I first became aware of the Northwest Maritime Center because of the Race to Alaska, affectionately called R2AK. I loved the concept: race from Port Townsend to Ketchikan with no motors and no support; just sail and muscle to move your boat. Later, I became a participant in the inaugural Seventy48 race. Seventy48 is a similar idea to R2AK but compressed into 70 miles and 48 hours. No motors, no support, and no sail; just you and the sea.
While these events were my introduction, they’re not all they do.
- Community Sailing, that grew and specialized into highly successful Learn to Sail programs.
- Community Rowing, that grew and specialized in the Rat Island Rowing & Sculling Club, the Pocock Singles Project and a variety of fixed and sliding seat rental or storage options.
- Summer Youth Sea Symposium, that grew and specialized in Family Boat Building, Puget Sound Explorers, Longboat Expeditions and partnerships with sail training vessels.
- The Classic Mariners’ Regatta, which continues and has expanded to other classic and wooden boat regattas.
- Sail Like a Girl, the female-forward initiative that engages girls and women in maritime activities.
What started as The Wooden Boat Foundation grew, and in 1995, the idea was born to build a permanent home, called the Northwest Maritime Center. We at NC Kayaks choose to support this organization because as a participant of both Seventy48 races, we have seen firsthand how much the people of this organization care about the sea and all those who choose to spend time among the waves. We admire its consistent commitment to teaching and supporting maritime traditions and its willingness to put together events of epic scope and stunning simplicity – events that capture our dreams and distill them down until only our seafaring spirit and the pure joy of being at sea remain.