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Week #1, 04-10.September, 2005

Chautauqua Lake, Chautauqua, NY, The Journey is Launched


Week one of the WaterWorks River Journey brought with it a flurry of events. The official launch, originally scheduled for 3pm on Sunday 04.September, 2005 was pushed back a day to help complete a few details of the vessel construction. The picture on the left shows master painters Bill and Lynn Simmons helping to paint our paddlewheels red, the traditional color used on sternwheelers. The vessel finally departed Somerset, PA on the afternoon of Sunday 04.September 2005 and was enroute to Chautauqua Lake in western New York state. Upon arriving in Chautauqua later that evening, the WaterWorks team set up shop at the Cambridge Inn ( as a staging area for duration of the first week.

The boat was launched into Chautauqua Lake on the morning of Labor Day, Monday 05.September, 2005. The boat launch ramp that we had intended to use turned out to be too shallow for the boat to slide off of its trailer, so we had to go a couple of miles further down the lake to a public boat launch at Prendergast Point. We had originally rescheduled the launch for noon on Labor Day, but because we had to move our launch point to a location further away we ended up not making our 12pm appointement. The original intention was to have a departure ceremony, but because we were a bit late in arriving it ended up being more of an arrival ceremony. The photo at the right is one of Morgan Simmons pedaling the BPV Libelula towards the dock at the Chautauqua Institution.

A small crowd of about 25 people (left) had gathered at the main dock of the Chautauqua Institution to see the journey off and most of the group stuck around until the vessel arrived. There were an assorment of people present, some family, some friends, some who had read of the journey in a newspaper article published the week prior, and some who just were there to see why the crowd had assembled.

Alan Nelson (right), President of the Bird Tree and Garden Club at the Chautauqua Institution, presents a banner to Morgan Simmons that was donated by Marty and Bob Gingell of Amherst, NY. We plan to hang this banner on the side of the vessel while we are in port so that people can get some information at a glance as to the nature of the project.

Amidst all of the preparations, ceremony and continued vessel construction during the first week, we found time to begin our river and watershed education program in two of the local schools. Area schools did not begin until Wednesday 07.September, 2005 so we visited the Chautauqa Lake Elementary School on Thursday and the Bemus Point Elementary school (picture to left) on Friday, visiting a total of eight classrooms and talking with 150 kids.

Even after the BPV Libelula was launched, there was much work still to be done in order to prepare the vessel for its upcoming journey. Bunks for sleeping were constructed inside the accomodations space, the galley (where we cook our food) was assembled, and a head (where we go to the bathroom) was mounted. In addition, the steering and throttle conotrols for the emergency propulsion, a 25 HP outboard engine, were mounted and hooked up. Two different was of covering the sleeping area (using a tarp or a tent) were implemented to keep the inside of the boat dry during foul weather. We also began the process of going through all of the items that we had packed to put on the boat in order to figure out what we really didn't need. It is quite easy when packing for a four month river journey to bring a bunch of unnecessary stuff!


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River Water Works    *   Boswell, PA 15531 * phone: 814.267.0167

River Water Works is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation, Copyright 2004-2012

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