The Paddleboat Marion has arrived at Wentworth on schedule on Saturday but not before being stranded twice after running out of water on a trip up the Murray from Mannum to Wentworth.
The Marion left Mannum Dock Museum 13 days ago with 28 passengers on board for a unique trip the river.
The paddlesteamer, which is celebrating its 120th birthday, was skippered on the journey by Captain Frank Tucker with First Mate Rob Bowring, both from Sunraysia.
Mr Bowring said that early in the journey the Marion had become stuck on a sandbar at Qualco and had to be winched across the river. Qualco is around 150 kilometres north of Mannum.
The Marion was stuck from mid-afternoon and did not get off the sandbar until around 10,30 the next day.
River authorities were forced to release extra water from Lock Seven and Lake Victoria to get the Marion off a second sandbar at Warrakoo Station last Wednesday..
Mr Bowring said that the Marion had run out of water about 10.30am and did not get enough water until 11pm that night.
“We even had four of the passengers sign up as volunteers and join the effort to get the Marion off the sandbar,” Mr Bowring said.
A second lot of additional flow was sent the next morning and the Mario continued her journey to Lock Nine for a rendezvous with the Wentworth Shire owned Paddlesteamer Ruby on Friday.
The two paddlesteamers then sailed the last leg of the journey together arriving on schedule at 3.30pm Saturday for a 4pm upstream passage through the Lock.
The Marion and the Ruby are now moored at the Wentworth Wharf in readiness for celebrations and hour cruises on Sunday November 5.
After the celebrations both boats will go on a cocktail twilight cruise for one and half hours to a distance of around 12 kilometres up the Darling River.
The Marion will remain at Wentworth until Thursday before heading downstream on the way to Morgan for the November 18 “Living River” celebrations to raise money for the restoration of the Paddle vessel Canally.
The Canally sank in the Morgan dock in November 2013 in the midst of a $200,000 restoration project.
On the down river trip the Marion will be skippered by Captain Alan Bartsch while the Paddlesteamer Industry, which is based at Renmark, will be skippered by Captain Tucker.
The Paddlesteamer Ruby will be captained by Wentworth Shire Councillor Greg Evans, who is a river boat captain, for its one hour river cruises today.