Arthur Foss Welcomes Record Numbers

Family trying hands at corking deckRecord numbers of visitors boarded the tug Arthur Foss located at the Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park during MOHAI’s Grand Opening celebration week.  The combination of MOHAI events, excellent media coverage, a New Years Day holiday, and coinciding activities among park working group organizations sent attending numbers through the tug’s wheelhouse roof.

For example, on December 29, MOHAI’s opener, NWS volunteers counted over 1700 people flowing onto the tug.  Certainly, there were many, many people boarding, but the hourly ticketing schedule MOHAI established helped keep the traffic constant between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm.  During the grand opening week, Northwest Seaport recorded over 3000 visitors aboard Arthur Foss.

Historic Ships Wharf evening trafficThe Historic Ships Wharf was also filled with people also during these hours as MOHAI visitors streamed out of their building’s north exit and directly onto the wharf.  The wharf was buzzing with families happily exploring all the vessels they had seen from the Compass Cafe or gallery windows.  The historic steamer Virginia V was also open for boarding and voyaged into Lake Union on scheduled cruises.

Northwest Seaport hosted special activities on the 29th to honor MOHAI’s success, engage tug visitors, recognize a local artist and add some holiday spirit to the wharf area.  Artwork by Byron Birdsall was displayed in Arthur Foss’s galley.  Marine artist Byron Birdsall’ pen and ink artwork of the tugboat ARTHUR FOSS while underway was originally featured in December 2012 month in the Foss Maritime Company’s tugboat calendar.  Deck corking demonstrations provided opportunity for visitors to pick up a corking mallet and learn to hammer cotton and oakum into the seams. Vulcan, Inc. also sponsored this year’s Lighting of the Lightship, on lightship No.83 SWIFTSURE during which more than 2000 feet of lights decorating the lightship shown bright for all to enjoy.

George and Troy Chilly Boat Host VolunteersAdditionally, at 8:00 am in the morning on the 29th, the Seattle Flying Dragon Boat Club started the day a practice aboard their 42′ dragon boat(s) while sightseeing on Lake Union. Join them for a practice someday soon.  The Center For Wooden Boats opened the “Fish On! The Historic Boathouses and Fishing Resorts of Puget Sound.”  The exhibit Fish On! focuses on the first half of the 20th century, the heyday of recreation salmon fishing, and the numerous boathouses and Puget Sound resorts that supported the activity. Exhibit includes historic photographs, working exhibits, youth activities, on-the-water programs and historic boats at our docks, all highlighting the quest for the silvery hoards with rod and reel (CWB). Go see it:)

Here’s to the next big event, and to all the great support from volunteers and working group members!

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