Adsense for search

Custom Search

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ahoy! Nautical News (just in time for Father's Day)

The 1913 tall ship ADVENTURESS, Puget Sound's own "Environment Ship"   Photo courtesy of Sound Experience
Living in the Puget Sound area's maritime environment means plenty of interesting things to do, explore, and learn about, in connection with the sea. Today I have three items of nautical news to share with you that can enrich those experiences.

1.) Fyddeye Guide and Book Trailer
I love hearing from my friend Joe Follansbee, because he's always up to something exciting. I met this interesting man aboard the tall ship ADVENTURESS during a public sail on Elliot Bay. By that time he had already authored several books, including "Shipbuilders, Sea Captains, and Fishermen: the Story of the Schooner Wawona."  Next, he started a website called "Fyddeye,"  an online community for people interested in maritime history, including old ships, lighthouses, museums and much more.

Then it wasn't long before I found myself writing about Joe again, when he published the Fyddeye Guide to America's Maritime History. It's the perfect gift for any Dad who has an interest in maritime history (even if he doesn't know it, yet!) But wait. There's more. 

Just this week Joe told me about his new video trailer for "The Fyddeye Guide." I expected it to be informative, but it turned out to be funny too. When you watch it, you'll chuckle, but you can also learn how to get the useful free gift Joe has waiting for you. No purchase required. Enjoy!

2.) Help the historic tall ship ADVENTURESS on JUNE 23 through the Seattle Foundation's "GiveBig" program
I never would have met Joe Follansbee or learned about his books, if I had not gone sailing on the tall ship ADVENTURESS, owned by the non-profit organization Sound Experience.  I've written about this elegant old wooden schooner a number of times.

Here are a few earlier blog posts:

Tall ship ADVENTURESS on Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of Sound Experience

It takes a lot of money to maintain a 1913 schooner and the important programs Sound Experience offers. This organization provides everyone, including about 3,000 children and teens per year, with the opportunity to sail on this historic vessel and learn about the environment of Puget Sound. If you're thinking of making a tax-deductible donation to Sound Experience during 2011, PLEASE do it on June 23, when the Seattle Foundation with match a portion of your donation if you make it through a link on their website.

FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEA: How about treating Dad to a Sound Experience membership, with its many benefits, including sailing on the ship for free. You can do this right now, online here. If you your father is deceased, you might considered remembering him on Father's Day by making a donation in his name.

And last, but certainly not least:
3.) New Exhibit at Tacoma's Working Waterfront Maritime Museum

Photo by Jan Adams

If you've never been to this maritime museum, part of the Foss Waterway Seaport on Commencement Bay in Tacoma, you've missed out on a regional treasure. An afternoon spent there would make the perfect Father's Day gift. Kid-friendly and fun, this place will fascinate the whole family, and the new exhibit that opened last weekend is especially exciting. Come see "Wheels, Whistles, and Wonder: the Extraordinary Maritime Collection of Bill Somers."

How I wish I could take my father with me to see Bill Somer's collection again, but he passed away last year at age 96. He drove a freight truck back in the days when a man named Charles Somers and his son C.W."Bill" Somers started the St. Charles Winery on Stretch Island, just after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. At that time wine was "fortified," and that involved the addition of sugar which Dad picked up in Tacoma and delivered to the winery. Every time he arrived with his load, the two young men saw each other, and they became well acquainted.

Later on, when Bill used the old winery to house his vast collection of maritime memorabilia, Dad visited now and then, when out for a drive with my mother or friends. But the years passed and things changed. Mom died and Dad moved out of the family home and into an assisted living situation. He couldn't drive anymore. He missed that freedom to wander the roads and see people and places from his past.

On a sunny summer day that I'll never forget, not long before the end of Bill's life, my husband and I drove Dad out to Stretch Island again. I had never been there before. I remember the peaceful rural scene, the silent winery building and the old house on a hill overlooking the calm, blue waters of Hood Canal.

We were the only guests and enjoyed a personalized tour conducted by Bill himself, while the two old friends enjoyed each other's company. At one point, he pushed a button on a dusty old cassette player, and I shivered to hear what seemed like voices of ghosts, the actual whistle sounds of various vessels including the Mosquito Fleet steamers that once kept people, freight, and the local economy moving via the waters of Puget Sound.

Photo by Jan Adams

When I heard about the collection coming to Tacoma, I worried about that little cassette tape. Nothing else like it exists anywhere. What a relief it was to learn that those precious recorded sounds from the past are now safely preserved in digital format. You can hear them yourself when you visit this exhibit.

I will miss my father on this Father's Day. If you are lucky enough to still have yours, enjoy him while you can. Consider visiting the Working Waterfront Museum to create a memory you will savor in years to come, just like I do mine.

HOURS:Wednesday to Friday – 10:00 to 5:00 PM
Saturday/Sunday – Noon to 5:00 PM

ADMISSION: $7.00–Adults, $4.00–Children/Students/Military/Seniors 62+, $15.00–Family (up to 5 members)

No comments: