I just registered for this forum and it is interesting to say the least.
I liked your posting and I wanted to comment on "Who are the Burkes" To be honest the founder of this company "Captain Burke" was a very salty sailor with a flare for liquor, pretty women, and a dream of sailing beyond belief, and he had the right idea at the right time and somehow he knew how to make it work, and it did for over 40 years.
He was just the right man at the right time to start the best and most fun cruises in the world. If it had not been for him, many fabulous ships would have been scrapped long ago, and no one would have had a chance to sail on real sailing ships and experience the real McCoy and have all the rum you wanted,, and everything else you can emagine having on your vacation, and feel safe a free to have all the fun possible and no mtter what someone was watching your back.
... It was a dream of dreams if you ask me and I loved it, and I loved him, and for over 40 years it worked like a fine Swiss watch.
He was a semi-ruthless and savey guy who could sell an ice cube to a Eskimo, but in what he did by founding this company and making it work against almost impossible odds, he provided a place of magic dreams for people like me who wanted to sail and have the time of their life. He made "All" my childhood dreams come true more than once and I have spent months at a time on his ships over the 20 years I sailed with him. Hence my name Crusoe... and I have sailed 1000's of miles on his ships and saw things that only happen in dreams, but it was real and I could go all I wanted as long as I had a more than fair priced ticket.
I was also a De LaMer victim, but I got to use all my weeks on the other ships, which is what I wanted anyway, so I did not get too cheated, but my wife had a sail 10 and lost her money, but over all I can not make enough money now to have all the fun I had on these ships over the years, and it is by far the biggest loss of my life. I always got much more than I spent, but that was under the proud Captain Burkes watch, but even this old salt could not live forever and he lost control by being a loving father and letting his children run his company while he lived in his castle. Now burned to the ground and dead and gone like all of his dreams are dead and gone.
His son Michael Burke and his sister Susan cheated a lot of people including his entire family and the real tragedy is within their family becasue money cannot buy back the dead and it killed many of the good ones.
Kind of like the show Dallas, it had it's good and bad family members, and some of his CHILDREN took advantage of this company and stole millions from their own father and family and fought for power and more power, and when "Captain Burke" had a stroke and could not control this company at all anymore the bottom fell out, and the family feuds and thefts overwhelmed this company and the rest is history. Michael Burke is JR in the show Dallas if you rmemeber that show...
I want to give credit due where it is due, and not all of his family stole from this company, so I want to give them a little credit due. His daughter Poly Burke was a wonderful person and a great asset to this company who worked for every cent she got, He had 3 or 4 sons, I can't remember, and a great one was Joey, I can't remember the other 2 good sons names but they died very soon after the failing of this company becasue it tore their hearts out. They died very tragic deaths including at least one suicide.
Anyway, The beginnig of the end of Windjammer came in 1998 when the Flag ship and the one they had just spent @ 8 million dollars on to refurbish "The Fantome" sank off the coast of of Hondouras and 31 crew members died during Hurricane Mitch. (they were all my friends) Just so you will know the "Bad guys and gals" in this mess that destroyed the best company on earth are Michael Burke (lives in Trinidad) and his sister Susan. Lives ???)
If you want to read a great book about this company that is crude and honest and without a lie in it is "The Ship and the Storm" and it is a 100% reflection of all the events that lead to the birth and the death of this company up to the sinking of the Fantome. It is so accurate that if you left a copy in the ships library, it would be removed becasue they (not Captain Burke") did not want people to read it becasue it was so accurate and told it like it was and Captain Burke is portrayed by his own wordsas ruthless and it is as accurate at it can be and "I highly recommend it".
I am in no way complaining about your posting, I just wanted to reply becasue I think you deserve to hear "Who Were the Burkes"...