September 2019

A Summer to Remember

It’s raining as I write this. Just another reminder that boating season is coming to a close. We are incredibly fortunate to have spent the summer making memories on this venerable vessel. The VIRGINIA V was home to 21 weddings and celebrations, 18 public cruises, 4 youth field trips, 2 summer camps, and more than 10,000 visitors this season. This year we doubled the number of our public cruises Steamship Saturday, sailing twice a day every other weekend. This gave more people the opportunity to experience the VIRGINIA V - some for the very first time and, for others, to relive fond memories.

Laura-Jean rode the VIRGINIA V as a child in the 1930s, making the trip from Seattle to Tacoma to visit her aunt and uncle. The first time Laura-Jean remembers Captain Christensen, a friend of her father, letting her hold the wheel was when she was just nine years old. After nearly 80 years, she stepped on board for Steamship Saturday and was astonished that the ship was grand as ever. Upon hearing her story, Captain Erik gave her an opportunity to take the wheel once again. Steering the ship after all that time was "the most exciting thing to happen to me! Other than...
... marrying my husband and having my kids, of course."

A party of twenty deaf-blind people and guides joined us onboard for Steamship Saturday. Before departing, Captain Dale opened the wheelhouse so that these passengers could run their hands over the woodwork and take turns at the helm. One passenger wrote, “I had a really wonderful time! Touching the wheelhouse and cabin [was] really cool. I enjoyed the narration as well – there sure is a lot to learn about Seattle history!!” The steam whistle was a highlight for all. While underway, an ASL interpreter stood near the funnel so deaf passengers could see the steam each time the whistle blew. For the blind passengers, hearing the steam whistle was an acoustical experience. 

Our staff and volunteer crew are honored to be a part of once-in-a-lifetime experiences like these. The VIRGNIA V’s supporters, past and present Members who have saved this vessel, make those moments possible. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our community after 97 seasons on the water and look forward to many more.
Learn about Membership

From the Archives...

ABOVE:  Meet Mary Heath, a former English teacher who became the first employee of the Foundation as Project Assistant in November 1977. She went on to serve as Volunteer Coordinator and help to grow the community of supporters. The photograph above was taken in 1979 and shows Mary's smiling face as she holds the VIRGINIA V life preserver while sitting on the fore deck steps. 

Upcoming Events

September 13th and October 11th: Chantey Sing. This group organized by the Northwest Seaport will charm you with their melodies and seafaring knowledge.
September 20th and October 4th & 18th: DRYFT Dockside Concert Series. Intimate acoustic concert series on board. Various artists. 
September 28th & 29th: Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival Cruises. Departing at 12:30pm and 3:30pm during the annual festival hosted by the Center for Wooden Boats. 
October 19th: Members Appreciation Cruise. Sail along the Fremont Cut while enjoying light refreshments and sea-worthy activities. Free for Members and four guests.

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