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O Black Water Keep On Rollin' Even After We're Gone
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River Date 30 River Day 29 River Capt Point of View River Date 28 River Date 27 River Date 25 -26 River Date 24 River Date 23 River Date 22 River Date 21 River Date 31 - August 6 2008 River Date 32 - August 7 2008 River Date 33 - August 8 2008 Launch of the Bear Naked in Davenport Iowa River Date 1 River Date 2 River Date 3 - 4 Relaunch Bear Naked Anchor Detail - River Date 7 Anchor Detail - River Date 8 Anchor Detail - River Date 9 River Date 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 From the Captain's Journal:        

   River Date 31-33 (August 6-8)

    We pushed off from Memphis and were on our way to Mississippi. Another long hot day on the river when we were floating. We soon noticed a boat that was orange and silver and headed towards us; the Coast Guard. They asked us if we had yet been boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard. We told them "no" and they said they would just do a safety check boarding. They checked us for life vests, fire extinguisher, bow and stern lights, and a horn. We passed with flying colors so they gave us an inspection certificate and let us go. We pushed un until evening an landed for the night in Mississippi. We woke the next day and two fishermen gave us three big catfish. One weighed twelve pounds. We cleaned the ten pounder and covered one fillet in ranch dressing and wrapped it in foil and cooked it like you would a baked potato. Pretty good actually. We then tied the rest of the carcass to a small rope and put a hook in the body and threw it off the stern of the boat as bait to catch a giant channel catfish. We continued floating through the evening and around sunset we crossed over a wing dike. We notice a buoy near by didn't look like it was moving past us. We figured we were for some reason stopped. We looked back at the stern and noticed water rushing past the pontoons and water slowly rising toward the deck of the stern. Nate quickly jumped down from the roof and realized that the line with the catfish carcass had still been dragging behind us. Immediately Nate realized that the line had become caught in the wing dike. Without a second thought Nate took a fishing knife and cut the line free. Dave and Nate had seen this trick before and the last time it almost cost them their lives. That night we took the remaining catfish and breaded strips of the catfish into nuggets. We dropped them in some hot oil and deep fried them. It was an instant favorite of the crews. Full up with about 6 pounds of fried catfish Bear Naked bunked down for the night. We woke the next morning to a slight rain and decided the weather would permit us to float. We started the drifting and noticed a storm brewing just north and west of us so we thought that maybe we could stay ahead of the rain. That only lasted so long. Before we knew it we were in the middle of the channel with lightning and a driving rain with almost no visibility. It was the worst storm that the Bear Naked had taken on to date. Stranded in the middle of the Mississippi River with huge swells and fearing that a barge could come out of the storm, we were at God's mercy. After a little over an hour of horror the rain ceased and we were able to continue with little rain the rest of the day.  The following day we woke and had a nearly typical day. The only thing that made this day different is that the crew was so exhausted from the previous day that Dave and Nate accidently fell asleep while floating that morning. After napping for about 45 minutes they were suddenly awaken when the sound rushing water from a buoy on the starboard side and the sound of a barge passing them very closely on the port side startled them. Realizing it that sleeping in a commercial shipping channel wasn't particularly safe they made a pot of coffee to fight off the sleepiness. We encountered a few more buoys that day. Only these were bobbing buoys. And by that we mean the current pulls them under water for large periods of time and so mariners don't know they are there. We passed two of these buoys almost directly above them. We had be told a few weeks earlier that these existed and that they had been know to capsize boats when they bob back up to the surface. But our fascination with buoys had yet ended for the day. While the crew was tanning they kind of forgot to look ahead down the river. All of the sudden we looked up and were headed straight for a green buoy. Dave quickly started the motor and tried to get out of the way. It was too late. The large steel buoy that's tethered to a 1,500 pound weight didn't give when we hit it on the starboard stern, but the steel band on the last barrel did give. It bent the band pretty good but didn't do much else for structural damage. That had been about enough excitement for one day so we dropped anchor off of an island and went to sleep. Finally we reached our last day on the river. The storms were coming and we thought we could make good time but soon realized it was about to get bad. We made it another fifty miles and then pulled the boat out of the water about thirty miles above Louisiana. We pulled the boat back to Colorado and it took us 24 hours driving straight through at a speed of 50 miles per hour. We fought a couple bad rain storms on the way home, but alas we made it back to Black Forest , Colorado safely. All in all Nate and Dave had an incredible life experience floating down the Mighty Mississippi on the record flood of 2008. We met a ton of great people that we will never forget, saw things that most will never see, and experienced things that only we can fully appreciate. The best way we can sum it up is, "Those six weeks were the best year of our lives".

B

 

Mascot Dan

 

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 Last updated: 08/23/08