One item offered at the Tides of March auction is the opportunity to have this 1905 Viennese carriage hearse

One item offered at the Tides of March auction is the opportunity to have this 1905 Viennese carriage hearse

WEEKEND: Tides of March brings good to marine center

PORT TOWNSEND — Unique food and auction items will be featured at the eighth Tides of March auction on Saturday.

The auction benefiting the Port Townsend Marine Science Center will begin at 5 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 4907 Landes St.

Registration at the door will be $45 for both members of the marine science center and non-members, although only a very few tickets are still available, according to the center’s executive director, Ann Murphy.

Goal numbers

Last year’s auction raised $65,000, which funded programs for area students.

Murphy hopes to at least match that amount and thinks that goal is within reach, saying that economic conditions have improved.

Murphy is also optimistic because of the charitable nature of the locals.

“I’m amazed by their generosity,” she said. “There are people in town who give at every opportunity, they are still willing to support good causes.”

Murphy said that auctions have become very popular because they are effective fundraising tools with a considerable entertainment value.

Experiences and stuff

The event contains both a silent auction and a live auction, with donated items totaling $54,376 in value and offering both tangible goods and experiences.

“There are people who say they don’t want any more stuff so the experiential items are very popular,” Murphy said.

“People really enjoy a taking a unique class or enjoying a special dinner.”

Bidding is always good-natured, but there are “a lot of little frenzies” over certain items, Murphy said.

Among the items donated is a joyride around downtown Port Townsend in a 1926 Model Ford T truck, and an opportunity to row with the Northwest Maritime Center’s director in the 26-foot longboat Captain Vancouver.


Nancy Fowler, auction chairwoman, said the event, now in its eighth year “has the well-earned reputation for serving some of the best food of any of the area auctions.

“This year’s donations of appetizers for the ‘Chefs’ Showcase’ from 19 local restaurants is especially noteworthy given the current economy’s effect in that sector,” Fowler said.

Among other auction items is passage on the Coho ferry to spend the night at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, as well as guided beach flyfishing and a week’s vacation to Loreto on the Sea of Cortez.

This year’s auction is sponsored by Port Townsend Sails.

The auction catalog is online at

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is located on the beach at Fort Worden State Park and features the Marine Exhibit and the Natural History Exhibit.

The Natural History Exhibit is open from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for youth and free to marine science center members.

The Marine Exhibit is closed for the season but can be open by appointment. A Discover Pass is not required to visit the exhibits.

For more information, call 360-385-5582, email or visit


Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

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