October 2019

Bon Voyage, 2019 Birkenfeld Interns!

This summer, we welcomed a select group of teens aboard the VIRGINIA V to learn how to operate and maintain this historic vessel. After a busy two months of sailing, we wish these six outstanding interns all the best as they head into the winds of their next adventures.

As the internship came to a close, we reached out to the interns to learn about their experience. Although the interns' maritime skills were undoubtedly strengthened, it was transferable soft skills that rose to the top. One intern reported, “My communication skills improved thanks to this internship, because I had to be in touch with the other crew members while we worked to make sure everything ran safely.” They also cited critical thinking and interpersonal skills, and were appreciative of the crew for welcoming them: “The people I worked with were role models. They took me under their wing and taught me to set higher goals for myself.”

Crew members, who worked alongside interns, returned the compliments. Many said it was the interns' work ethic that really stood out: “They are welcome on my deck anytime! If they started without a skillset they jumped right in and learned the required skills.” In another glowing recommendation, a volunteer wrote, “I’d hire any of them in a heartbeat for most any job.” 

“Working with interns is becoming one of my primary reasons for volunteering. They are affirming that the future is bright.”
- VIRGINIA V Crew Member

To those volunteers, thank you once again for making the VIRGINIA V a great place for teens to jumpstart their maritime careers! If you would like to learn more about the C. Keith Birkenfeld Summer Internship or know a student who would be interested in applying next year, please contact Margaret Saunders at

From the Archives...

ABOVE:  This photograph, taken outside the VIRGINIA V wheelhouse in the 1920s, shows Captain Nels G. Christensen and his crew. As the founder and operator of the West Pass Transportation Company, he personally oversaw the construction of the VIRGINIA V. The ship's design was based on two steamers Christensen was particularly fond of: the VASHON II and the VIRGINIA III. He relayed his ideas to Matthew and Ed Anderson, a father-son team, who would work on the ship during the day and draw their progress into the plans that evening. Christensen owned the West Pass Transportation Company and the VIRGINIA V until his death in 1936.

Upcoming Events

October 4th & 18th, November 1st & 15th: DRYFT Dockside Concert Series. Intimate acoustic concert series on board. Various artists. 
October 11th & November 8th: Chantey Sing. This group organized by the Northwest Seaport will charm you with their melodies and seafaring knowledge.
October 19th: Members Appreciation Cruise. Sail along the Fremont Cut while enjoying light refreshments and sea-worthy activities. Free for Members and four guests.
November 30th: Greet the SeasonMaritime Folknet brings you a full day of Free, Live Music on board. There will also be free crafts, and coloring for all ages.

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Copyright © 2019 The Steamer Virginia V Foundation, All rights reserved.

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