Saturday, November 28, 2009

Old Style Steerin' on the Mississippi River - Port of Dubuque

At the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in 42N country's Dubuque, Iowa there is much to see and do. The museum is divided into river history, biology, flood prevention, and an aquarium of fish, alligators, otters and other creatures that live in or along America's river. Outside you can find a retired steamboat to walk through along with other displays of ship engines from the Dubuque Boat Works.

One of the inside displays is a hands-on recreation of a steamboat pilot's wheel and bridge. This throwback display is not as flashy like the computer animated modern tow and barge counterpart located on the museum's second floor - where kids of all ages line up to pilot a 15 barge behemoth up river.

Yesterday's hand operated pilot wheel turns as you would expect a ship's wheel should turn - as seen in numerous old movies. Here's one thing that I noticed. To keep the wheel in the know of where center rudder is located a simple rope and wooden block device is positioned just ahead of the wheel That way the navigator knows how far the rudder is off center when turning the wheel. Ingenious yet simple. Know that.

No comments:

Post a Comment