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March 4 2009 at 8:36 PM

Tammy  (Login hiindy)
Forum Member

Posted at the request of Don Chapman......

This situation is not all one sided. However, I think it is sad that it has reached the proportions it has.

I can understand the Captain's frustration in finding his cabin flooded with water, frozen and alllowed to stand unrepaired. His posessions were water soaked and ruined. The water reached 14" and ran down into the engine room. The engine room was cleaned --- the Captain's cabin was not. HE WAS NOT NOTIFIED OF THIS SITUATION.

One person has asked that the Board of Directors be replaced. This is not a viabloe solution. The Board is elected and authorized to run the ship.

The Captin has written and apologized for his outburst -- no one has accepted it. He had given above and beyond to this ship and should be given a lot of lee way. And as far as Captain being a captain, look it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica Dictionary -- anyone in charge of a vessel or group of men is correctly referred to as a captain.

The volunteers have dragged up every small item (against the Gold crew and Captain) they can. How many volunteers have given cash (like the Gold crew and the Captain) to get the ship in shape to sail? How many have spent 4 months in 115 weather working long hours, away from their homes and another 2 months in ancient vessel AT sea missing Thanksgiving and Christmas and also New Years. Maybe they don't realize the impact this has on these old men and their families.

Now, lets get back to basics: do you want the ship to survive? Maybe the volunteers and paid help need to be a little forgiving.

Mr. Whicker is a published author, a recognized educator, and a civic organizer. He helped Evansville get the ship. He did a magnificient job getting everyone to cooperate for the good of Evansville and the ship. Now his efforts need to be directed in a constructive manner to getting the volunteers back to the ship and resolve the issues between the Captain, the Board of Directors and the volunteers. This is for the good of the ship, Evansville and all involved. Lets see if he can do it. I think this would be a very noble undertaking.


The Captain was requested by our state department to defust a situation that was fast becoming an international incident. After he took over, the problem was soon corrected and the crew and Captain continued the work on the ship to prepare it for sea. He solved this problem diplomatically.

Seventy or eighty men had volunteered for this project. All but 28 left the ship due to various reasons; health, family concerns, some were expecting a cruise of liesure and some didn't have the skills or knowledge to be effective. Since all were volunteers, some were of the opinion they didn't have to work or be told what to do.

Maybe this will help you understand where the Captain is coming from. I sincerly hope so, as the future of this ship depends on it.

Remember, everybody working on or for the ship does so at the descretion of the Elected Board of Directors and the Captain. The goal of course is to preserve the ship as original as possible, conduct tours and run the gift shop to generate funds and to honor its history . . . not to alter the design, configuration, operating systems, etc. unless directed by the Board.

With hope for the future,

Donald E. Chapman
Gold Crew
Former member of
the Board of Directors

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