09-28-09 Florence, AL II

[Rick] Well, it was a quiet day on the river today. We stayed a second night at the Florence Marina. Earlier in the day, we used the courtesy car to go to Wal-Mart and to look around town. We visited several parks and rode through the historic district. One of the parks had this statue to honor W.C. Handy, the Father of the Blues. The weather was perfect, sunny with a slight breeze.

Since there is so little to talk about, another river navigation lesson is in order. We have already discussed the fact that there are no Knots and nautical miles on the river, only statute miles. Hence, all of the speeds are in miles-per-hour, not knots. We have talked about upstream and northbound, whenever the current is against you. Today, we talk about direction.

One thing to keep in mind. All of the Western rivers start counting miles at the mouth, not the origin, except for the Ohio River. Because the miles were already established before any formal method was decided on, the Ohio kept its numbering system. Therefore, mile 0 on the Ohio is Pittsburgh, PA, not Cairo, IL. at the meeting of the Mississippi.

Due to the winding of the rivers, the port bank may be East one minute and West the next. In fact, you can be southbound and your compass reads due North, as we did on the Mississippi one day. So, on the river, directions are indicated based on the descending bank. So, if you are going with the current, the left descending bank is on your left. If you are against the current, the left descending bank is on your right.

Remember that the Mississippi River is divided into 2 parts, the lower and upper parts. The Lower Mississippi begins in the Gulf of Mexico and goes northbound (upbound) to the confluence of the Ohio River. The Upper Mississippi begins at the Ohio River and goes northbound (upbound) to its headwater.

Some Examples:
LMR 212.2 LDB means The Lower Mississippi River, mile 212.2 on the left descending bank.
Hoppies Marina is described as: UMR 159.9 RDB. It is 159.9 miles upriver from the Ohio on the port side as you go upstream.

New Orleans is LMR 90 LDB.

This concept extends to the Tennessee, the Cumberland and other rivers, except on those rivers, there is no upper and lower sections. The Florence Marina, where we are tonight is TN 256.2 RDB. We are 256.2 miles from the mouth of the Tennessee River and on the port side as we are upbound.

There you have it. All you need to know to navigate the Western Rivers of the United States. Good Luck.
Historical marker on Wood St....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing those information. I really learned a lot from it. Keep posting informative blogs like this!