Let me first say that I am no expert. However, I have tried to do my homework regarding this issue after receiving numerous phone calls and emails. First of all, I called the Corp office and asked for more information. My computer would not let me open the attachment. They kindly emailed me the Public Notice along with the drawings submitted by Miller-McCoy, Inc. Consulting Engineers. I'm no engineer, but I have read plans and specs for home building for more years than I want anyone to know. They didn't appear intrusion to me. So I called Miller-McCoy Consulting Engineers this morning. The kind gentleman I spoke with said steel plates will be welded to the side of the DELTA QUEEN with rings on them and these will be attached to the rigid poles that will connect on shore to deadmen anchorages or something of the sort. These will be flexible in that they will allow the boat to move up and down depending on the level of the river. I just now received a message from Mr. Hernandez at the Corp whom our comments are to be directed. His message said that nothing will be disturbed on the boat. No machinery will be removed. As a matter of fact he said that it was the wish that once the exemption was granted that she would be able to travel again as before. What better comment could we have gotten!?!?!

I know it's easy to jump to conclusions when it's our dear and loved boat involved. But sometimes we have to take a deep breath and review everything involved here. Now I have no idea how connections are being made to shore facilities as in the items that Bruno mentions. It does appear that the City of Chattanooga is looking upon this venture as an asset to their city and are doing everything to make it happen and for it to work.

WE ALL agree this is not our first choice. That would have been for Oberstar to have let the exemption on the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill and business as usual. However, considering the fade of other assets of AMIE (as a fellow steamboater has reminded me) - at least she appears to be being cared for. Having met Captain Phillips I sincerely believe he has good intentions. My comment in a private email to one concerned was that yes, he may make mistakes. But hopefully they will be small mistakes and he'll learn from them. I have also met some of his partners in this venture. They are well educated men, who also are rivermen. Granted not steamboat men. But at least they are not the corporate or bluewater type that we have been dealing with.

At last but not least, we do have former crew on board - who love our boat as much as we do and will certainly speak up if they see something amiss. And to top it off, if all permits are granted hopefully sooner than later any of us can be on board to see for ourselves that all is well.

What more can we ask for at this point?!?!?

Bottom line, let's try to stay cool and reasonable. We need a sympathetic owner for her. Who might that be? Who knows. I keep hearing different things along this line. As one of our beloved Captain's says "keep the faith".