Take to the Waves for the 2015 Sailing Season
Exploration. Fun. Adventure. Education. A journey on Discovery World’s tall ship, the Sailing Vessel (S/V) Denis Sullivan is like nothing else in Milwaukee.
“Our purpose is to educate people from all over the region (and the world, really) about the Great Lakes and fresh water,” said Tiffany Krihwan, Captain of the S/V Denis Sullivan. “The ship is a bridge from our Great Lakes past to your Great Lakes future.”
Once upon a time, the Great Lakes were one of the most dynamic networks of trade and communication in the world. Milwaukee was one of the most important port cities on the planet. Each day, thousands of steamer ships and schooners traveled this rough and wild highway loaded with passengers, grain, coal, livestock, mail, and all the other goods and materials of the time.
The harbor here was a carnival of actions and transactions. The air was filled with the rough voices of dock workers hauling and hoisting, loading and unloading thousands of tons of freight. Closer to the water you could hear the snap of canvas as the sails of the Great Lakes schooners caught the wind. Everywhere you looked you would see hundreds of tall ships like the S/V Denis Sullivan, their keels slicing though the waves, bound for Chicago, Green Bay, Duluth, Detroit, Buffalo, and Toronto. These schooners were the trucks, trains, and telephones of the day, and their crews worked tirelessly to deliver their passengers and cargo and return safely home.
Fun & Learning on Lake Michigan
The S/V Denis Sullivan is the only replica of a 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooner in the world. Since her official launch in 2000, the S/V Denis Sullivan, has operated as a floating classroom, a United Nations Environment Program flagship, and ambassador for the State of Wisconsin. Each year, over 7,000 students, families, and adults cross the S/V Denis Sullivan decks and engage in informative tours, educational day sails, and overnight expeditions. An experience on the Sullivan combines freshwater science curriculum with the technical teachings of learning to sail a tall ship and a unique perspective of the rich history, culture, industry, and importance of the Great Lakes and our world’s most important natural resource – freshwater.
Nearly 1,000 dedicated volunteers generously gave more than one million hours over five years to build the schooner and see their vision become a breathtaking reality. The S/V Denis Sullivan embodies the sweat, soul, and spirit of citizens who labored to help build the first tall ship in Wisconsin during this century and was ultimately designated as Wisconsin’s Flagship. Every time the S/V Denis Sullivan sails, she carries with her the pride of every volunteer, student, visitor, donor, and crew member who has supported this remarkable endeavor. Discovery World’s mission of freshwater education is possible in large part because of our S/V Denis Sullivan volunteers and donor contributions.
“An expedition on the Sullivan can be life changing. I remember a young woman from the MPS Explorers Program we did a number of years ago,” said Cpt. Krihwan. “She was quiet, but enthusiastic. What I didn’t know until she came back to volunteer on the Sullivan for a summer is that she had enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. Then she went to one of the maritime colleges. Today, she’s an inspector for the American Bureau of Shipping. In fact, she’ll be inspecting the Sullivan this summer. So yes, an experience on the Sullivan can absolutely change a life.”
You can help to continue the mission of fun and learning aboard the Sullivan by becoming a member of Friends of S/V Denis Sullivan Giving Society with a philanthropic donation, which goes to support Discovery World’s annual operating expenses of $500,000. In addition to knowing that your Discovery World donation directly supports the annual operation of, and our community’s educational access to, the S/V Denis Sullivan, you’ll also receive invitations to Discovery World events, special communication and updates from her Captain and the S/V Denis Sullivan crew, recognition as a Friend of S/V Denis Sullivan Giving Society in the annual report, and other S/V Denis Sullivan insider information throughout the year.
We hope all past, present, and future Friends of S/V Denis Sullivan will join us at Discovery World on Saturday, May 23, from 10am to 4pm for our annual S/V Denis Sullivan sailing season launch party. Meet Captain Tiffany and her fantastic 2015 crew, climb aboard for free deck tours, learn more about opportunities to sail with her on Lake Michigan this summer, and chat with representatives from our fundraising team to learn more about how your annual gift or estate pledge to support our S/V Denis Sullivan can make a difference.
Thank you! See you aboard the S/V Denis Sullivan soon!