Flagship WOLF Preservation Society

A program of WHALE Center’s Waves of Change, a 501(c) not-for profit

EIN# 31-1779048

Dedicated to Keeping the Ancient Art of Sail Alive & Flagship WOLF Preserved

74′ Topsail Schooner WOLF

Flagship of WHALE Center’s Waves of Change, The Conch Republic & Florida Keys

Become a Friend of WOLF

& Support Our Efforts

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We Need Your Help to Keep Flagship WOLF

Doing Good Deeds

…by sending your financial gift today to support this beloved ship’s historical preservation efforts, including the ship’s upcoming yard haul out.

Your donations will fund maintenance and upgrades necessary to comply with US Coast Guard licensing requirements, and to ensure Flagship WOLF continues to operating in Key West (her home port since 1984.)

Our mission is to offer an array of educational, cultural, leadership, environmental, and humanitarian sail programs for youth, families, and seniors in Key West, as well as at scheduled ports of call in Florida, The Bahamas, and Caribbean.


Raise $100,000+ to Prepare Flagship WOLF to Sail Again!

Photo courtesy Matt Dean Films “Old Man and the Sea – Return to Cuba” (c) 2018

Once Flagship WOLF is sailing again, we will focus on raising funds to subsidize ongoing historic preservation efforts; Young Seafarers’ Academy Youth Sail Training and Intro to the Ancient Art of Sail & Maritime Heritage Sail Courses at Sea.

Donations will also fund FREE Dockside Tours for Monroe County students, and prepare Flagship WOLF for future Waves of Change PeaceVision Goodwill Ambassador & Humanitarian Relief Sails.

Photo courtesy of PeaceVision “Cuba Reframed – The Power of Connection” (c) 2018

Flagship WOLF stewards, the Conch Republic’s storied duo First Sea Lord, ADM Finbar, and wife Julie, are charting a new course for the ship and invite you to join them as they embark on this exciting journey …

To Keep the Ancient

Art of Sail Alive!

Photo courtesy of PeacVision “Cuba Reframed – The Power of Connection” 2018

Flagship WOLF Crew, FWPS Founding Board Member Paul Menta & wife, Crystal Villeja Sailing Across the Florida Straits during the 2019 CUBA Waves of Change PeaceVision Cultural Exchange Voyage.

We Strive to Promote Positive Change through Music, Art, Education, History, Storytelling, Peacekeeping and …

the Ancient Art of Sail

Photo courtesy of PeaceVision “Cuba Reframed – the Power of Connection” (c) 2018

Flagship WOLF

A Florida Keys Icon

Flagship WOLF has been featured in numerous media publications, film documentaries, music videos, photos shoots and television shows.

We are excited to announce our 2018 documentary film with PeaceVision, “Cuba Reframed – the Power of Connection,” won the Key West Film Festival’s 2020 “Best Florida Feature Award,” and will be broadcast nationally on PBS in 2022. Sponsorships are available. Learn more …

Matt Dean Films’ documentary, “Old Man and the Sea – Return to Cuba,” also won the Key West Film Festival’s “Best Florida Feature Award” (2018) and filming for “Old Man and the Sea – Return to The Bahamas & Jamaica” sequels is scheduled to begin Winter 2022. Sponsorship are available Learn more …

Photo courtesy of “WOLF Wench” Cathleen Tong (c) 2020

Flagship WOLF returning to her home port, Safe Harbour Marina on Stock Island, after a Sunset Sail in the waters off Key West.

Flagship WOLF

Sunset Music Sails

Become a Friend of WOLF & Support Our Efforts

Photo courtesy of Carol Tedesco, Key West Cares (c) 2019

Your Donation Helps Us Change Lives & Prepares Flagship WOLF to Sail Again

Flagship WOLF Volunteer Crew member Mitzi Peine helps unload 12 tons of donated relief supplies in Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, The Bahamas.

Bahamas Humanitarian Relief Sail Sponsorships Available

Photo courtesy of Carol Tedesco, Key West Cares (c) 2019

In 2019, Flagship WOLF delivered 12 tons of Key West Cares Hurricane Dorian donated relief supplies to Key West Sister City / Island Green Turtle Cay.

FWPS donations will subsidize 2022 Bahama Humanitarian Mission of Mercy Relief Sails, coordinated in conjunction with Glad Tidings Tabernacle, and their Community to Community Outreach Program.

Flagship WOLF worked with Glad Tidings Tabernacle and Bishop Jonathan Carey to deliver donated disaster relief to West End, Grand Bahama after 2004’s Hurricane, and again in 2019 to Green Turtle Cay, Abacos after Hurricane Dorian.

Flagship WOLF Humanitarian Mission of Mercy Relief Sail Sponsorships available. Lean more…

Photo courtesy of Bill & Linda Klipp (c) 2014

WOLF Master, ADM Finbar Gittelman

. . . A Sailor’s Sailor

Photo courtesy of Rob O’Neal (c) 2001

First Sea Lord of the Conch Republic & Supreme Commander of its Military Forces,ADM Finbar recently completed the 5year renewal of his STCW USCG 3,000 Ton Master License, with 500 Ton Sail Endorsement.

ADM Finbar maintains a perfect safety record, and looks forward to introducing a new generation to the wondrous world of traditional sail and seafaring adventure.

Building his first sail boat at age 8 to sail from Miami Beach to Miami, ADM Finbar joined the US Coast Guard the day after graduating Miami Beach High School and has made a career at sea ever since.

He has served as Master of US Navy support vessels, Bahamian freighters; the the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde; and majestic schooners, including the Hindu, Appledore II & IV, and Western Union (which he helped bring back to Key West in 1997.)

ADM Finbar survived CAT 5 Hurricane Allen, and spent 4 days in a life raft with his 3 crew after their schooner sank, before being rescued by a Norwegian freighter (the storm claimed 5 ships and 56 crew, and his crew are the only known survivors.)

Charting a New Course for Flagship WOLF

We are excited to announce our partnership with Sunset Sail Key West to operate Flagship WOLF, once she completes her upcoming yard haul out and is ready to offer daily passenger sails again.

Owner Capt. Seth Salzmann learned to sail aboard WOLF when he was 11 years old, and is a Flagship WOLF Preservation Founding Board Member.

Capt. Seth is also Owner / Master of the Gen Patton’s former Schooner WHEN & IF and Island Ketch, CONCH WEST; and until recently, Master of Schooner COLUMBIA.

ADM Finbar & Capt. Seth are also partners in High Tidings, Inc., owner and operator of the 33′ Custom Sloop HIGH TIDE, which operates out of the Key West Historic Seaport.

Photo by Mary Martin – MM Photography (c) 2021

ADM Finbar appointed ADM Seth Salzmann CO (Commanding Officer) of the Conch Republic Navy at a Change of Command Ceremony held in May aboard the USCGC INGHAM.

We believe there is no one more qualified to take the helm as WOLF Master when Finbar steps down (which won’t be for some time!) than Capt. Seth.

The Flagship WOLF Preservation Society will coordinate Courses at Sea, Specialty & Community Sails, Voyage Port of Call Visits; and Land-based and Virtual Special Events; as well as raise funds to subsidize the ever growing costs of keeping historic vessels like Flagship WOLF sailing.

Take to the Sea Aboard Flagship WOLF for an Enchanting Sunset Sail

Photo courtesy of Will & Amy Soto (c) 2020

Flagship WOLF is Ideal for Family Sails & Overnight Voyages

Friends of WOLF Members, Patrons & Sponsors Enjoy Private Charter Discounts

Flagship WOLF Relief Capt. Joanne Palmerie — also a talented artist, is our awesome Office Administrator & Bookkeeper for both Sunset Sail Key West & Key West Packet Lines, Inc., Owner / Operator of WOLF.

Capt. Joanne is one of many sailors ADM Finbar mentored, teaching her the nuances of sailing a traditionally rigged schooner.

WOLF To Seek Florida State Ceremonial Flagship Designation

Photo courtesy of Nick Doll Photography

Once Schooner WOLF completes the necessary repairs required by the US Coast Guard, we will begin actively seeking Florida State Ceremonial Flagship designation.

Our goal is for Schooner WOLF to serve as a traveling Ceremonial Flagship, keeping The Florida Keys home port.

If chosen, the Flagship WOLF will make a commitment to make Waves of Change PeaceVision Goodwill Ambassador Voyages to sponsored Florida Ports of Call several months of each year.

Flagship WOLF has Operated in Key West, Florida Since 1984

Flagship WOLF was docked at Key West Bight for 15 years, before moving to Stock Island in 2004 (today the ship is docked at Safe Harbour Marina on Stock Island, Florida Keys.)

For many years, the ship boasted an ALL FEMALE Crew, with many going on to attain their Captain’s license and pursuing careers at sea.

Flagship WOLF First Mate Scarlett Jai Sommers first sailed aboard the ship during the 2000 Pirates in Paradise Festival, and is now studying for her USCG 100 Ton Captain’s License.

Flagship WOLF continues the tradition of serving as one of the Florida Keys top training ships and over the years, ADM Finbar has taught hundreds of novice sailors.

If you’d like to learn to sail and looking for a mentor to help you explore careers at sea, we invite you join one of our Sail Training Courses at Sea.

Learn to Sail the 74′ Flagship of the

Conch Republic Schooner WOLF

Travis Devendorf at the helm of Flagship WOLF in Key West Harbor.

Flagship WOLF Preservation Society’s Young Seafarer’s Academy (YSA for short) will offer Youth Sail Training & Leadership Courses at Sea and on Land.

Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Sail Training Courses at Sea

Danny Gittelman, ADM Finbar’s grandson, made his first blue water voyage sailing from Havana to Key West on Flagship WOLF”s 2018 Waves of Change CUCBA Voyage.

YSA Courses include a 2 Hour “Taste of Sail,” Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Courses; and Internships at Sea and will be held in the Florida Keys, and at scheduled sponsored Ports of Call.

Flagship WOLF Crew member Joey Holz climbing the ratlins to set the topsail.

Taught by blue water sailors, who want to share their passion of sailing, and pass on this ancient art to others, participants will learn take turns at the helm, raise the sails, drop anchor, use a GPS, and other navigational skills.

Participants will also learn basic safety skills & first aid; take field trips to meet with local captains (on their ships) and other professionals in the maritime community.

Mentoring will also be available for those wishing to pursue careers at sea. For more info…

Intro to the Ancient Art of Sail & Maritime Heritage Course at Sea

Take to the sea aboard the Conch Republic’s Flagship WOLF for this sail course designed by First Sea Lord ADM Finbar Gittelman, with help from Maritime Historians, Authors, and Salty Seafarers.

Our goal is to pique the interest of Youth, Adults, and Seniors, with the hope they will want to continue learning more about the wonderful world of the ancient art of sail.

The course provides an overview of the history of sail, importance of teamwork in traditional sailing, basic safety protocols and equipment, and how sailing harnesses the forces of nature.

Take a Step Back in Time aboard the Conch Republic Flagship!

Pyrates of the Coast Capt. Robb Zerr entertains students aboard Flagship WOLF during their 2006 Jamaica Goodwill Ambassador Port Royal Port of Call Visit.

Flagship WOLF Cuba Voyage


Photo courtesy of Dr. Dave Randle, Waves of Change (c) 2018

Volunteer Crew members, Artist & Shipwright, Thomas (Tommy) H Avery and Waves of Change Board Member, Rebecca Gonzales-Tobias on deck of the Flagship WOLF sailing the Florida Straits to Cuba.

Flagship WOLF is featured in two recent documentaries and both films were chosen for the Key West Film Festival’s “Best Florida Feature Award.”

Since 2018, Flagship WOLF has made three voyages to Cuba, twice sailing with the Conch Republic Cup (CRC) 2016 & 2018 Key West to Cuba Races, and with the 2017 Havana Challenge Hobie Race.

On each voyage, we were fortunate to have as one of our participants, talented filmmakers, who happen to love Flagship WOLF like we do, and are part of our tribe.

ADM Finbar & Master Distiller, Chef Paul Conch Republic’s “U.N. Official” Rum Runners!

ADM Finbar & Chef Distiller & Master Distiller Paul Menta, Proprietor of Key West First Legal Rum, realized a life-long dream when they became “Official Rum Runners” on Flagship WOLF’s 2017 Cuba Waves of Change Goodwill Ambassador Voyage.

Photo courtesy of Crystal Villejas (c) 2017

Chef Paul visited some of Havana’s most infamous bars, including the Hotel Nacionel’s Gallery Bar, to gift their bartenders a bottle of his finest.

“Old Man and the Sea – Return to The Bahamas & Jamaica” 2022 Voyage Film Sponsorships available!

Matt Dean Films’ 2018 feature film, “Old Man & the Sea – Return to Cuba” was filmed in 2016 & 2017, follows and ADM Finbar on his first visit to Havana in 50 years, and captures on film the many memories the trip evoked.

The film tells of Finbar’s time in Mariel during the 1980 Boat Lift, including the 18 days he spent in the harbor waiting for refugees, and their return to Key West with 311 people on board a Miami Charter boat certified for 99 passengers.

“Old Man and and the Sea – Return to the Bahamas” and “Old Man and the Sea – Return to Jamaica” is scheduled to begin filming in exotic and historic Ports of Call, including Bimini, Nassau & Staniel Cay, The Bahamas, and Port Royal & Port Antonio, Jamaica.

Filming is scheduled to begin Winter / Spring 2022 and “Old Man and The Sea – Return to The Bahamas & Jamaica” Film & Port of Call Sponsorships available. Learn more…

Photo courtesy of Matt Dean Films “Old Man and the Sea – Return to Cuba” (c) 2018

ADM Finbar aboard Flagship WOLF in the Florida Straits as the ship approaches the coast of Cuba.

“Cuba Reframed” PBS 2022 National Broadcast Sponsorships are Available!

PeaceVision’s 2020 documentary, “Cuba Reframed – The Power of Connection” was filmed by Florida filmmaker, John Biffar on location in Key West, aboard the Flagship WOLF in the Florida Straits, and in Havana, and throughout the island.

“Cuba Reframed – The Power of Connection” follows Flagship WOLF’s Volunteer Crew and shares the stories of their adventures as well as those they met along the way.

2020 PBS National Broadcast Film Sponsorships for “Cuba Reframed” available, as are “Bahamas Reframed – The Power of Connection. Learn more…

Photo courtesy of Peace Vision “Cuba Reframed – The Power of Connection” (C) 2018

Florida Marine Artist & Environmentalist Paul Arsenault sailed with the Flagship WOLF Crew on their 2018 Cuba Waves of Change PeaceVision Volunteer.

Paul last visited Cuba in the early 1990s and was excited to revisit many of his favorite locales to capture the spirit of the country, as well as document the changes to the landscape.

Photo courtesy of Peace Vision “Cuba Reframed – The Power of Connection” (c) 2020

Volunteer Crew members & founding FWPS Board Members serve watch with Paul’s wife Crystal Villejas on Flagship WOLF’s 2018 Cuba Waves of Change PeaceVision Voyage, which w

Flagship WOLF’s 2018 Cuba Voyage with the Conch Republic Cup (CRC) Key West to Cuba Race and La Habana 500 Anniversio festivities.

The Conch Republic’s Sir CW Colt & wife Flory also sailed aboard WOLF to Cuba in 2018 and during their time in Cuba, met a young musician, Alejandro Garcia, and their story is shared in “Cuba Reframed.”

Flagship WOLF

Port of Call Sponsorships

Photo courtesy of Caribbean Utilities Corporation (c) 2003

Flagship WOLF’s 2003 Cayman Islands Goodwill Ambassador Voyage, to attend their Quincentennial festivities, included FREE dockside tours at the cruise ship docks in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

Dockside Tours in the Florida Keys & Sponsored Ports of Call

In 2012 Key West’s Tom Sawyer, Keyboard Advertising, arranged for tours of the ship to stop in Cape May, NJ, during their 2012 Summer US East Coast Goodwill Ambassador Voyage

Key West’s Tom Sawyer, Keyboard Advertising Specialties, sponsored Flagship WOLF’s Port Visit to Cape May, NJ, during the ship’s 2012 Summer US East Coast Goodwill Ambassador Voyage.

Keyboard Advertising is our GO TO one stop shop for Flagship WOLF, Conch Republic Navy, and Pirates in Paradise Swag, and are greatful to count him as a Friend of WOLF for decades.

Flagship WOLF & Conch Republic Swag Supports WOLF Preservation Efforts

Julie’s niece Kristin, husband Tony & daughter Ava Hayes, proudly wear their Flagship WOLF & Conch Republic Navy Swag. Flagship WOLF Preservation Society (FWPS) Members, Patrons & Sponsors receive Swag & Sail discounts.

Volunteer Flagship WOLF Crew, Key West Artists Mally Weaver & Thomas H. (Tommy) Avery, have made several Goodwill Ambassador Voyages to Cuba & The Bahamas, always returning with breathtaking paintings & pencil drawings.

Flagship WOLF

Community Sails

Musician extraordinaire Rich “In Spirit” McKay has been Flagship WOLF’s Shantyman for over 35 years, and loves to jam with ADM Finbar, and other musicians who find their way to the ship.

Team Building & Leadership Training

Private Charters

After an extended hiatus from the passenger sail charter business, we look forward to again offer Flagship WOLF daily sails, and family, corporate & social private charters in Key West, and at sponsored Ports of Call.

Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Rob O’Neal (c) 2010

Flagship WOLF was designed by Merritt Walter, with custom changes by ADM Finbar

Seattle Rover Building Plans by Merritt Walter (c) 1981 before Finbar’s modifications

Built in Panama City, Florida in 1984 by Finbar, with the help of many friends, Flagship WOLF boasts 2,500 sq ft of sail, and is able to accommodate up to 41 passengers for day sails, and 6 for overnight voyages.

Photo courtesy of Mary Martin, MM Photography (c)

Flagship WOLF in Key West’s Wreckers Race Series, held the last Sunday each January – April, the race is organized by the crew of Schooner Wharf Bar & Grill.

Flagship WOLF Goodwill Ambassador Voyages

Photo credit Robb Zerr, Pyrates of the Coast (c) 2006

Pyrates of the Coast’s Black Skot shares Pirate Lore with students aboard Flagship WOLF in Kingston Harbour during the ship’s 2006 Jamaica Goodwill Ambassador Voyage Port of Call Visit to Port Royal.

Son of a Son of a

Son of a Sailor

“Son of a Son of a Sailor” Danny Gittelman-Sanchez learns to sail Flagship WOLF with the help of his father and Granpa Finbar, in Havana Harbor on during the ship’s 2018 CUBA Waves of Change PeaceVision Cultural Exchange Voyage.

Photo courtesy of Thomas (Tommy) H Avery & Mally Weaver (c) 2018

Flagship WOLF at Marina Hemingway in 2018 for 50th Anniversary of the Hemingway Yacht Club.

Photo courtesy of Bill Klipp © 2018

Conch Republic Navy Captain JT Thompson was crewing aboard the Schooner Western Union with Capt. Finbar, with Capt. John Krauss, at the helm, when the ship attacked the US Coast Guard Cutter Dilligence in Key West Harbour on April 23, 1982.

The infamous Great Sea Battle of The Conch Republic, a signature event of Key West’s annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration, which is held the last two weeks of April.

Capt. JT is the Founder of ONE HUMAN FAMILY FOUNDATION, the “Official Philospohy of the City of Key West” and Flagship WOLF Crew always have OHF wrist bands and bumper stickers to hand out during the ship’s Goodwill Ambassador, Cultural Exchange and Humanitarian Voyages.

Flagship WOLF Humanitarian

Mission of Mercy Relief Sails

Photo courtesy of Carol Tedesco – Key West Cares (c) 2019

In 2019, Flagship WOLF embarked on a Bahamas Relief Mission of Mercy Sail organized by Key West Cares for Green Turtle Cay families devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

Thanks to the generous spirit of the citizens and businesses of Key West and the Florida Keys, Flagship WOLF has had the opportunity to carry donated relief cargo to communities devistated by disaster in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti and Honduras.

Key West Care Bahamian logistics & permits coordinated by Bishop Dr. Jonathan Carey, Glad Tidings Tabernacle and their Community to Community Outreach

Flagship WOLF Volunteers Clay Messenger & Kurt Schultz help unload 12 tons of donated Key West Cares Hurricane Dorian relief supplies in Green Turtle Cay.

Your Donations Support Future Mission of Mercy Disaster Relief Sails

Capt. Allen Cox, and son Alex sailing Flagship WOLF back to Key West after 2019 Bahamas Hurricane Dorian Relief Sail.

Pirate Sails

& Battles at Sea

Finbar & Julie hosted Key West’s annual Pirates in Paradise Festival for 15 years (2000-2015.)

The celebration drew hundreds of Pirate Reenactors, Musicians, Storytellers, Authors & Historians, and thousands of Pirate Aficionados from around the world, to celebrate the rich & colorful maritime heritage of the Florida Keys.

Flagship WOLF sails past Fort Zachary Taylor State Park & Beach during the 2002 Pirates in Paradise Festival.

Flagship WOLF First Mate, GEN Scarlet Jai Sommers, CO of the Conch Republic Army, and Pirate Extraordinaire.

Flagship WOLF hosts the Pirates in Paradise Festival’s 2003 “National Walk the Plank Championships” in Key West Harbor.

ADM Finbar and Angelina June aboard Flagship WOLF during Key West’s 2015 Pirates in Paradise Festival.

Flagship WOLF Serves as Lead Vessel for the Conch Republic Independence Celebration Naval Parade in Key West Harbor

Photo courtesy of Bill & Linda Klipp

Join us in Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Our Tiny Island Nation!

It’s FUN for All &

All for FUN!

Key West’s annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration is held the last two weeks of April each year, and featues 10 days of fun for all ages, and many of the events are free.

ADM Finbar & Julie line up for the “World’s Looooongest Parade,” which runs the length of Duval St., from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

ADM Finbar was aboard the Schooner Western Union during the original Great Sea Battle, held on April 23, 1982, and has led “The Reenactment of the Great Sea Battle of the Conch Republic” from the deck of Flagship WOLF since 1984.

Julie and ADM Finbar play an integral role in the organizing all Military events for Key West’s annual Conch Republic Independence Parade, held the last two weeks of April.

Preparing for the Great Sea Battle of the Conch Republic, held each April during Key West’s annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration.

Photo courtesy of Bill & Linda Klipp (c) 2018

Flagship WOLF Volunteer Crew Jeanne Tobias gathers the “preferred ammo” for the Great Sea Battle.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monhegan fires upon Flagship WOLF during the 2004 Great Sea Battle in Key West Harbor.

Photo courtesy of Bill & Linda Klipp (c) 2014

Flagship WOLF Goodwill Ambassador & Cultural Exchange Voyages

Flagship WOLF docked at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore Harbor during Maryland’s 200 Star Spangled Sailabration celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

During the festivities, Flagship WOLF offered FREE Dockside tours & passenger sails during the Parade of Sail (along with a dozen or more Class A & B tall ships.)

Baltimore was just one stop on Flagship WOLF’s 2012 East Coast Voyage, which also included Port Visits to East Annapolis, New Bern & Beaufort, NC, Smithfield, Portsmith & Hampton, VA, Cape May, and Bristol, RI.

Photo courtesy of These Days of Mine Blog

Passengers enjoy a delightful Day Sail on the Elizabeth River during Flagship WOLF’s 2012 US East Coast Ambassador Voyage.

Flagship WOLF’s Smithfield Port of Call Visit was coordinated by Friends of WOLF, Joan & Greg Conover,

Flagship WOLF sailing the Thames River during OP SAIL CT Parade of Sail in New London, one of the Port of Calls during their 2012 East Coast Goodwill Ambassador Voyage.

During Beaufort’s 2012 Beaufort, NC Pirate Festival, and offered Pirate Sails and FREE Dockside Tours.