Port Townsend’s schooner Adventuress seeks volunteers for finishing work

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — As the final phase in the centennial restoration of the schooner Adventuress begins, its handlers have issued a call for volunteers to help implement the remaining chores.

“Volunteers have kept this boat afloat,” said Daniel Evans, one of the vessel’s alternating captains.

“We have people who have come down and helped us for years.”

Evans said anyone who wants to help should come down to Port Townsend Boat Haven, 2601 Washington St., from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

No specific skills are required as the scheduled task of building the vessel’s winter cover requires only a willingness to indulge in physical labor, Evans said.

The multi-year Adventuress Centennial Restoration Project was launched in 2009 with a goal to fully restore the tall ship’s hull to a 50-year standard by its centennial, which took place this year.

Over the past three years, each major phase of the hull restoration was completed in the offseason so program operations could continue as normal.

This winter’s work includes the replacement of frames and planking on the historic ship’s starboard side, and is utilizing the skills of shipwrights at Haven Boatworks in Port Townsend at an estimated cost of $350,000.

This is split between a $175,000 grant awarded by the Murdock Trust and contributions raised by Sound Experience, which owns and operates the vessel.

Winter repairs include the renovation of the cabins to a state that closely resembles how it looked when the tall ship was built, Evans said.

The schooner was built in East Boothbay, Maine, in 1913 for John Borden, who wanted to sail it to Alaska.

A year later, it was sold to the Port of San Francisco as a pilot ship.

Sold again in 1952, it was moved to the Pacific Northwest.

The nonprofit Sound Experience, based in Port Townsend, has operated it since 1989.

In recent years, an average of 5,000 people have participated annually in its sailing programs, with that many again visiting the ship in port.

Working on the Adventuress either as a volunteer or a crew member is a special experience, according to those who have participated.

“Anybody can come down and help, and those that stay are drawn to the sense of community,” said Caitlin O’Morchoe, a member of the winter crew.

“On Adventuress, there is an openness and inclusiveness that is rare in many parts of society. You can step on board, and there will be no questions asked about who you are and what you want, if you are here to help.”

The next volunteer weekend, Jan. 18-21, coincides with the holiday surrounding Martin Luther King Day.

Anyone interested in participating can visit www.soundexp.org or email Evans at daniel@soundexp.org.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 12. 2013 9:47PM
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