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[ Future of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co Boats ]


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Date: August 09, 2002 at 17:22:31
From: Capt. Mike, [user-119at1j.biz.mindspring.com]
Subject: The Captains Log


It's just after sunrise and I find myself walking down a long steel gangway to the floating drydock which cradles the Delta Queen. I follow a long string of men, and a few women, all wearing safety helmets, heading down to the docks for a day. I surveyed the procession of which I was a part and thought how wonderfully American it was. Men and women, ship fitters of all trades, welders, painters, pipefitters and more, to the dock to work on and prepare this symbol of American history, the Delta Queen to sail again. These folks have all worked on many types of vessels from all around the world, but they are especially proud to be tending this great old steamboat. I have had to give several tours to curious workers and yard staff, but I don't mind at all sharing our boat with them.
The morning is warm but fresh as a fair breeze sweeps across the dock, a cooling and refreshing change. This morning is different though, because we are all now making final preparations to bring the Delta Queen back home to Robin Street Wharf. Her hull has had routine repairs, been sand blasted smooth, primered and painted, and now shines black in the swelling day light. Workers go to the task of cleaning the dry dock surface, picking up tools and gear, and double checking all that has been done. I stand back at a distance on the big dock, and admire the boat from afar. She looks beautiful, with most of her upper decks already painted, and her newly painted shiny black hull and new white lettering. The aroma of fresh paint will be replaced with the familiar scent of the pungent river tommorrow morning at 6 am, as we will genlty sink the drydock and refloat the Delta Queen. The clang of hammer on steel and the flash of welders arc will soon be replaced with the swish of the Mississippi around her hull. Heading back home for the final preparations to see you all again!
I have been over whelmed by requests for the Delta Queen hull replacement tape. I thought that perhaps a few folks would want copies, but it seem that there are dozens of people asking, and really more than I had anticipated. I would like everyone to be able to see this tape, and to facilitate that I have offered to give the tape and all rights to the company and let them produce and distribute it as they deem fit. This historical document rightfully belongs to the Delta Queen, and the company has great facilities for this type of production. I will let everyone know of progress and will keep you informed. We hope to be able to show it on some of our cruises, so folks on board who are interested will be able to get a real inside look at the whole, ship yard process. Thanks everyone for your interest, and a full, out of the drydock report tommorrow!


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