Larry & Mary Adventers


Larry and Mary's African Queen
Movie Theme
In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. Starring, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley. The African Queen was filmed in many locations including Shepperton Studios (UK), Biondo (Democratic Republic Of Congo), Kabalega Falls (Uganda), Lake Albert (Uganda), Murchison Falls (Uganda), Ponthierville Falls (Democratic Republic Of Congo), Port Butiaba (Uganda), Ruiki River (Democratic Republic Of Congo). Humphrey Bogart's wife, Lauren Bacall traveled him during the filming.
Bogy pulling the Queen

History of the Queen
The African Queen was built in 1912 at Lytham shipbuilding in England. Originally she was named the S/L Livingstone She was immediately shipped to the British East Africa Railways company on the Victoria Nile and Lake Albert. Lake Albert is located on the border of the Belgian Congo and Uganda. She was built in a narrow way to navigate this river and was used to carry mercenaries, missionaries, cargo and hunting parties on their voyages.
The African Queen Experiance
Ipe, also called Brazilian walnut, (pronounced ee-pay) wood is typically found in South America and some parts of Central America. It is one of the densest hardwoods available, three times harder than cedar. Ipe also has a closed grain and is naturally oily, qualities that along with its density help make it resistant to insects and rot. Another wood that is actually a little heavier is lignum vitae. Both these Woods are oily. I remember hearing an old timer say they used to use them as a bushing where the shaft of an inboard boat motor went through the stern to keep it watertight. No bronze bearings to seize up, no need to lubricate, ball bearings out of the question, so IPE or lignum vitae would run forever and self-lubricate.
Now about 5 mi from our condo in the Keys was a Holiday Inn & Marina. Sitting at the dock was the original wooden African Queen that was used in the movie by the same name and starring Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, and Robert Morley. This very boat was built in 1912. It is steam-powered. For a fee, you can talk the owner into giving you a ride in it. The speed control is a spigot. The farther you open it the faster you went, and if you closed it you went slower. Well, sometimes it would run and sometimes it wouldn't. If it did not run on a regular basis, he could not afford the dock fee at the Holiday Inn. They would rather rent the space for a $1 million-dollar yacht. Another problem was, the Coast Guard would not approve the boat to carry passengers for pay. They felt the steam boiler might blow up anytime and you also could burn yourself if you bumped into it.
Years later it was being remodeled from top to bottom so we drove over to see the new owner. He said he was testing it out and getting ready for a grand opening in a few weeks. He mentioned the leakage where the propeller shaft went through the stern and I suggested the ipe wood which the very, very, rich were using for docks and patios. It worked and he invited us to the grand opening of the beginning of the yacht tours of The African Queen. We got on the boat, they fired it up, and Mary and I took the tiller and out into the ocean we went. As you can see, we are just passing the Ocean Buoy entering into the Atlantic Ocean. I made up a small picture album of our cruise on the boat and pictures of the original one and scenes from the movie where they were up to their waists in water pulling a boat through the swamp.

So, about a month later, Mary decided to take another trip. I was the camera man only, no boat trip. When she arrived, lo and behold.... there was Stephen Bogart, son of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. She and four or five other women had lunch with Stephen Bogart and then took the a boat trip.
Steven boarding the African Queen. Can you imagine the thoughts going through his mind on this trip, of his father and mother while making the movie.
When she got back, Mary had her picture taken with Steven Bogart, who was a really nice guy.

I see in the "second Coming" of the boat they put insulation around the boiler held on with some wooden cleats to satisfy the Coast Guard. The following are pictures after the Coast Guard recommendations.
Gordonís Gin riding the bow
Protector around the boiler
Original Queen - movie scene
Original Queen - date unknown
Engine view 1
Engine view 2 - showing how they surrendered to the modern era, cover on the outboard motor for emergency power



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