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Captain Proud Paddle Steamer, Murray Bridge, South Australia

The Captain Proud.
I've been to Murray Bridge before but I don't think I've written about it. This trip, Enigma and I booked a three hour, two course, lunch cruise on the Captain Proud Paddle Steamer that sails on the River Murray and is based at Murray Bridge.


The Time Machine from
Back to the Future III?
In the car park Doctor Emmet Brown's Steam Train Time Machine was looking something the worse for wear and I was kind of hoping he'd done a conversion on the Captain Proud. No such luck however. As the paddle steamer pulled away from the jetty it didn't suddenly levitate out of the water and take us back to the old west or 1955.

The trip starts out with a good humored introduction by the vessels Captain with the expected orientation of where everything is. He notes that the boat is the 'tiger moth' of boats, with the people acting as ballast, so, if it starts to develop a lean to one side, it just means a few people need to move to the other side of the boat. Though the Captain did assure us that the boat wouldn't tip over.

For those interested in such things the Captain Proud does not have independent paddle wheels. It can only use the wheels to go forward and backwards.

Dining Room. 
The lunch menu is pretty limited. On our trip the menu was fish or roast beef served with vegetables and for desert, Pavlova or Brandy Baskets with fruit salad. It's the first time I've ordered a meal simply by raising my hand on my preferences (since there were eight people per table and this was quicker than asking everyone individually) but the food was very nice all the same.

As you cruise down the river the Captain does give you a commentary on various interesting facts along the way, such as how much some of the river front properties are worth and pointing out where the banks collapsed, completely submerging a road and several cars.

Enigma takes some photos
from the upper deck.
I must admit the scenery isn't the most scenic you'll ever see, mostly flat-ish bush land, river front houses, marinas and plenty of house boats.

The real attraction is that it's a great way to spend a relaxing 3 hours with friends on the water. You're completely free to move around the boat's three levels (with exception to the staff only areas), take a few photos, chat with your friends or get to know anyone else you're sharing your table with. You can also relax on the outside balconies and just enjoy the sensation of cruising down a river.

Me on the upper deck.
Enigma and I had a pleasant afternoon. The weather was a little overcast but it was nice and not too cold on the outside decks. We thought it was good value for the price.


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