Take a cruise in SWGA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Take a cruise in SWGA

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January 6, 2003

Bainbridge - How often do you see a paddlewheel riverboat in Southwest Georgia?  Probably not often, but now a replica of the turn-of-the-century steamer is cruising the Flint River.  You can catch a ride on the Chattanooga Star, but they won't be in town for too much longer.

All aboard for a riverboat cruise with Captain Pete Hosemann. He says over the microphone, "Starting off our cruise today on the Flint River. We'll go about three quarters of a mile."

The authentic side paddlewheel riverboat, called the Chattanooga Star, has trekked over 4-thousand miles of waterways in seven states.  Now it's visiting Bainbridge, Georgia. Captain Hoseman explains, "The Chattanooga Star, built in 1982 by my father and brother and myself. It's 65 feet long, 24 feet wide." And can carry up to 145 passengers. Captain Hosemann uses his paddled pride and joy to educate.  He says, "There's a few things in this world more satisfying than seeing the light of understanding in a child's eyes. Something majical clicks in their head."

The Chattanooga Star is a classroom on the river. Instead of students learning from a book, they can use all their senses to get a feel of the waterway, like the Flint River. Captain Hoseman says, "By coming out for a ride on the river, gives them an opportunity to see the roots where their community began and to see barges and wildlife and industry."

The Chattanooga Star is a part of the Rivertrek program where passengers can learn about water management and take a mini cruise at the same time.

The riverboat still has openings for school trips during the week and will have several public cruises this weekend. Cruises cost between six to eight dollars. Call the Bainbridge Decatur Chamber of Commerce for details.

posted at 5:47PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com