Seattle Attorney Donates 64.5″ Schooner to Kitsap Maritime Heritage Foundation
(May 1st 2013, Bremerton, WA) In a wonderful act of generosity, Seattle attorney Mike Withey (witheylaw.com) donated the 65′ schooner, Fiddler’s Dream, to the Kitsap Maritime Heritage Foundation (KMHF, kitsapmaritime.org).
KMHF was founded in March of 2012 with the stated purpose of being the premiere venue in the Puget Sound region for seekers of an historic seafaring experience; to bring a “tall ship,” or traditional sailing vessel, to Kitsap County. The organization’s main emphasis involves exposing elementary-age school children to the ship and knowledgeable volunteers—to be a resource for history and social studies programs throughout the county who want to expose their students to first-hand knowledge of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Mike Withey, owner of the steel-hulled, gaff-rigged 64.5′ schooner Fiddler’s Dream. The ship is very similar to the schooners that fished the Puget Sound from the mid- to late-1800s to the early 1950s. He had purchased the vessel over a year ago from his friend and the original builder, Steve Dundas, who actually constructed the vessel near his home in Missoula, Montana. Dundas shipped the schooner overland and put it in the water in Port Townsend in early 2008.
KMHF worked with Mr. Withey for several months to acquire the Fiddler’s Green, leading to his very generous offer to donate the vessel to KMHF.
KMHF Board Chair Captain J. Thomas expressed the organization’s gratitude. “Thank You, does not cover the depth of gratitude for your donation of Fiddlers Dream to Kitsap Maritime. You have provided us with a quantum leap in our endeavor to provide our youth with a real time connection to the crews and vessels that created our Maritime Heritage in Puget Sound.”
“I could not think of a better home for Fiddler’s Dream than the Kitsap Maritime Heritage Foundation,” said Withey. “I am so excited to hear about their plans for this fine schooner and hope to stay involved in any way I can. Enjoy!”
When completed, the “floating classroom” will be available to visit over 144 Puget Sound ports. This “floating classroom” will be travel to all ports in Kitsap but also will sail and teach maritime education at Kitsap Ports.
The Fiddler’s Dream will be moored at the Port of Brownsville, Washington, near Keyport. KMHF board President Jonathan Thomas worked with the Brownsville port authorities to provide a home for the ship.
“Brownsville will be a perfect base of operations,” says Thomas, who is also commodore of the Brownsville Yacht Club. “We have a good harbor and facilities, and the port has generously donated moorage for the Fiddler’s Dream. Besides, Brownsville is centrally located in Kitsap County, which will make it easy for volunteers to participate around their own schedules.”
More information on the Kitsap Maritime Heritage Foundation can be found on their website, kitsapmaritime.org, along with opportunities to volunteer, to make equipment or financial donations, as well as receive regular emails and newsletters about the Fiddler’s Dream activities in the county, which will begin in the Spring of 2014.