I sailed on the Polynesia in 1985, then the Yankee Clipper in 1995, met Annie, Capt. Neil and Capt. Guayan. In Grenada after sailing had dinner with them and burned my marriage certificate, Guayan, thought it quite humorus. They'd talked me into signing up to be a purser aboard WJBC and of course I did it. It was the best divorce recovery ever. The crew was wonderfully support, taught me how to fish off a line at the back. I spent a few days training on the Fantome, was on the Poly then the Flying Cloud.
I can assure you that the crew is what made WJBC a success. They were so creative in rigging up unsafe equipment. I bailed early 4 mos. into my 6 month contract because I felt it was completely unsafe. The crew knew it but it offerred them a better life than back on their islands. I handled all the personnel files, so I knew what they were coming from. When I left the F/C I turned in the books to the BVI gov't since WJBC had demanded that I purposely make erroneous entries and payments.
The Burke family is a sad one and greed dominated their lives. I would hope that rather than dwell on them. We honor the memories of the crew and the islands that gave so much to Americans for their enjoyment. Yes, we even had to blacklist certain women from America who came aboard for a cruise and to get laid by a west indian, we called them black widows. The crew lived in fear that they'd get a passenger complaint against them and loose their job. It was fun, exhausting and fearful, but the friendships and love run deep.