Monday, August 1, 2011

Postcard Worthy: Confluence

Taken in 2007 from the deck of the Dresden Belle, this photograph shows participants
in the annual sternwheel boat races gathering at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers
after the completion of their heats. The races are held each year as the culmination of the Ohio River Sternwheel Regatta at Marietta, Ohio

I took this picture in 2007 while standing on the deck of my boat, the Dresden Belle. We'd just finished taking part in our heat of the annual races, which are the climax of the annual Marietta Ohio River Sternwheel Regatta. It was our first year and we didn't win, but who knew that, like NASCAR, there were "side draft" issues in boat races! 

I loved standing on the deck of the boat, to feel the breeze in my hair. Every shift in steering Carl made I could feel beneath my feet; likewise, if she wasn't working right I could also feel that. When the races were over, the boats gathered on the Ohio River at the mouth of the Muskingum, creating this scene, reminiscent of a time when the packet boats were a common sight on America's rivers.

Always remember, however, that postcards are advertisements, pretty pictures meant to entice, perhaps to deceive. I loved my boat, I loved the way that scene unfolded before us. What I didn't know was that the people and things I loved had a long history of deceit. The above scene was the last of a happy ten years; the postcard and the reality were two different things.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in this month's City Daily Photo Theme Day.


dive said...

Fabulous photo, Speedway. It's a shame things turned out like they did but at least you got to race sternwheelers, a dream come true for any Mark Twain fans like myself.

Jilly said...

What an extraordinary and beautiful boat that is. And a good photo. I know how tricky it is to photograph one boat when you are on another and you hope that the camera doesn't shake too much. Ah yes, well many happy memories do come with bad ones but experience is no bad thing and provided you have a positive attitude to life, it gets better. I think, mind you, I was born an optimist and someone once said optimists are fools. Fine by me, I'm a fool but a happy one.

Valladolid Daily Photo said...

Great picture. I want to ride in that boat.

Julie said...

One of the brilliant things about belonging to CDPB is how much you learn about places all over the world. Saling and stern-wheel boats are akin to a foreign language to me. Thank you for sending me a postcard about them.

Tanya said...

beautiful scene, looks cold though! i love what jilly had to say!

Speedway said...

Thank you all for your kind compliments. They are much appreciated.

Tanya, the weather that week had been oppressively warm for all the people who'd tied their boats along the levee that week. The break that finally came was most welcome.

Hello, Julie. What has amazed me is the amount of interest in sternwheel boats from people in Australia and NZ. The boats look a bit different, of course, but the feelings they inspire is the same, and have their own unique history.

Jilly, I love to look at your pictures of Monte Carlo and Menton, as well as the dogs. Years ago, I used to dream about living in Monte Carlo and especially like the pictures of the little villages in the surrounding hills.

I appreciate your kind words of encouragement. I am an incurable optimist, too, and have always believed good things would come of the experience. Our of the sad lesson has come opportunities that I'd not anticipated. I've met a number of considerate, intelligent people who're helping with a research project and book. This blog has in its short life, also brought some unexpected pleasures, including the wonderful people who've responded to my efforts.

Thank you all.