Tag Archives: waterways

Columbia Canal (Columbia, SC)


Columbia Canal
* Columbia Riverfront Park * Columbia * South Carolina * National Register of Historic Places, No. 79002392 *

Interlaced within the heart of Columbia, South Carolina is a series of canals built in the early 1800’s by indentured Irishmen formed to provide direct water routes between the uplands and the lowlands along the fall line. Utilizing the Congaree River and Broad Rivers, it centers in the Columbia Riverfront Park where the canal is used to generate hydro-electrical power for South Carolina Electric and Gas company. Officially built in 1820 as a means for navigation and transportation along the rapids of the Broad River and Saluda river where they merge together to create the Congaree River. The canal was built in a natural ravine that existed between the city and the rivers, beginning between Lumber street (Calhoun street) and Richland street. It followed the Congaree for approximately 3 miles ending across from Granby Landing just north of the railroad bridges. Completed in 1824 it was 12 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep north of Senate street, and 18 feet wide and 4 feet deep south of there with a 8 foot wide towpath on either side. It had 4 lifting locks and a guard lock for the 34 ft descent of the river with a diversion dam across the Broad River to allow access from the Saluda Canal. Three waste tiers were built to prevent the canal from flooding, and this all linked into a separate canal called the Bull Sluice just north on the Broad River which had its own lock. By 1840 the state decided to drop its subsidy of the canal, and with the introduction of the 1842 railroads, its use declined. During the Civil war its hydro-electrical power was used to make gunpowder as well as for a grist mill run by the state penitentiary as well as a saw mill. By 1888 it was re-designed into a industrial power supply – revisions starting at Gervais street and extending 3 1/2 miles north along the Congaree and Broad Rivers, 150 feet wide and 10 feet deep with a new diversion dam, entry lock, and waste weir. In full use by 1891. Columbia Mill depended on it for textile production and was then utilized by the Columbia Hydro Plant built at its southern end producing power for the city, street railway system, and local industry.

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Brisbane River (Queensland, Australia)

Brisbane River

Queensland, Australia

The Brisbane River quickly became home to me during my Australian travels in the Summer of 2011. It was home to the HMB Endeavour, upon which in May I was a volunteer tour guide and crew member while it was in port at the Brisbane City Center and during its circumnavigation voyage leg from Brisbane to Gladstone. I found the river as it flowed through Brisbane to be a hub of cultural activities from outdoor recreation, panoramic scenery, cultural events, to botanical garden goodness. It was also a hot spot for transportation to and from work while I was living in Manly West and the West End. The Brisbane River is the longest river in southeastern Queensland, flowing through the metropolitan hub of Brisbane before it empties into the Moreton Bay. It was named after Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales, in 1823 by John Oxley who was the first European to navigate and explore the river. Its mouth at Moreton Bay did however get visited by Captain Cook, Matthew Flinders, John Bingle and, William Edwardson, all whom failed to discover the river. After the river was given this name, so was named the penal colony that once habitated the lands where metropolitan Brisbane now stands. This amazing river will astound you with beauty and richness as it is a major waterway between Brisbane and Ipswich. The River from afar in its contrasted beauty shimmering reflections of skyscrapers and modern architecture unfortunately is quite murky, dark, and polluted within its depths. It comes from Mount Stanley, 214 miles away, dammed at Wivenhoe Dam to form Lake Wivenhoe which is the water supply for the city. The river is known to be abundant with the rare Queensland lungfish, Brisbane River cod, and bull sharks. The river has 16 major bridges crossing it, as well as the Clem Jones Tunnel which was built in 2010 to go underneath it . It is a hub of activity as personal watercrafts, large ocean vessels, ferries, yachts, and historic ships travel this waterfare. The River sees alot of commuter traffic on the River CityCat.

The largest ship ever to be built on the river was a 66,000 ton beast done so by Robert Miller, though was un-moored by the 1974 Brisbane flood, one of the most devastatingly damaging floods in the river’s history. The River historically flooded severely numerous times in 1893, 1974, and most recently in January of 2011. The river has expanded its port facilities, especially that on the historic “Fisherman’s Island” which is now known as the “Port of Brisbane”.

The Brisbane river is fed from the Brisbane Mountain Range that is east of Kingaroy. The River proceeds south past Mount Stanley, through the Moore and Toogoolawah townships where the Stanley River meets with the river, then runs into Lake Wivenhoe, eastward to merge with Bremer River, on into Brisbane including Jindalee, Indooroopilly, and Toowong. Within Brisbane, the River goes under the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, a quarry area that is a scenic spot for the River, and a popular location for parties, drum circles, and other outings. The River is also fed by other tributaries besides the above such as Breakfast Creek, Moggill Creek, Bulimba Creek, Norman Creek, Oxley Creek, Lockyer Creek, Cressbrook Creek, Cooyar Creek, Cubberla Creek, Wolston Creek, Woogaroo Creek, Goodna Creek, Six Mile Creek, Bundamba Creek, Pullen Pullen Creek, and Kholo Creek.

Pre-contact, the river was very popular among the Aboriginal peoples of the Turrbal nation as a location for fishing and fire stick farming. After Contact, with explorations by Captain Cook, Matthew Flinders, John Bingle, and William Edwardson of the area, first being missed by them. It was however discovered by Western settlers in 1823 when convicts sailing from Sydney on a timber retrieval mission to Illawarra were blown north by a storm stranding on Moreton Island. They escaped by making it to the mainland after going south of the Brisbane River. As they were heading home north back to Sydney, they discovered the river, by walking upstream along its banks for almost a month before making their first crossing at “Canoe Reach” where it junctions with Oxley Creek by stealing a small canoe from the Aborigines. At the same time, John Oxley was sailing into Moreton Bay looking for the prime location for a new convict settlement when he discovered the stranded men. In 1823, the river was named after Sir Thomas Brisbane the then governor of New South Wales and saw its first settlement in 1824 on its shores. The first private wharves were built in 1848 and then the first shark-proof river baths established in 1857 at Kangaroo Point. River dredged in 1862 for navigation requirements. Because of the early settlement of Brisbane water quality deteriorated to a level that several public baths could no longer source water from the river. Even to the 1930’s the water was remarked as clear, and swimming in the river was still very popular. But as Brisbane grew, the river clarity worsened and became likened to a sewer and waste dump. A River walk was established and restoration of the river was seen in the later end of the 20th century. Even by 2000, the Brisbane River did not meet environmental standard guidelines. In 2008 river quality still not seen healthy with murky waters and no longer recommending swimming in the waters. In addition, bull sharks have made their home in the river causing much more dangers, being home to numerous shark attacks and deaths.

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Columbia River

Columbia River

The Columbia River was named after Captain Robert Gray’s ship, the “Columbia Rediviva”. It is also called the “Big River”, “The River of the West”, or “River Oregon”. It flows through Canada in British Columbia, and in the U.S. through the States of Washington and Oregon. Its tributaries are the Spillimacheen River, Beaver River, Illecillewaet River, Incomappleux River, Kootenay River, Pend Oreille River, Spokane River, Snake River, John Day River, Deschutes River, Willamette River, Kicking Horse River, Blaeberry River, Canoe River, Kettle River, Sanpoil River, Okanogan River, Wenatchee River, Yakima River, Lewis River, Kalama River, and Cowlitz River. It is the drainage from the source of “Columbia Lake” in British Columbia. It drains an area of approximately 258,000 square miles including drainage basins from Idaho, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and small portions of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Its median elevation is 2,690 feet above sea level and flows into the Pacific Ocean. IT is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America rising in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia flowing northwest and then south through Washington and Oregon into the Pacific. It is 1,243 miles long. It is the fourth-largest river in the United States and powers over 14 hydroelectric dams. The river historically has been used for trade, transportation, exploration, and economy for thousands of years. Its first recorded inhabitation was more than 15,000 years ago transitioning from hunting and gathering to sedentary lifestyles along the river based mainly on salmon ca. 3,500 years ago. Skeletal remains of the Kennewick Man aged at over 9,000 years ago, were found along the Columbia River sparking debate about origins of human habitation in North America. Many Native Americans inhabit the river valleys including the Sinixt, Lakes, Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, Blackfoot, Colville, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Palus, Umatilla, Cowlitz, Chinook, Shoshone Bannock, Nch’ i-Wana, Sahaptin, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. There was once a land bridge called the “Bridge of the Gods” connecting Oregon and Washington across the Columbia River Gorge that has alot of mythology over its formation and destruction. It was believed to be from a battle between the Gods represented by Mount Adams and Mount Hood and their competition for the affection of the Goddess represented by Mount St. Helens. The bridge originally permitted increased interaction between tribes on the north and south sides of the river until its destruction.

American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington.  11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/  American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629 Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151
American Stonehenge and the Columbia River Valley, Washington. 11/16/15. Chronicles 20: Exploring Oregon/Idaho border lands. October-November 2015. Photographs by Eadaoin and Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography. Reviews: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. Chronicle tales: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=16903www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/
American Stonehenge: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7629
Columbia River http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=1151

Columbia River

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Amsterdam’s Infamous Canals

Amsterdam’s Canals
One of the most picturesque parts of Amsterdam is it’s canals. A tremendous effort that was created by conscious city planning. Beginning in the early 17th century with immigration at its peak, the city decided to develope a comprehensive plan of a design based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging into the IJ bay. They called this the Grachtengordel. Three of the canals exist primarily for residential development … these are the Herengracht (Gentleman’s Canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor’s Canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal’). The fourth and outermost canal is the Singelgracht that serves the purposes of defense and water management. In the early days, The defensive purpose was established by moat and earthen dikes, with gates at transit points, but otherwise no masonry superstructures. These canals interconnected each other along the radii, created a set of parallel canals on the Jordaan quater for transportation, adding in the defensive purpose of the Singel which later converted to a residential and commercial purpose, as well as incredible employment opportunities with the construction of more than one hundred bridges. The construction began in 1613 going from west to east. Construction was completed in the southern section by 1656. The eastern part of the concentric canal plan, covering the area between the Amstel river and the IJ bay, has never been implemented. In later years, several canasl were filled in to make streets or squares such as the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and the Spui. Amsterdam’s canals is a haven for houseboats and bohemian living. The canals are flushed weekly to keep the water clean and to eliminate any stagnation or stench that usually come with canals. Every week hundreds of bicycles are dredged from the bottoms. Continue reading Amsterdam’s Infamous Canals