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No More Sailing The Delta Queen?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Used with permission, photo: Majestic America Line

I got emailed a link to an article in the Southeast Missourian about how the Delta Queen will have to quit sailing with overnight passengers on November 1st due to the fact that they're probably not going to get an exception to a 42-year-old law that Congress has in the past - nine times already - granted them exceptions for. The law bans 'excursion boats made of wood' and the article also discusses that the Coast Guard has concerns, since it's made of wood, that the boat is a fire hazard.

Other people say that because it's never more than a mile from land and that it carries the specified number of flotation devices, it's not a hazard. In fact, the only fire-related incident they've ever had was when some fuel from a sterno can for a chafing dish spilled, and an employee had it out in a few seconds. Now they use electric chafing dishes.

I don't know. I mean, I don't like to take unnecessary risks either, but it just seems wrong that a "registered historic treasure of the Department of the Interior and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a National Historic Landmark and member of the National Maritime Hall of Fame" will have to quit sailing if nothing is done (apparently it's being held up in committee so it can't even be voted on). People take crazy risks all the time and sleeping overnight on a wooden boat seems pretty tame.

It's 80+ years old and is the last steam-powered paddlewheeler with sleeping quarters for guests. In all of America.

I've thought for a while that one year Av and I would go, maybe take a week and go on the cruise from Nashville to Cincinnati, or New Orleans up to Natchez. They don't even have televisions in the staterooms so you spend all your time making friends with the other passengers and playing games and thinking to yourself how romantic it all is. That sounds nice.

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What if we all promise to wear water wings to bed?

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