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This is why the Delta Queen is more than just an old boat

Aug 27, 2008

Shawn J. Dake, a Delta Queen first-timer, rode the Delta Queen in October 2007 from Nashville to Tuscaloosa. His "Log of the Steamboat Delta Queen, Along the Southern Rivers" is showing like nothing else how much people fall in love with this boat from the first minute. It shows the full impact of removing the Delta Queen from the rivers, what it means to passengers, fans and the local businesses all along the rivers.

Shawn’s log, published at Maritime Matters, is worth reading for every Delta Queen lover — but as well for her opponents to get a feeling on what they’re about to destroy by ignoring the facts, by playing dirty political games, by just being ignorant or apathetic instead of doing the right thing and give this wonderful, historic and absolutely safe boat the well deserved exemption from the Safety at Sea Act.


9 Responses to “This is why the Delta Queen is more than just an old boat”

  1. Taylor G. Abbott Says:

    I have been on all three vessels that Majestic operates. My family has had a rivermen in it since the first steamboats plied the inland waterways. Several of my ancestors were pilots including my Thad Thomas and more. After the death of my great grandfather Reuben M. Thomas in July 2007, our family lost it’s last rivermen who was a chief engineer for the Mississippi Valley Line. I can’t tell you how hard it is to lose him and hard it would be to lose another piece of history. The Ohio River without the Delta Queen is like Paris without the Eiffel Tower. It would never be the same. I’ve been on these boats, my mother was on the maiden voyage of the American Queen, and we as a family can honestly say that these vessels are safe and worth fighting for. We can’t let this last steamboat pass on as our last rivermen has done. Although my family no longer has it’s boat building yard or it’s captains in Clarington anymore, we still have a deep and devout love of the river and the wonderful jewels the adorn it.

  2. Robert Swinney Says:

    I have, this day, sent more correspondence to TX senators Cornyn and Hutchison. Now that things are nearing a showdown, please keep us posted via Is there anything more I can do?

    Robert Swinney
    Garland, TX

  3. Robert Swinney Says:

    I’m sorry. My reply above should have contained a compliment re. Mr. Dakes excellent log of a cruise on the Delta Queen. I had the pleasure of an Oct. 2006 cruise on the grand lady from St. Louis to Cincinnati.

    Robert Swinney
    Garland, TX

  4. Neal Kapp Says:

    I am so jealous of your journey, however your words and pictures put me right there with you. I hope you don’t mind that I send this link to all my legislators, hoping this real life joy-urney, will help them to understand what this precious peice of AMERICAN history, is really all about, and why it needs to be saved.
    Neal Kapp
    Anaheim, Ca

  5. Mrs. Bettie Russo Says:

    Where can I begin? My heart is breaking in two. I have been on board this wonderful lady and KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT HOW SAFE SHE IS!!!!!!! When my husband and I were on the Queen for the Great Steamboat Race this year, I was so very blessed in so many immeasurable ways. But, one stands out that I must share to help prove her saftey. I am a Nurse with many years of Critical and Trauma care experience. A gentleman took a fall down the grand staircase one morning while on the river. Within literally seconds there were staff attending this man. I happened to be walking to the dinning room at that time with my husband. I stopped to attend in any way I could to help this fallen gentleman. The Captian was there in a minute, as well as the first mate, and many others. I recomended this man be taken to the hospital to be checked as he was already in a cast for a broken ankle he had before the trip. I can honestly say, with absolute certianty that the response time was amazing and VERY SAFE and RAPID ! WITHIN 30 MINUTES of the injury, the Captian had contacted the local 911 response team in the area. He had completely turned the Delta Queen around, pulled up to the side of the River and the Ambulance team was waiting to receive the pt. He was taken off and taken to a hospital in an increadably fast time. I have been in critical situations that have needed a surgery that have not been able to equal that response time! If this accident had taken place on an Ocean going vessel of any kind, the response would NOT have been possible. At what point could an ocean liner just pull up to a river bank and have an ambulance waiting? NEVER. In response to the accusations of the US Coast Gaurd saying she was unsafe??? I know for a fact that it is untrue. Before we left the dock, the Coast Gaurd was ON BOAURD and inspected the vessel. She was given the HIGHEST COUST GAURD RATEING for saftey ever.! This is a fact that can be verified and I was there !
    Thankfully, the gentleman was indeed admitted to the local hospital and was told that the rapid response time of the Delta Queen played a crutial role in his health. He was very grateful, and I for one am a very grateful Nurse. I have seen alot in my 30 year career, and I have to say that the team effort and response of the Delta Queen are second to none. I am angered to the core every time I hear the allegations towards the Delta Queen regarding her “safety”…Mr. Oberstar is an idiot.
    May God save my beloved boat, and may our Heavenly Father above judge this man accordingly for what he has done to the Delta Queen and the evil works he has done. God Save ” The Queen”

  6. Mrs. Bettie Russo Says:

    I must say something else…I have a wonderful heritage. I am an American. I have roots that began in this country in the 1600’s on both my maternal and paternal sides. I am from a Southern family and the riverboats are a part of my family heritage as well as my Amerian Heritage. The United States of America would not be where it is today if it were not for the Steamboats of the Old South, and the Delta Queen holds that Heritage and History! She carries on her the very lifeblood of our America. She belongs to every true American. That is what makes her “more than just an old boat.” She is my family. She is the memory of America. She carried the men that faught for our freedom during time of war. She holds our memories and our legacy to testify to the world who we are and where we as a country have been. How can the acts of one demoralized and evil man allow this interagal part of our American Heritage be removed from us? I was taught from the cradle about the Delta Queen. Three generations of Americans have had the gift of riding on her. She has carried our Presidents, and Royalty of the world…her bell toll’s for us all. I have lost my mother, and on this night in 2001 I lost my Daddy. Now, they will try to take my beloved family, American legacy of the Delta Queen away from me. My grandchildren will never be able to hear her coliape and bell or hear her steam paddle…Why???

  7. Taylor G. Abbott Says:

    What’s the matter Oberstar? Jealous of a boat that has a better record than you do? You’re a joke Representative. Face it, if the Delta Queen goes, so will you. VOTE HIM THE HELL OUT OF OFFICE MINNESOTA!!! Put someone in there who has an appreciation of our history and not a determination to ruin it!

  8. Taylor G. Abbott Says:

    One more thing… As Wikipedia put it “Oberstar is an internationally recognized expert on aviation and aviation safety.” If that’s the case, stick to what you know! The last time I checked it was the Delta Queen not Delta Airlines. Minnesota voters !PLEASE! show this IDIOT THE DOOR!!!

  9. Shawn Dake Says:

    Thank you all for reading my article about the DELTA QUEEN. Especially thank you Mr. Swinney and Mr. Kapp for the kind comments. Sending the link to Senators and Congressman is of course okay, and is encouraged. Why this boat is so important to America needs to be heard by the right ears. It was my intention to paint a word picture that even an elected representative could understand. Thanks to everyone involved in the continuing efforts to Save The Delta Queen!

    Shawn J. Dake
    Cypress, Ca