Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lightships East and West

I was happy to receive an email recently from Seattle’s Northwest Seaport, a maritime heritage organization that owns and is currently restoring Lightship no. 83, today known as the Swiftsure lightship. After restoration work at Lake Union Drydock in Seattle, the ship will be returned to its regular berth at the Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park. An article about the restoration and the ship is here, and the Northwest Seaport’s site is here. Theyre also on Facebook, here. Northwest Seaport will also soon begin a fundraising campaign to boost rehabilitation efforts; theyve recently been awarded $30,000 as seed money by the organization 4Culture (more on them here) and they encourage donations, which can be made here.  

And speaking of lightships and museums, here on the East Coast the South Street Seaport Museum—home to the Ambrose lightship—has been in the news for its tight financial situation, made none the easier by damage inflicted last year by Hurricane Sandy. The Museum is “alive and kicking,” though, to quote yesterday’s status update on their Facebook page. Here’s hoping it stays that way, and if you’ve ever considered joining or donating, now would certainly be a good time. It’s a great museum; the city deserves to have it, and it deserves the city’s support. The Museum’s web site is here, their Facebook page is here, their donation page is here.

Best wishes to these ships, museums, and the dedicated people who keep them literally and figuratively afloat!

Above: the original, unused jacket art for Lightship. I was happy with this painting but I was told, as Chief Brody might have put it, and probably correctly, that I was going to need a bigger boat. 

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