THINKING BACK WITH CAPT. IKE
ON THE LILLY BELLE
"A Wild Trip"

A boat is built for shallow water, such as rivers and lakes. A ship is built for deep water, such as oceans. My riverboat is a boat and seldom has to contend with waves it can't handle. Except for one time. I was going homoe from Minneapolis/St. Paul. It was about thirty years ago, my boys were little and my miniature dachshund was having pups at the time.

As we headed in Lake Pepin, the Coast Guard said we would have wind from 20-30 miles an hour, but it would be a tail-wind and shouldn't bother too much. After getting almost halfway, the wind increased to much stronger gusts (up to 50 mph) and it was too late to turn around and head back.

As you can see by the sketch below (more graphic than realist), when we went up the back of the wave, our paddlewheel almost buried and the diesel would chug down and almost stop. Then, when we crested and started down, the paddlewheel would come out of the water and speedup, almost shaking itself apart. I was the happiest man on the river when we came off the lake and went back into the more protected stretches of the river.

This was the worst waves in the 40 years since I built this boat and for awhile I thought they might be more than the boat could handle.

My wife was ready to give up future trips on the boat with me, but the boys thought it was a great adventure!

P.S. My dog had two puppies!

Return to Ike's Profile Page

Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University Graduate School of Education
1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104-1284
Phone: 651-523-2480 Fax: 651-523-2987
© 2001 CGEE. All Rights Reserved.