That’s not to say it doesn’t lack intrigue, however, with the captain and crew providing a unique experience for groups through their public, private and event sails from March through October each year.
With the mission of the Sound Experience aimed at educating people to act as stewards of the Puget Sound, a few of us from Caffe Vita and Stewardship Partners—with whom we’ve teamed up with to help build 12,000 Rain Gardens in the Puget Sound—was invited to Port Townsend to board the Adventuress and talk with Captain Daniel Evans and crew about some of the history, goals and challenges they come across in trying to help preserve the Puget Sound.
It was important to have Bob Simmons of Olympic Water Regions and Stewardship Partners with us, as he works directly on projects that include technical water research and outreach to the public, with a major component of his work building rain gardens to help filter and reduce storm water run-off into the Puget Sound. As we made our way to the ship, I must say that everything was working in our favor for the day. Sunny, mid-70 skies were overhead and the water seemed to be sparkling with our reflections.
Boarding the 101-year-old schooner, we learned the Adventuress first launched all the way back in 1913, with the ship’s first voyage pushing back from Maine in hopes to secure a Bowhead Whale specimen for the Natural History Museum on a trip to the Arctic Circle.
While the journey was successful in reaching the Arctic Circle, there was just one little problem once they reached their final destination—the trip had taken so long that the whale expedition never occurred, as warmer temperatures pushed the species out.
One other fun, interesting fact about that first voyage, it included the Natural History Museum’s Naturalist, Roy Chapman Andrews, who is widely considered to have inspired the movie character Indiana Jones.
After a few other noteworthy journeys—including touching the tip of Patagonia and up the Western Coast of Africa and South America—the Adventuress eventually found a home in Washington thanks to Monty Morton, who used the ship to educate youth through sailing.
In 1989, the Adventuress was eventually handed over to Sound Experience, chosen because of their community involvement and mission to help continue youth education programs focused on environmental stewardship.
It was also in that year that the ship reached national prominence, as the National Park Service granted the Adventuress as a National Historic Landmark.
In the 25 years since, the Adventuress continues to house captain and crew through the summer months, with their task to inspire others to do the good deed of acting on creating a better environment, specifically in the Puget Sound.
One way of accomplishing that goal is an ongoing renovation of the schooner, with a new deck, and more reliable equipment, continuing the update over the past several years.
The boat’s most recent project includes a complete overhaul of the refrigeration system onboard, with the new appliance being one of the most efficient refrigerators in the world with zero emissions, using material that NASA uses in building its spaceships.
While the crew has accomplished a lot over the 25 years that the Adventuress has been sailing, it continues to search for ways to improve the ecosystem.
Following the three-hour tour of the Salish Sea, one of the more memorable moments of the trip was huddling below deck with the crew to enjoy a fresh, vegetarian meal prepared by the ship’s cook, Lennard, who also baked coffee cake with our 12,000 Rain Gardens coffee mixed in as an ingredient.
Every one of the crew’s meals, including ours, is made from locally donated goods that Lennard sources each day from the community, ensuring not only organic meals, but also the freshest.
The food was both terrific and the conversation was informational, with about 20 of us tossing ideas around in which ways we could all improve the promotion of the Adventuress’ objectives and their empowerment of the community through sailing trips.
While first-time guests are amazed at the wealth of knowledge, history and actions of the crew, they walk away unsure of how to truly put what they experienced into action. Finding a way to connect what someone values with their actions in the community is a big task that Sound Experience has set out to accomplish for the sake of conservation.
Insipring others through the crews teamwork, working towards a common goal, can teach others how to unite and make a momentous impact, specifically on the environment.
As we spoke, I couldn’t help but notice the passion and knowledge each one of the members onboard had, really striking up ideas in one another by the way they spoke about the love of environmental care.
With a number of different sails left in the season before taking the winter off, I encourage you to pay them a visit, inform yourself and act upon the learning’s from the Adventuress, as preserving the Puget Sound and building rain gardens in the area is a key component in maintaining a healthy future.