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'Yes We Can' inauguration cruise becomes a bus ride

For all the hope and optimism that brought it about, the ''Yes We Can 2009 Cruise,'' unfortunately, can't.

The organizers of the cruise, which was originally aimed at providing an affordable way for South Florida Barack Obama campaign volunteers to attend his inauguration in Washington, D.C., were unable to gather enough people to commit to the eight-day boat trip.

''We just couldn't get the critical mass going, because I don't think the timing was in our favor,'' said Lauderhill City Commissioner Dale Holness, who helped spearhead the cruise effort. ``I know there are budgetary concerns because of the economic times, but I think more than anything else the people were too focused on the holiday season within the time frame we had to make it happen.''

Many of the 200 people who signed up may still be able to go to Washington nonetheless: the travel company that helped coordinate the cruise has put together a bus-trip proposal that they have distributed to the volunteers.

''Our heads are a bit bloody but certainly unbowed,'' said HotelBlox managing partner Lephate Cunningham Jr.

``When the cruise project unfortunately sailed away from us, we put together another option because their ultimate objective was get those folks to the inauguration.''

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