~~~~~~~~~ RiverBill's Archives~~~~~~~~~
~~~A WEBSITE FOR THE ALTON POOL BOATING COMMUNITY ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER~~~

 

 

Tuesday .... February 28, 2006........ WELCOME   RIVERBENDER.COM !

    

    

CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures of the Day .....  Are of Captain Jack and his son, Jordan, in front of  Captain Jacks Bar and Grill (top) after it was raised up above the 500 year flood level yesterday. Jack told me that they raised it 14 ft 6 inches.  

 

~~~~ They  plan to open for business on March 31 ~~~~

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of  mason_schute, a favorite summer hangout for a lot of boaters. This pic was sent in by Steve Schulte of  www.steveschulte.com

Long Shot Saloon   ------     Andy Dallwitz told me he plans to open Long Shot Saloon, at Portage De Sioux,  for the season on Saturday, April 1st.

Cedar Hill Restaurant   ------     Dave and Carrie Ash plan to open the restaurant at  Cedar Hill Resort for the season on Saturday,  April  22nd.

Bridge at Louisiana, Mo   ------     Captain George Shindel, a land captain,  reported that the bridge across the Mississippi River at Louisiana, Mo finally has both lanes open and 2 way traffic !  Seems like the repairs have been on-going for at least a year..... maybe more.

 

 

Monday .... February 27, 2006........ WELCOME   RIVERBENDER.COM !

    

    

CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures of the Day .....  Are of Captain Jacks Bar and Grill all blocked up and ready to raise above the 500 year flood level. The raise should be complete this week and they hope to be open by March 31st.  

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of is of some of the River Crew  gathered at "Camp Carl" for a bon fire and little socializing. The night was a bit chilly but our hosts, Carl and Mary, kept the fire going and as always Carl was cooking up a feast. From left to right in the front row sitting are Bernie, Steve, Sharon, Sue and Pat. From left to right standing are Ernie, Phil, Scott, Robbin, Dani, John and Mary.     As you can see the bon fire was really blazing and it stole most of the light from this picture.

Calhoun County Ferry Riders  ------     There was a story in the on-line Post Dispatch about the folks that live in Calhoun County, IL and ride the Ferry to work every day.   They say it's not an inconvenience for them and it’s the farthest thing from a stressful commute.  They talk how they really enjoy the beautiful scenery around the county and the river.
   If you want to read there story....go to STLtoday.com
 .

 

 

Sunday .... February 26, 2006........ WELCOME   RIVERBENDER.COM !

    

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Picture of the Day .....  is a river sunset sent in by Debbie.  She sure captured the last bit of bright sun as it was diappearing below the tree line.  The yellows turning into blues...those soft puffy clouds...And that one streak of yellow reflection on the water.  

RiverBill says....River sunsets are hard to beat !  Thanks Debbie......

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of is of some of the River Crew with the band "Stripper Named Phoebe"  at DAD-E-O's on this day last year.

Did You Know ----- that you can sign up for Water Safety Education Classes on-line on the the Missouri Water Patrol website ?

  Check it out.....Go to      http://www.boat-ed.com/mo/index.htm    

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

9:30 AM Update - Ptln. Lou Amighetti' of the Missouri State Water Patrol e-mailed the following info about the Water Safety Education Classes

Riverbill,

Just so everyone knows, if you take the safety class online, there is an additional charge each time you take the test.  Whether you pass or fail, they charge you $15.00 each time.  An alternative is to attend one of the many classroom sessions offered around the area.  They are taught by officers of the MSWP and you are able to get all of your questions answered.  Also, I have never had someone tell me that they did not learn something.  Hope that clears things up for everybody.

 

Patrolman Lou Amighetti

Missouri State Water Patrol

District 5/ Alton Pool  

Alton Block Parties  ------   Added information to the Upcoming Events Calendar about the May 6th, Cinco De Mayo,  Alton Block Party.

Captain Jacks Bar and Grill  ------     They have started to prepare the restaurant building at Captain Jacks to raise it above the 500 year flood level. They hope to be open by March 31st.   

Stay anchored right here for more info as it becomes available.

 

 

Saturday .... February 25, 2006........ WELCOME   RIVERBENDER.COM !

    

Our River Picture of the Day .....  is an eagles view of the Alton Riverfront,  courtesy of John Hentrich at RiverBender.com.  Its a good shot of the riverfront, with Alton Marina in the foreground, the mill in the distance and a good view of the downtown area of the city. The concrete wall along the river is from the old lock and dam and it is where the City's new dining and party boat, named Boat at The RiverBend,  is / will be moored.

 

RiverBill says....Thanks for letting us post a picture from your website John.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of is of an eagle taking to flight from his branch in a tree.     This picture was taken near Alton, IL by picture by Mr. Pat Reid of  Crystal Photography

Kinder's is Opening For the Season on Friday, March 10th  ------     

Their business hours will be: 

Friday.......Open at Noon

Saturday...Open at 11 AM

Sunday.....Open at 11 AM

Kinder's will also be open during the week (except Monday)  when the weather is good.  

Call first....618 - 883-2586

Captain Jacks Bar and Grill  ------     They have started to prepare the restaurant building at Captain Jacks to raise it above the 500 year flood level. They hope to be open by March 31st.   

Stay anchored right here for more info as it becomes available.

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Open House - Timber Ridge Condo's  ------     Open house today at Timber Ridge Condo's.   Stop by and say hello to Sue Ferguson, have a hot dog, take a look at the condo's and the great view.  

~~~~ It's Life With A View ~~~~ 

Mr. C's Website is On-line Again ------  Mr.C's Home Repair and Remodeling website was off-line last week because it was being moved to a new server.  It back up and running again. Check it out !     



Welcome RiverBender.com to  RiverBills.com .....  RiverBills.com has joined forces with RiverBender.com to chart a course of providing you with more on-line information about the river.....And ...Now, the surrounding river towns in the Riverbend Area too ! 

 

Some of the highlights RiverBender.com  include:

  • Classifieds ...You can list and  sell your boat for free  !

  • Discount Coupons for local businesses.  Restaurants, entertainment, recreation and more.

  • On-line shopping

  • Local Websites

  • Check out the ever changing pictures of local scenery, people, landmarks and river things that are splashed at the top of each of their web pages. You will even see some RiverBills.com pictures show up from time to time and a couple of different RiverBills.com Ads.....

RiverBill's Soapbox .......Lets splash some water on the topic of: 

 

~~~~ Personal Watercraft ~~~~   

 We have all seen them swam around our boat like drunken bees, cut in front of us, jump our wakes and do all kinds of dumb and dangerous things on the river not paying any attention to other boaters.   Don't get me wrong, not all boaters that ride personal watercraft do this kind of stuff, but there always seems to be a few out there that I consider a nuisance and they are dangerous !  These few endanger themselves and the the boats around them.  For some reason when some people get on a personal watercraft they seem to leave all of their common sense at the dock !   Watch out for them !

 

  So what are the laws pertaining to operating a personal watercraft in Missouri waters ?    

 

   Ptln. Lou Amighetti' of the Missouri State Water Patrol has agreed to help us all understand the laws about owning and operating a Personal Watercraft.  Take a minute and read over them.  Tell your friends that own one and/or operate one to logon and take a look !  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lou wrote in his e-mail:

    

  

RiverBill,

Here is the law.  Also make sure you state to our public that these laws are intended to keep everyone safe.  We, Missouri State Water Patrol, does not want to see anyone injured or worse, killed, because of the lack of attention to the law. 

Thanks for your help,

Ptln. Lou Amighetti

District 5/ Alton Pool

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personal watercraft, regulations--personal flotation devices--age restriction--reasonable and prudent operation--exceptions.

306.142.

1. No person shall operate a personal watercraft unless each person aboard is wearing a type I, type II, type III or type V personal flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard.

2. A person operating a personal watercraft equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch shall attach such lanyard to the person's body, clothing, or personal flotation device as appropriate for the specific vessel.

3. No person under fourteen years of age shall operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state, except that a person under fourteen years of age may operate a personal watercraft if a person at least sixteen years of age is aboard the personal watercraft.

4. Every personal watercraft shall at all times be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner. Maneuvers which unreasonably or unnecessarily endanger life, limb or property, including, but not limited to, weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel when visibility around such vessel is obstructed, becoming airborne or completely leaving the water while crossing the wake of another vessel within one hundred feet of the vessel creating the wake, operating at a speed in excess of a slow-no wake speed within fifty feet of any vessel or any person in or on the water, and operating at such a speed and proximity to another vessel so as to require the operator to swerve to avoid collision, shall constitute unsafe or reckless operation of a personal watercraft. No person shall operate a personal watercraft on any waters of this state for towing a person or persons on water skis, or a surfboard, or similar device unless there is a person on the personal watercraft, in addition to the operator, or an approved ski mirror attached to the personal watercraft, in a position to observe the progress of the person or persons being towed.

5. No person who owns a personal watercraft or who has charge over or control of a personal watercraft shall authorize or knowingly permit the personal watercraft to be operated in violation of this section, nor shall a parent or guardian authorize or knowingly permit a child of such parent or guardian to operate a personal watercraft in violation of this section.

6. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person participating in a regatta, race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition for which a permit has been issued by the state water patrol.

 

Look for more information from Ptln. Lou Amighetti in the future about river boating, boating safety and boating laws.

 

Enjoy the water and be safe !

 

 

 Friday .... February 24, 2006.......... WELCOME TO THE WEEKEND !

    

Kids In Cars Fundraiser .....  pictures were sent in by Kim Shamel.   It's river boaters supporting a good cause !

 

Kim wrote in her e-mail:

 

Bill,

  Boaters still know how to party.  Attached are a couple of pictures of a marvelous steak and lobster dinner at Concetta's Restaurant on 5th Street in St. Charles.  Kim and Rich Shamel (Sin or Swim and Shamel Auto Tire) and Carrie and Dave Ash (Cedar Hill Resort) were just a few of the party-goers. 

   The steak and lobster dinner was donated by Gary and Jim, and auctioned off last year, to the Shamels, at the annual Kids In Cars fundraiser.  Kids In Cars is an organization trying to raise awareness and change legislation to promote safety of children in and around vehicles.  

   The next dinner auction takes place on Saturday, March 4th at 6:30 PM at Yacavelli's.  

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of some of Mother Nature's Frozen River Art t t . This picture was taken when the river and everything else was frozen at this time last year.

DRY DOCK MARINE & RV SHOW------- Saturday & Sunday, May 06 & 07

3250 Hwy 94N / St. Charles, Mo...1 mile north of hwy 370 & 94 N

Sell your Boat, Bike and RV Show and Swap Meet

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

.

For Reservations and Information

Call.............636 - 949 - 6696

.

Click here for Grand Opening Flyer

Click here for Registration Form

 

RiverBill says...Got something to sell...Give Rick a call at 636 - 949- 6696.

This has been added to the Upcoming Events Calendar also.

Boating Classes  ------ Added  a new header "Boating Education" and new links for the State of Illinois and Missouri... Boat Safety Classes in the left hand column........Check it out !

 

 

 Thursday .... February 23, 2006   

    

In Memory Of Our Friend Mark ! 

River Bill,

Attached is a picture of everyone's friend, Mark at island 521 on the Alton Pool, A.K.A M&M ISLAND, with his dog PJ. The M&M comes from the various people named Mark that frequent M&M island. Unfortunately we will not have Mark's  physical presence at M&M ISLAND this year as he passed away in his sleep at his home on February 20th, 2006. We will miss you buddy.

You'r friends at M&M ISLAND  

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of the Civil War Memorial built to honor the Confederate Soldiers that died of small pox while in the prison camp hospital that was on an island in the Mississippi River during the Civil War. As inscribed on the base of the memorial their remains still rest beneath the regulation pool of the Melvin Price Lock and Dam.     For more information click here.    The memorial is located in the Lincoln Shields Recreation Area across the river from Alton, IL.

Grafton harbor Update  ------ There was an article in the on-line Alton Telegraph about what is going on at the Grafton Harbor.  The workers are trying to get everything ready by March 1st with a grand opening scheduled for Memorial Day. The new harbor has 128 cover slips and 42 uncovered transient slips.  Go to the on-line Alton Telegraph for the full story.

Duck Club Yacht Club 14th Annual Boat Show, Flea Market, Chilie Blast and Shotgun Shoot ------ is planned for 22 and 23 of April.  Come enjoy the marine dealer exhibits, the  in-water & on- land boat show, the boaters flea market, and enjoy the Chilie Blast.   

 

   If you are interested in setting up a booth, tent or table at the Flea Market

 please contact (Al Foster, 314-324-1077) or Joan Shamel, ( 314-503-1637).

 

   If you are interested in showing boats & watercraft, contact Dale Kling (636-745-9547); Ernie Patti (314-409-2458); or Jerry Koerner (314-504-3055). 

  

   This is a signature event for the marina with a lot of preparation, planning and publicity underway.

Portage Grill ----   Is Under New Management.....Check it Out !

~ Open 7 days a week.
~ Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 3pm-6pm, 

    with $1.75 longnecks and .39 cent wings
~ Sundays $2.00 beers and .39 cent wings during races.
~ Daily lunch specials.
~ Friday night fish specials.
~ Full menu served all day.


We are located at the corner of Highway J and Common Field Street in beautiful downtown Portage Des Sioux

 

 

 Wednesday  .... February 22, 2006   

   

1st River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Glenn Sadowski, out of Woodland Harbor.  Glenn snapped a picture of these 2 terns flying in formation and wrote the following e-mail:

 

G'day there RiverBill,

  It seems that birds are a popular theme lately, although not as good as the "Girls of Alton Lake Theme".

 This is a photo that I took today, from the dock at Woodland. I believe these are terns. If anyone knows otherwise, please advise. I call this "One good tern deserves...."

 Regards,

Glenn

RiverBill says........What a  remarkable picture  Glenn.  It's another candidate for National Geographic !   Almost looks religious !

   

2nd River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Toni and Debbie, out of Sherwood Marina.  It's a picture of their baby, a pet macaw, named Lucy !   

 

Debbie wrote in her e-mail:

Lucy is VERY alive, like a two year old that will never grow up!  She likes the boat, she walks around and poops on the dash all day!  I have a job of cleaning up after her constantly!  She cant be out when its really hot, or cold, but I spray her (and us with water) and that cools us down.  The Bayliner isn't fast, and its all enclosed so it gets HOT.  We cant take her on the run about.  She wouldn't like that at all!  I put a leash on her foot, you can see it in the picture.  Her wings are clipped but it only keeps them from lifting off, if they get a good wind they can fly.  She is only 9 months old now...  just a baby, they live about 80 years.  I will have to will her to someone, (when I get closer to death!)  We could take her to the sand bar, as long as it isn't too hot.  We keep a cage in the boat for her.  I just hope she fits in it this summer!

 Yes, Captain Pete is Pete Tully.  He probably wont remember us, but he will remember Lucy, he just loved her and held her for a long time. 

 We love your web site, Tony checks the water temp every day!  I can tell you spend a lot of time on it.

 Talk soon,

Debbie

RiverBill says........I thought it was a stuffed animal at first glance !   I know some boaters that have some stuffed parrots setting near the dash.  But No...It's real ......What a good picture.

   

3rd River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Betty Bannister. It's picture of three eagles. The front eagle dropped an fish and the other two are in hot pursuit of dinner !

 RiverBill says........Just think that moments ago the poor fish was swimming along in the river minding its own business....probably looking for its own lunch.  Now it's flying along through the air with a very uncertain fate.  Indeed, another picture that belongs in National Geographic.   Thanks for sharing Betty.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of the octagon shaped house on stilts that is about one mile below Winfield Dam on the Illinois side of the river. 

New Dining & Party Boat  For Alton Riverfront  ------ According to an article in the on-line Post Dispatch a 48,000square-foot, three level dining and party boat, named "The Boat At The Riverbend", is expected to arrive at the Alton Riverfront soon.      Go to STLtoday.com for the complete story.  

 

 

 Tuesday  .... February 21, 2006   

   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Greg Sadowski, out of Woodland Harbor.  Greg snapped a picture of these 3 white pelicans as they were taking to flight.  He wrote in his e-mail:

 

Bill,

These White Pelicans can be seen all up and down the Mississippi River.

They are usually in very large numbers, and often I see them flying in a very large circle.

I don't know why they fly in the circle? Can anyone tell me? email ontheboat@aol.com

I startled these 3, Then snapped their picture as they flew off.

A hazy late afternoon Jan. 24, 06 on Lake Okeechobee.

Greg

 

RiverBill says........Thanks an awesome picture  Greg.    Looks like one you would see in National Geographic !   Thanks for sharing.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a close up shot of the crane on the top of the Winfield Dam

Bill Would Provide Special Status to Rivers' Confluence ------ Larry Sansone of Port Arrowhead Marina e-mailed me about an article in the on-line Post Dispatch.  

   Senator Jim Talent has plans to introduce a bill that would provide a special federal designation for the 200 square-mile area around the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.  the area would be be known as the Confluence National Heritage Corridor.    Go to STLtoday.com for the complete story.  

UMR Low Water Advisory  ------ A Low Water Advisory was issued on 2/19/06 for the Upper Mississippi River.   For more information go to ITCS Memo2357 .

 

United States Power Squadrons  America's Boating Club Boat Smart Course is today.  See Upcoming events...or ....click here & here for more information.

   

CLICK ON THE ABOVE PICTURE TO ENLARGE.

Monday Morning Ice .....  The above picture is a shot from the Winfield live-cam showing the ice flows on the river Monday morning..

 

 

 

 

 Monday  .... February 20, 2006   

   

   

   

CLICK ON ABOVE PICTURES TO ENLARGE

Our River Pictures of the Day .....  of eagles flying closely were sent in by Betty Bannister.  She took these pictures yesterday and wrote in her e-mail that the eagles were excited to see a little ice on the river.  They were on the move.

 

RiverBill says........Thanks for the great pictures Betty  ....Keep them coming !

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture of the Eagle Rest Area that is located between the river channel and Sandy Slough on the Missouri side of the river at Winfield Dam. The road that goes over the bridge in the picture goes to the Dam and it is also where the pics of Sandy Slough, that were posted on RiverBill's the last two days, were taken from. You have to go under the bridge and down the slough to get to the river channel from this picnic area .

Grafton Ferry Picture Contest Winner  ------ for February is Lynne Williams. 

    

  Lynne sent in a series of pictures of the Grafton Ferry crossing the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and disturbing a flock of white snow geese that were floating down the river in its path !   Click here  to see what happens.

 

 ~~~~ Congratulations Lynne ! ~~~~  

Flooding  ------ There was an interesting article in Sunday's the on-line Post Dispatch about Hurricane Katrina and flooding in the St. Louis area.  It covers things that have happen here since the 1993 flood, the short term memory that many people have about building in flood plains and some Washington politics going on.    Go to STLtoday.com for the complete story.  

Picture of Workers Dangling Under Bridge   ------ 5 ksdk.com has a good picture of the three worker dangling by safety harnesses over the Mississippi River at the JB Bridge.    Go to 5 ksdk.com , scroll down one or two pictures and take a look..  

 

 

 

CLICK ON ABOVE PICTURES TO ENLARGE

Moving Harbor Building Into Grafton Harbor   ------ Lynne Adams took the above pictures of the Harbor Building being moved to Grafton Harbor last Thursday. The large on at the bottom is practically neat because there seems to be eagles flying in the background.  

 

RiverBill says...Thanks for the pictorial update on Grafton Harbor  Lynne.

 

 

 Sunday  .... February 19, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Tony and Debbie.  It's a picture of a beautiful orange and yellow river sunset with a silouette of the lighthouse at the Duck Club in the foreground.  Great shot !

 

RiverBill says........Thanks for the picture Tony & Debbie..... send us some more. 

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture looking up-river at Sandy Slough from the road that goes to the Winfield Lock and Dam.

 

 

 Saturday .... February 18, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Lou Amighetti of the Missouri State Water Patrol.   Looks like the heaven is opening up and shining its light down on the river.  That bright spot of sun in the middle of those ominous looking clouds, along with those beams of light shining down on the river make this a very neat picture......And then there are those couple of boats that decided not to ride the storm out !

 

Lou wrote in his e-mail that he has this picture on his desktop !

 

RiverBill says........Thanks for the picture Lou ...And keep up the good work !

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a photo of Sandy Slough from an area near the road that goes to the Winfield Lock and Dam. The lock and dam are on the left hand side of this picture and river channel can be seen out of the mouth of the slough. This is a popular hangout for a lot of boaters in the Spring when the river is flooding and the water in the slough is deep enough to navigate. In the summer months it pretty much dries up.

 

 

 Sunday  .... February 19, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Tony and Debbie.  It's a picture of a beautiful orange and yellow river sunset with a silouette of the lighthouse at the Duck Club in the foreground.  Great shot !

 

RiverBill says........Thanks for the picture Tony & Debbie..... send us some more. 

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a picture looking up-river at Sandy Slough from the road that goes to the Winfield Lock and Dam.

 

 

 Saturday .... February 18, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Lou Amighetti of the Missouri State Water Patrol.   Looks like the heaven is opening up and shining its light down on the river.  That bright spot of sun in the middle of those ominous looking clouds, along with those beams of light shining down on the river make this a very neat picture......And then there are those couple of boats that decided not to ride the storm out !

 

Lou wrote in his e-mail that he has this picture on his desktop !

 

RiverBill says........Thanks for the picture Lou ...And keep up the good work !

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a photo of Sandy Slough from an area near the road that goes to the Winfield Lock and Dam. The lock and dam are on the left hand side of this picture and river channel can be seen out of the mouth of the slough. This is a popular hangout for a lot of boaters in the Spring when the river is flooding and the water in the slough is deep enough to navigate. In the summer months it pretty much dries up.

 

 

 Friday .... February 17, 2006   

  

 CLICK ON PICTURE ABOVE TO ENLARGE   

 

Our River Picture of the Day .....  is another entry in the Grafton Ferry Picture Contest by Lynn Williams. 

    It's actually a series of pictures.  The first one, shown above, is of the Grafton Ferry crossing the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.  

   Put on your life jacket, throw out your anchor and then  click here  to see what happens when the ferry disturbs the flock of white snow geese in it's path !

 

WOW .. Lets take a ride on the Grafton Ferry !

 

  Those birds taking to flight must have been something to see.  Lynne really did a good job capturing it on camera.  

    I think that the last picture is the very best.  The geese are really thick in it, but you can see the houses of Grafton in the background. Very good picture ! 

 

 

RiverBill says........Lynn...These are pictures are extraordinary......Thanks for sharing.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a photo of the  Clarksville Boat Club with the Lock and Dam 24 in the background. The club is located right below the Dam at the UMR 273 mile marker. The picture was sent in by Andrea of the cruiser named "River Diva".

 

RiverBill says.......I remember when a bunch of us tied up at their courtesy dock one hot summer day a few years ago while waiting for a tow to lock through. After a short time one of the members from the club came down to the dock and invited us all in to cool off and have a drink.     That is what I call "River Hospitality"!    

Sharky's 50 Grease Party is Saturday  ------ February 18th-- 50's Grease Party. Dance contest & hula hoop contest. Click here for complete info.

  Hypothermia - A Winter Boater's Threat  ------ I received an e-mail from  Patrolman Lou Amighetti, of the Missouri State Water Patrol, about a news release on the dangers of hypothermia this time of year.  

 

Lou wrote:

 

Bill, 

 

   I have included a press release concerning hypothermia. 

   With the weather giving us some warmer days, don't let it fool you.  The water is still dangerously cold, wear plenty of layers of warm clothes and don't forget the p.f.d

 

Patrolman Lou Amighetti

Missouri State Water Patrol

District 5/ Alton Pool

 

RiverBill says......Thanks for the information Lou....See ya on the river soon ! 

 

 

 Thursday.... February 16, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  is the first entry into the Grafton Ferry Picture Contest for February. 

    Its a Grafton Ferry River Sunset sent in  by Lynn Williams.  Lynn and her husband Dale, of Stripper Named Phoebe,  have a house with one heck of a view that sits on the Missouri side of  the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.   In this picture Lynn captured the ferry crossing the confluence just as the last glow of the setting sun was showing through a clear area between the tree line and the overcast sky, creating a bright yellow line and unique red streaks that glowed through the clouds. 

 

RiverBill says........What a unique picture Lynn !

 

Send your entry in for the Grafton Ferry Picture Contest before 20 Feb for a chance to win 2 round trip passes on the Ferry.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a photo of the up-river side of   Winfield Lock and Dam when the river was within 4 feet of Flood Stage. Notice that all of the gates are raised except for the 3 center ones. 

Illinois Route 143 Eagles Clean Up Nest  ------ According to an article in the on-line Alton Telegraph, the bald eagles that nest along Illinois Route 143 in Alton spent last Tuesday cleaning up their famous nest.   Go to the on-line Alton Telegraph  for the complete story.  

  Bad River Joke  ------ I received the following joke in a mass e-mailing the other day.  I thought it was River-Cute.

 

What do fish say when they hit a concrete wall ? 

 

>> Dam <<

 

 

 Wednesday.... February 15, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  is a river sunset sent in  by Carol Bindbeutel of the boat  "Change In Latitude".  Carol wrote in her e-mail:

 

Hi Bill,

I  may have already sent this to you, but just in case I am sending it again.  I took this on one of our evening rides.  We love our sunset cruises on the river.

See you in a couple of months.

Carole


      

RiverBill says......Thanks for the great picture Carol.  You certainly captured a neat sunset.  The reflection of the setting sun on the water and all of those evening colors we see when the sun gets near the tree line. It's good !

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was an aerial view of a southbound tow heading towards the locks on the up-river side of Winfield Dam.   What a view of the river and the surrounding terrain.   This is another one of those wonderful pictures taken by Steve Schulte. Check out his website http://www.steveschulte.com.     

 

Illinois Initiative To Clean Up Brownfields  ------ According to an article in the on-line St. Louis Post Dispatch the State of Illinois "River Edge Redevelopment Initiative" program will help river cities clean up brownfields.  The article states that brownfields are former industrial sites that are polluted.  Go to STLtoday.com for the complete story.  

Timber Ridge Condo's Website  ------ Added pictures of the construction at Timber Ridge Condo's ( posted on RiverBill's yesterday)  to the  Timber Ridge Website.  Check It out !  

 

 

 Tuesday.... February 14, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in  by Sue Ferguson of Timber Ridge Condo's.  A life with a view.......And what a view it is .... the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi River's right outside of your front window..  

   Looks like the construction on the condo's  is moving right along.  

   Contact Sue at 618-593 -7059 if you are interested in some additional information.

 

RiverBill says......Thanks for the photo update Sue.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a photo of an eagle looking right at the camera as Pat Reid of "Crystal Photography took a picture...... 

  Yes, another great eagle picture by Captain Pat Reid ..........(known in some circles as Captain of the Camera  )

 

Update ~ Riverfront Amphitheater in Alton  ------ According to an article in the on-line Alton Telegraph there will be a public hearing to elicit public input on the Riverrtont Amphitheater on February 27 at the Alton City Council Chambers.  For the complete story go to on-line Alton Telegraph .  

Con Trios Spring Ice Breaker  ------ Added info to the Con Trios website about their upcoming Spring Ice Breaker at Pere Marquette Lodge on March 24.  Click here for more info. 

Man Jumps From Clark Bridge in Alton  ------ According to an article in the on-line Alton Telegraph an identified man jumped from the Clark Bridge, about 80 feet, onto a rock dam late Saturday night.  For the complete story go to on-line Alton Telegraph

Fire At Clarksville Skylift  ------ According to an article in the on-line Quincy Harold there was a fire at the Clarksville Skylift last Friday.  For the complete story go to www.whig.com   

 

 

 Monday.... February 13, 2006   

Our River Picture of the Day .....  was sent in by Nancy Kreiger.  Looks like it was taken from the Missouri side of the Mississippi River near the Golden Eagle Ferry Landing.  That house always intrigued me.  It looks like it is built right over those limestone caves......And.... they must have one heck of a view !    

 

   Nancy wrote that they were out looking for eagles and then heading to Fast Eddies on the day she took this picture.

 

RiverBill says......Thanks for the great photo Nancy. 

Con Trios Yacht Club's January Newsletter  ------ is out and available on-line at the Con Trios website. Click on their link in the left hand column and check it out !

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

    

   It was a photo of the new construction going on at the Wind River's Condos that are being built just down-river from the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers near Grafton, IL. This picture was taken from a spot near the Grafton Ferry Landing on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River.

 

Click here for a photo of the way they looked on January 29th of this year. 

Captain Darryll Weil's Pictures from the Boat Show  ------ Captain Darryll Weil, of the boat "After You",   wrote me the following e-mail with a link to some of his pictures from the St. Louis Boat Show.  Darryll wrote:

Updated my website with a few pics from the St. Louis Boat & Sports Show.  Maureen and I volunteered to staff the Show Me the Mississippi booth on Saturday.  Go to my website at    http://www.captainweil.com   to see the pics.

 

Enjoy, Darryll

 

River Bill says.....Thanks for the pictures and info Darryll

 

 

 

 Sunday.... February 12, 2006    2nd edition of the day 

Our River Pictures of the Day .....    is of the 2006 Jamaica Daze band.....Stripper Named Phoebe !  These guys really had everyone rocking and rolling last night at Rookies.  The placed was packed and there were a lot of River Folks there.  Make sure to check them out next time they are playing near you.  Click here to take a look at their website and schedule..

   

More pictures from Rookies last night...

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON THE PICTURES ABOVE TO ENLARGE 

 

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

     What a coincidence !  .......It was a picture of brand new river band I had just heard the night before..... Stripper Named Phoebe.    Dale Williams e-mailed me and told me about the band and a floating stage they were working on.  Thought I would go check them out.  The next day I wrote that they really belt out some good tunes. They had the house really rocking, playing everything from rock to blues and a bit of country. My favorites were "Me and Bobby McGee", "Knocking on Heavens Door" and of course "Rollin on the River".  

   

    And now, one year later,  the band is a sponsor on RiverBills and has signed up to play at Jamaica Daze 2006.  It's been a good year !  

 

 

 Saturday.... February 11, 2006    

 

Our River Pictures of the Day .....    are of Dale Williams , of the band Stripper Named Phoebe, and his son with some more big catfish.  They caught all of these guys on rod and reel in the Missouri River.   Wow !

  The top one is a 68 pound blue cat that Dale caught last year on February 18.  The 2nd is  57 pounds and 3rd is 37 pounds.  

The bottom pictures are of Dale's son, Eric, holding a 56 pound flathead.

   

 

River Bill says.....Lets go fishing for the big ones Dale !    

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

     It was a picture taken in New Orleans near the French Quarter. It is of the some of the river crew at the Mississippi Riverfront. From left to right - Bill, Judy, Gary and Laura. The riverfront is a very appealing with walkways for pedestrians and many attractions. A good place to spend a few hours relaxing while doing some river watching and people watching. The river was very busy that day. Some of the things we seen include the Riverboat Natchez leaving the dock as it headed down-river for a cruise and another ship heading up-river.     "Oh Buoy" - then there are the buoys ! Much, much larger than those used in our area of the river.

The Band.... Rail  ------  Joe, Lionel, Bobby and Marv belting out the tunes last night at Sharkys floating restaurant.   As usual, the band was great ...And ... they did play their rendition of  "House of the rising sun". It was great !   Stop by and see them next time !

 

  Sharkys is one of the few places on the river that is open all Winter. 

 Stop in have a drink and a bite to eat.  

Say hello to John and the Sharkys crew  - 

 

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday !  

 

The Polar Plunge Update ~ Louisiana, Mo ------  I received my copy of the Visit-Louisiana-Mo.com newsletter a few days ago  with and update about the Polar Plunge and Special Olymics event they held on January 28th in Louisiana, Mo.  Sounds like it was a blast !   A cold blast for those that jumped in the Mississippi River that day.  

 

Murrel wrote in her newsletter:

  

The weather didn ' t cooperate with the festival. It was cold, windy and wet with a steady downpour. Everyone was wet, even if you didn ' t go into the Mississippi River for the PLUNGE.

 This event was hugely successful. The Polar Plunge is a fund-raising event for the Special Olympics. The Plungers worked very hard seeking donations; collecting three times as much as 2005. The total monies raised were close to $5,000.

 About 200 people (designated judges for “best costume”) were on the Riverfront watching. Trophies were awarded to Helen, winner of the "Most Donations" trophy and Scott, winner of the "Best Costume" trophy. About 22 people then took the PLUNGE. The YMCA graciously opened their shower facilities for anyone wanting and/or needing a hot shower after their plunge.

 Changes were made for 2006. New were the trophies and the "Survivor Sweatshirts". All plungers collecting over $200 received a free sweatshirt and a waiver of their registration fee.

 See what a good time you missed! Make plans for next year........ 2007 will be BIGGER and BETTER (although it will be difficult to be better).

 Click here  to view the newsletter and read the story and see all of the pictures.  Sign up for your own copy.

 

River Bill says....Thanks Murrel for the newsletter and update on the Polar Plunge.

The band....

Stripper Named Phoebe 

is playing at

Rookies this Saturday Night!

Come out and check out one of the newest sponsors on RiverBill's.com and this year's Jamaica Daze Band !

Check out their website and upcoming schedule at www.snptheband.com

 

Rookies is located at Hyw 370 and New Town Blvd In St. Charles.  

 

Everyone is welcome .... I hope to see you there !

 

Make sure you ask them to play their rendition of Rolling on the River !

The Band starts at 9:00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 Friday.... February 10, 2006  

  

 CLICK ON THE ABOVE PICTURES TO ENLARGE 

 

Our River Pictures and Story of the Day .....    are from Rick Sievers. It's another story about the rusting old houseboat named Ma Belle when she still had some color to her. The artist rendition of Ma Belle in her prime is at the top and then a couple of real pictures of the old houseboat follow.   

 

 Rick wrote in his e-mail:

 

 

Bill, 

  Here is a couple of pictures we dug up of Ma Belle. I can't find any of Morris. There is another funny story about these two pictures. The gentleman you see is a long time, very close friend and his girlfriend. They live in Atlanta, GA., and every so often we get together and it was his turn to be here. We had recently bought our 39' Sea Ray at the time these were taken, and Dave hadn't seen the boat yet. Our Sea Ray is pristine, and Ma Belle isn't! In fact, at this time Morris was already gone for some time and Ma Belle was getting in bad shape inside. Nasty bilge water had been laying in it for some time and stunk. The furniture was broken down and dirty. Clutter was everywhere, and things were rusting and decaying and broken all over. So when they came up to see us, we were naturally very "anxious" to show our new boat! With the cooperation of everyone else on the dock, we marched them straight into Ma Belle and proudly began showing off our new "palace on the river", describing how we were "going to paint this and that" and "do some decorating" and "get the furniture recovered" and so on... My wife even picked up a broom and did a little sweeping, which at that point was like trying to kill a bull elephant with a flyswatter. Meanwhile, we were amusedly watching their faces through all this farce and they looked like they'd been told the IRS made a mistake on their taxes and wanted their first born male child as payment. They were absolutely blank and had the color of a linen tablecloth. Dave finally rasped out a weak: "Well, maybe we could help you clean it up a bit while we're here...hrmpff" To which I replied: GREAT! lets get a few things and we'll spend the night!! and we left the Ma Belle. They looked like Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine as we walked down the dock. Of course as we passed our real boat we explained our accidental misrepresentation and that this was the real one. And of course their response was, ...well I've never been called things like that before or since. In fact, I'm not sure what some of those words meant, but they sounded kinda bad. And all we could do is laugh our nautical butts off. We went back to Ma Belle and got their "real" opinions of what needed to be done and I won't say what they were here. The pictures are of them getting back off Ma Belle after that. We're still friends to this day, but I suspect I've got a payback coming!

Rick Sievers

 

 

River Bill says.....Thanks for another good story Rick.  

 

   I will bet there are lots of good stories out there about the people that boated this section of the river before us.  If anyone has another story about Ma Belle or other interesting river happening of times gone by........ please send it in and share it with us.  We would love to hear it.     

  

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

     It was of an eagle sitting in a dead tree on the Missouri side of the river near Alton, IL. with the Clark Bridge in the background. This picture was taken by Pat Reid of Crystal Photography. 

Fixed Date ~ Pimp & The Hoe Ball ------Corrected the date for  Sharky's Pimp and The Hoe Ball in the Upcoming Events section of RiverBill's.   It's April 1st.

Mo. Water Patrol's ~ Marine Theft Prevention Website  ------ Added a hot-link to The Missouri State Water Patrol's Marine Theft Prevention website in the lower left hand column of this webpage.  It has a lot of good theft prevention tips, including info about equipment identification, photographing  it and recording it. Also includes sections on outboard motors, props, personal watercraft, trailerable boats, etc. and a marine security record for your personal use.   Check it out..

 

 

 Thursday.... February 09, 2006  

Our River Picture of the Day .....    is a picture from the Winfield - Live Cam taken yesterday morning around 8:00 AM.  The snow flakes look orange as they are coming down.  It would not be a good morning to be locking through.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?    

     It was a picture of the Clark Bridge that crosses the river from Alton, IL to Missouri at the UMR 202.5 mile marker. The blue roofs of the boat docks at the Alton Marina can be seen protruding above the rock breakwater on the far side of the river.

Water Projects Bill  ------ According to a news article in the on-line Post Dispatch our US Senators are pushing for a floor vote on legislation this week that would build new locks on the upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.  80 Senators signed a letter seeking action on the long delayed Water Resources Act.   Go to STLtoday.com for the complete story.  

 

   

   

CLICK ON THE ABOVE PICTURES TO ENLARGE

 

More Pictures Of Grafton Harbor  ------ I received an e-mail from Betty Bannister with more pictures of the new docks getting moved to the Grafton Harbor last Sunday.  Betty has made a DVD of her photographs of the harbor being constructed that you can see at the Boat Show.  Look for it at the City of Grafton Booth. 

 

 

 Wednesday.... February 08, 2006  

Our River Picture of the Day .....    is of a bald eagle, named Liberty.   Pat Reid of Crystal Photography took a picture of Liberty at Eagles Day in Clarksville, Mo a couple of weeks ago and imposed it against a backdrop of the American Flag.  An eagle named Liberty and the American Flag....what a good picture !   

    Liberty is about 14 years old and blind because it was hit by a car. He is described as being very calm in public.  He tolerates everything except but dogs and horses. Liberty has appeared in parades, TV programs and has been to the White House and the capital several times.  

   

For more info about Liberty and an opportunity to see him yourself at the Bald Eagles Programs at the National Great Rivers Museum click here.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was the picture on RiverBills.com last year on this day ?.......  It was a  view looking up-river from the top of the one remaining section of the old dam at the Lincoln Shields Recreation Area on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River across from Alton, IL.

Group Would Oversee Mississippi River Projects  ------ According to a news article on 5KSDK.com,  a new group, The Mississippi River Coordinating Council, has been proposed to oversee environmental issues and economic development for eastern half of more than 600 miles of the Mississippi River that borders the state of  Illinois.  Go to 5KSDK.com for the complete story.  

 

 

CLICK ON THE ABOVE PICTURES TO ENLARGE

 

Grafton Harbor ~ Update  ------ I received an e-mail from Charlie Wickenhauser, the Manager of Grafton Harbor, with the above pictures and some info about the progress there.  Charlie wrote:

Hi Bill,

I wanted to update you on our progress.

We have completed the utility infrastructure on the land side and are ready for the dock piers when they arrive.

 On Sunday the 5th of February we moved "A" Dock from the construction location to Grafton Harbor. Pictures are attached. The last picture shows the dock pier moored temporarily to the rock levee with the City of Grafton and the Grafton Harbor shoreline in the background.

 The next dock pier (F) will be ready to move into place in less than two weeks. It's a covered dock and should be impressive going up the river.

 We will be at the St. Louis Boat Show this week and invite everyone to stop by the City of Grafton booth to visit with us. We will be leasing slips and taking transient reservations at the Boat Show.

 Thank you for your continued interest and your help in getting the word out.

Regards,

Charles Wickenhauser

Manager

charlie@graftonharbor.net

  

 

More pictures of Grafton Harbor tomorrow ! 

 

 

 Tuesday.... February 07, 2006  

Our River Picture of the Day .....    is close-up shot of a river gull gliding through the air  taken by Steve Schulte of Steve Schulte Photography.  What a good picture !.

 

River Bill says...Keep them pictures coming Steve.  

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was on www.riverbills.com last year this time ?  It was a photo of  is of bench with a good view at the St. Charles County Hide Away Harbor Park . Hide Away Harbor Park is near the UMR 214.5 mile marker.  

Sailing Dazzler Update  ------ Denny and Reggie Heisler sent me some pictures of the first leg of their sailing journey on their boat Dazzler.   Tortola to Punta Gorda.  

   I also added Reggie's Journal and an e-mail address for Denny.  Click on the "Sailing Dazzler"  link in the lower left side of this page and check it out !

  

 

 

 Monday.... February 06, 2006  

Our River Picture of the Day .....    is of Dale Williams and a 57 pound Blue Catfish he caught on a rod and reel a while back.  They are both smiling because Dale caught another big fish and the cat is smiling because he knows he is going back into the river !  Yes, Dale put this one back in to grow up a bit more.  Catch and Release.

 

  Dale is in the band Stripper Named Phoebe, who will be playing at this year's Jamaica Daze Party. 

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was on www.riverbills.com last year this time ?  It was a photo of  Our Lady of The Rivers at Portage De Sioux   Click Here

Missing the Super Bowl Commercials ?  ------ Captain Darryll  Weil, of the boat "After You",  e-mailed me the following info on the Super Bowl commercials:

If you missed any of the Super Bowl commercials you can see them on AOL Sports at

http://sports.aol.com/nfl/superbowlads?sem=1&ncid=AOLSPR00170000000011

 Darryll

Another Caribbean Connection  ------ I added another Caribbean Connection link  www.orvbridger.com.  It really don't have anything to do with the river, but when a bunch of the River Rats vacationed in Negril, Jamaica earlier this winter, this guy played tunes for us all night long on New Years Eve.   Orv is a good friend of mine and the resident guitar player / singer at Margaritaville in NegriI.  He lives on the island 6 to 8 months a year and heads back to Canada in the Summer when it is warm enough to wear shorts..  

  Listen to some of his tunes...He has included one on my favorites " A Pirate Looks At 40" for your listening pleasure.

  Take a look at  the photos.  There is one of Orv and his boss, Jimmy Buffett....and....I am actually in one of them  ~ laying down on the patio during a Beer Drinking Contest at the Beach Club a few years back.   

  

Portage Boat Works  ------ Captain Glenn Sadowski, out of Woodland Harbor, sent us some photos of a brand new wooden boat that a company right here in our own backyard is building.  Glen wrote in his e-mail: 

Hi Bill,

 It was good to see you at Sharky's Super Bowl party this evening.

  Attached is a photo that I took last Tuesday. You might recognize Woodland's very own lovely boat model, Dana.  Look for this boat and the photos that I took of it at the upcoming St. Louis Boat and Sportshow. It's a fine example of "Great American Craftsmanship" going on right in our own back yard in Portage Des Sioux, MO. I have also attached a flyer describing these local entrepreneurs. 

Best Regards Always,

Glenn

 

 

 Sunday.... February 05, 2006  ----Welcome to Super Bowl Day !

Our River Picture of the Day .....    is a wonderful sunset as seen from the outside deck at Sharky's floating Restaurant late yesterday afternoon.   At the moment this shot was taken the sun was in a clear spot between the cloud line and the trees on Enterprise Island.  Sharky's is on Dardenne Slough at the UMR 222.5 mile marker.

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was on www.riverbills.com last year this time ?  It was a shot of a flock of River Gulls lined up on a dike just above Palisades with those chalky white limestone bluffs in the background.  What a shot !   Click Here

  

Super Bowl is this Sunday ----  A bunch of the River Crew is watching the game at Sharky's.  Stop by and watch the game with us.

 

Click here for more information

Phone      (636) 250-3003
Website   www.sharkyscove.net

 

 River Bill says........ See you there !

 

 

 Saturday.... February 04, 2006  ----Welcome to Super Bowl Weekend !

 

     

 CLICK ON THE PICTURES ABOVE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures of the Day .....    were taken by Betty Bannister.  They are photos of the progress at Grafton Harbor.  I have had these since early January, but  they got lost in my "Inbox" some how along with a few other e-mails.  

  Betty sent us a picture of a spectacular sunset over Grafton Harbor, some of the harbor progress and a close up of an eagle. Great shots !

 

River Bill says....Thanks for the pictures and the pictorial harbor update Betty....Please send us more !

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was on www.riverbills.com last year this time ?  It was a birds eye view of the rusting  Towboat America when it was moored on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River just below  Winfield Dam. This photo taken by Steve Schulte.  The towboat has since been moved up the Illinois River near Kampsville,IL. 

  

 

 

 Friday.... February 03, 2006  ----Welcome to Super Bowl Weekend !

Our River Picture of the Day .....   was sent in by Captain Carl Seidler.  It's a shot of the Grafton Ferry, a tow and maybe an eagle .  Carl took this one last Sunday and you can tell that the weather was really nice by all of the passengers standing out on the ferry deck, enjoying the ride and the afternoon.

 

River Bill says.....Thanks for the great river picture Carl.

 

   This is the first entry into the Grafton Ferry picture contest for February. Send us your picture of the ferry for the chance to win two free passes.  For more info, see below..

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was on www.riverbills.com last year this time ?  It was an eagle looking at the fish he just snatched out of the river.   Another great shot by Captain (of the camera) Pat Reid of Crystal Photography    Go to the Archives , scroll down to February 3 and check out the entire series of pictures of this eagle swooping down on his prey, snatching it out of the water and then looking to see what kind of dinner he just caught.   

 

   These pictures are so good they belong in National Geographic !  

  

Pere Marquette Park Eagle Watching Programs  ------ There was an article about the eagle watching programs at Pere Marquette State Park in STLtoday.com.  Click here to check it out.  

 

 

 Thursday.... February 02, 2006  

Our River Picture of the Day .....  is an artist rendition of Ma Belle all restored to her former glory.  You remember how she looked in the picture we posted on 11 Jan 2006,  rusting away in that old harbor off of Dardenne Slough.   Pat Reid of Crystal Photography repainted the old scow for us to give everyone an idea of how she used to look.  I would have to say she was a fine looking boat in her day.

   There was some interest expressed in the old boat on the message board and I noticed one guy, Richard Sievers,  seemed to know a lot about her.    I contacted him and ask if he had some additional information or a story about Ma Belle.  He submitted the following account about the boat, the little old man that used to own her and one adventurous day at the harbor......  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Hi Bill,

We knew Morris because he was on the same dock as us out at South Shore. He was a neat old guy. He was a very proud Merchant Marine in W.W.II and kept a lot of his citations on Ma Belle and had lots of stories of "those days". He was very proud of the Ma Belle and actually wanted, when he died, to be buried on it, having it sunk in some deep hole on the river. ..The authorities didn't think much of his idea.

  You were asking for a story. I don't know if this is what you're looking for, or if this is funny or not or just one of those " You just had to be there" things, but I'll send it along and you can edit it, delete it, or what ever you want with it.

  The Ma Belle is a custom made boat built in the 1940's in St. Louis for some guy whose last name was Stork. It is all steel and of course heavy.

-Very heavy, 26 tons worth. It was also powered by a single diesel engine, that sounded like an old ringer washing machine when it ran, to one single screw. It has one, and only one rudder, Therefore, at slow speeds making steerage was nearly impossible. Now South Shore is a fairly small marina, and when Morris first came there he was already in his 80's and a bent over little old man, and not completely familiar with the boat. One day, shortly after he had come there, he decided that he wanted to take the "old girl" out for a spin. It was a nice day and a lot of fellow boaters were out there as well. He backed out of his slip just fine, but it became quickly obvious that getting it turned and headed in the right direction was going to be daunting to say the least. We were over on the other side of the harbor and watched in horror as Morris came within spitting distance of a boat. Everybody quickly got up and started helping him try to fend off, but fending off 26 tons of ship steel is like trying to fend a Burlington Northern locomotive onto a rail siding with your bare hands. So everyone starts yelling at the poor old geezer with their ideas of what he needs to do to rectify the situation. As you can imagine, the Ma Belle was all over the place and every time it would head for someone's boat, the entire cast and crew of the docks would run full tilt down the dock in a scene reminiscent of the movie Airplane when the plane was landing and everybody ran from gate to gate to where he was headed with arms out and voices raised in a cacophony of "   Morris port!   Morris starboard!    Morris back,    throttle Morris,    Forward Morris,   No Morris!,    the other way Morris!"    One time as it swung around, I could see Morris at the controls and his eyes were the size of dinner plates, and he was working the controls like Dr. Frankenstein's Igor and was spinning the wheel so fast it looked like the wheel was going one way and the hand pegs the other! Amazingly, he never hit a boat, but did put a few kisses on the dock fingers like a big pinball, which always brought out a recitation of the vowels of the alphabet, (AAY, EEEee, aye,aye,aye, OH, OH, Yeww!).   We finally got him pointed in the right direction and chugging toward the mouth of the harbor. In a last insult, a large tree had floated down river and lodged itself across the left side of the harbor mouth. Everyone watched with an aghast blank look on their face as Ma Belle sailed right into it and broke a 10-12 inch around piece of the tree off without missing a beat in a monstrous crrraakk, and out into the river he went. At least he cleared a hole for everyone else. The rest of us finally inhaled and decided it would be a very good time to change underwear and go for a boat ride before he got back and our insurance premiums went up. Most everybody went out and eventually found him chugging back towards the harbor. It looked like he had a V.I.P. escort. Of course, no one was going in before him, so everyone else went their way again for a while. Later on we found the remaining people in the harbor had to help him get back in the slip in a similar, but not quite as bad scene. After that, he brought out some friend who was pretty good at skippering the Ma Belle, much to our relief.

   -And that is how boaters learn to drink.  

Richard Sievers

   

  River Bill says.......What a well written story !   I can close my eyes and almost see the whole thing taking place.  Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us Rick. 

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was on www.riverbills.com last year this time ?  It was an eagle cruising along, with his wing tips "up", right above the surface of the Mississippi River with the Alton Riverfront in the background.    What a shot !    Click here 

  

Finally...Some more Jamaica Daze 2005 photo's  ------ Click here and check them out.  More soon to come ! 

Bald Eagle Released Back Into Wild At Brussels  ------ A bald eagle that had been shot last year was released back into the wild last week at the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge near Brussels, IL.  Go to the on-line Alton Telegraph to read the story. 

Missouri Water Patrol Officers In The Off Season  ------ Did you ever wonder what Water Patrol Officers do in the off season ?   According to a News Release from Water Patrol District One (West Central Missouri), three of their officers are assisting the Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control.  Go to Missouri State Water Patrol News Release  N07060004 to read the news release..

 

Jan 2006 Visitor Stats  ------ are here.   17,572 unique visits, up just a little from last month.   Click here to view the visitor stats chart.

 

Thanks for all of your support !

 

 

 Wednesday.... February 01, 2006  

Our River Picture of the Day .....  a picture of the flag on the sailboat Dazzler, owned by Denny and Reggie Heisler, who have given up boating on the Mississippi for a while to sail the Caribbean !  No one knows how long they will be gone....some say only months and others say years maybe !   

   Anyway, I added a new link in the left hand column named "Caribbean Connections" and the first connection is to the www.sailingdazzler.com  website.  Denny and Reggie are going to keep all of their river friends up to date with what is going on in their Caribbean adventure......Pictures, journals and more.  Check It Out !

 

 

  River Bill says.......A lot of people talk it...Denny and Reggie are doing it.  Hats off to them both ! 

Last Year's River Picture On This Day  ------ What the heck was on www.riverbills.com last year this time ?   It was another Caribbean Connection.... a picture of some of the River crew at Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville in Negril, Jamaica last January.    Click here 

  

We Have A Winner of the 2 Free Passes to The St. Louis Boat Show. ............... Fred Paolicchi !  

 

    Fred was the first one to e-mail me the correct answer.  Cobalt makes  15 different models of boats.  Stop by Dri-Port Marine and check them out.

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