locks and Dams

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St Paul District, recently urged boaters to use caution in Lower Pool 4 near Wabasha, Minn. on the Mississippi River this summer. Pool 4 is the lake created by, and upstream of, Lock and Dam 4.

The Corps constructed rock vanes at three locations, to include Read's Landing, Crat's Island and Teepeeota Point, in Lower Pool 4 in October of 2009. The vanes vary in length from 25 to 50 feet and are either straight or have a fish hook shape at the end. Caution is encouraged for recreation boaters using the sand beaches in these areas, since all the vanes were designed to slope under the water. Depending on spring water levels, the vanes may not be visible where they connect to the shore. Questions about the project? For answers, contact the St Paul District's Channels and Harbors Office at (608) 687-3112.

The Waterways Journal reports that the Fort Loudon Lock, at Mile 602.3 near Lenoir City, Tenn., on the upper Tennessee River, closed for maintenance on April 20. This lock primarily serves recreational boaters. Plans call for it to remain closed for a month. The lock will be dewatered to allow the gates to be painted and the valves worked on, the WWJ said. The same kind of work is scheduled for Watts Bar Lock in the fall.

OK, just for fun, follow this link that contributor Sandy Steele sent us.

It's locking through, done with time-lapse photography. She writes, "We put our boat in one year on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wis., and motored up to St. Paul, Minn. In the process, we had to go through Lock & Dam #1. I remember when the gate opened and we went towards the wall, they threw the line down 30 feet to us! It felt like we were in a cave. Even though the lock was smaller than most, it had the largest drop."

For more information about the Army Corps of Engineers, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil on the Internet.


Flash Floods in Mid-South

Overactive spring thunderstorms dropped 17 inches of rainfall on the Nashville area in only a few days, which flooded creeks tributary to the Cumberland River. The river itself, which runs through Nashville, crested 11 feet above flood stage. Follow this link to a YouTube video to see some of the havoc the water created.

YouTube lists several other videos posted by observers of the flooding.

Here's a second video that Becky Hovas, vice president of NewSouth Marine Construction, in Greenville, Miss., sent to publisher Nelson Spencer.

Bill Brummett III, owner of Gibson Boats, also sent pictures. Follow this link to our Web site to see all the shots he sent. Here's a sample for now.

flood 1flood 2
flood 3flood 4

Photos via Bill Brummett III. Our thanks to him.
Oil Spill Gushes

An oil rig exploded off the shore of south Florida and as of newsletter press time, has been unable to be capped. Because the well is under water, it's difficult to estimate how much crude oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico as a result, but some experts put it at about 200,000 gallons a day. For details, go to The Miami Herald or the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

As of May 18, tar balls were washing up on beaches of the Florida Keys. Plans devised by British Petroleum engineers involved closing the well head with pulverized rubber, golf balls and cement.

Kelly Schulz, vice president of communications for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, suggests that boaters go to www.neworleanscvb.com for the latest information about how the spill is affecting the Louisiana marshes and coastline.

For more information about both events, see the Marina and Waterways News column in the June HeartLand Boating issue.


How will your marina celebrate?


This year, National Marina Day has been moved from August to June 12, which is also National Get Outdoors Day. The Association of Marina Industries, (AMI) an organization dedicated to the needs of marinas, manages the day.

A new release from AMI explained that it "is a day for celebrating marinas and all they bring to their communities as gateways to our nation's waterways. On this day marinas are asked to open their doors to their neighbors and let them experience the marina lifestyle, learn about the waterfront environment and see firsthand all the fun that can be had recreating on the water."
Wendy Larimer, AMI's legislative coordinator said that as of as of April 20, marinas in 22 states, "from California to New Jersey, Michigan to Texas," had registered at the National Marina Day Web site.
From Ottawa, Ill., Heritage Harbor Ottawa sends word that its staff will host a Junior Fishing Derby to celebrate National Marina Day. The event includes a knot-tying clinic, a hook-baiting clinic, instructions about how to identify and clean your fish, a casting contest, a fishing contest, and of course, games. Winners get prizes! In the evening, Big John Karaoke will take place at Crawdad's Bar and Grill. Here's a photo of one of the spots for fun at Heritage Harbor.

Photo by Lee Braff

So what is your marina planning to do? We'd love to hear. Even better, we'd love to see photos of the festivities. Contact HLB via e-mail here, or just call (314) 241-4310.
These are the sweet days of summer. Enjoy,

Lee Braff 

HeartLand Boating

Editorial Offices

May feature boat

2006 C-DORY 19' X 7'8" - 2007 Honda 90 VTEC, water pressure gauge, 2 Optima AGM batteries with auto combiner and 4-way switch, anchor with 150' of rode, Kenwood AM/FM/CD with iPod Classic connection, 2 6.5" 3-way speakers, 2 Bose patio speakers with amp, full custom camper canvas. EZ Loader trailer with Tandem axles, rollers and five Goodyear tires.

$24,900 (firm). 865-438-0018.

To find this & other classified ads please visit us online.