Nearly a week has elapsed since I last wrote to you to discuss our response to COVID-19 and its impact on Rhode Island’s official tall ship OLIVER HAZARD PERRY. It is clear that the proverbial storm we are in is intensifying and we need to work together as a community to ensure that once it has passed, we are ready to set our sails again.
Our crew continue to mind the ship at her winter berth at Bowen’s Wharf, and are well found. They are remaining aboard to care for the ship and report that they are continuing to work on projects and the regular periodic maintenance tasks required, well isolated from others. Our office staff are all working remotely and are developing our program offerings for the future.
We know that all storms do pass, however when you are in the thick of it, the challenge is endurance. It is becoming more apparent by the day that our near-term programs will not be taking place aboard, and we are currently evaluating what the programming seascape looks like for the summer.
Our ability to weather the elimination of our programming revenue demands that we redouble our efforts to reduce our operating expenses to the absolute minimum, and to reach out to our community to ask for their support.
It is heartbreaking to find ourselves in this position not two weeks after completing the first week of a new pilot program with Rogers High School using the ship to help students graduate, and having to cancel programs with Salve Regina and others.
Take to heart the battle flag flown by Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie: “Don’t Give Up the Ship”!
Yours in gratitude,
Captain Jonathan Kabak
Chief Executive Officer