The historic schooner Adventutress' ship's wheel was stolen early Sunday as she was docked at Olympia's Percival Landing.
Adventuress, owned by the nonprofit Sound Experience, serves as an education platform for some 3,000 children and teens - many of whom are from underserved communities - who climb aboard each year to learn about Puget Sound.
Sound Experience is offering a $100 reward – no questions asked – for the return of the wheel.
Adventuress is in Olympia this weekend for public dockside tours and public sails. On Monday, the ship is scheduled to sail with 24 students on a 3-day program.
"We are doing everything we can to come up with a loaner wheel," said Executive Director Catherine Collins.
Adventuress' crew was combing the area surrounding the waterfront in hopes that the 3-foot-diameter wheel was stashed by the thieves somewhere nearby.
"It's hard to believe that this could happen," said Collins, "But there are so many folks who love Adventuress that I know we'll find a solution. I just hope it's soon enough."
For more information about Sound Experience and Adventuress, visit www.soundexp.org.