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[ Future of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co Boats ]


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Date: July 28, 2002 at 15:24:16
From: Captain Mike, [user-119at1j.biz.mindspring.com]
Subject: The Captains Log


It's early Sunday morning at the wharf in New Orleans. I grab the first cup of coffee and walk the 20 paces to the gangway of the Delta Queen. Before I board, I step back and survey the old boat. Her lines are tight, she looks level and trim. I better slack her off this morning and work her rudders just to make sure she"s still free. You can always tell a Sunday morning here at the wharf, it is so quiet, both on the dock and on the river. Most river men who work the local river are off on Sundays, but even the ship traffic is almost non existant, with many Captains prefering to make the trip out to sea in daylight. The rivers suface is gray and smooth as glass, reflecting the towering cumulus clouds that soar above like silver-lined cathedrals. I make my way aboard and down to the bow, and pause to look at the waters smooth surface. Very little current, and yet the river is still alive. A stream of bubbles moves slowly upstream alongside the Delta Queens hull, revealing the presence of Mr. Catfish as he whiskers through the mud in search of an early morning meal. I proceed to the capstan, where I slowly unwind the main bow line. As the heavy, soft rope begins to hang loose, I pause and watch. Very slowly,the 3000 tons of the old steamboat begins to ease away from the dock, causing me to smile and say, "Good Girl!" She"s floating free.That is always good news early in the morning. Off I go, wandering through the quite boat, and my footsteps gently echo in the dining room, where the ironwood floor glows golden in the early morning light. Down through the engine room, and up around the decks, all is well, I start to climb the steps to the wheelhouse to take advantage of the rare quiet to do some paperwork, and gentle rain begins to fall. I have to smile. God, I love Sunday mornings on the river, on the Delta Queen! We will be glad to share some with you, and we will, soon!


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