Friday, July 10, 2009

Adventuress Updates from Hannah and Zach

Hello! This is Hannah, one of the Educator/Deckhands on the trip. Yesterday we took the girls ashore to explore the tidepools on Jones Island. Erin led up a blind hike which involved girls guiding a blindfolded partner along a path without touching and with gentle yes and no questions only. After, I set up a solo hike along the coast trail. I placed cards with observations and questions and inspirational quotations at various points along the path. We sent the girls on the 1-mile hike one at a time, and they emerged glowing and voluntarily discussed the hike and the cards among themselves. "I wanted it to go on forever!" said one girl. It was one of many high points in the day. Others included discovering immense purple lion's mane jellies, leaning in close to look at fascinating intertidal creatures, and an art gallery tour aboardship featuring work by crew and participants.

Hello! This is Zach, also an Educator/Deckhand as well as the summer season Bosun. I led a lesson on Monkey's Fists and most of the girls will leave the boat wearing one as a necklace. Here is a link to a webpage with instructions from the International Guild of Knot Tyers, so you can make one at home:

After the lesson, the gals took a guided tour around the boat. They had spent a good deal of the time after the shore-hike making art in many forms. Some were drawings, some paper oragami and cranes, some were stories or poems. Hannah and Allyssa put on their best snobbish artsy accents and led the girls around the boat asking the artists to "offer some words about their work." It was a huge success.

Today we set sail right away and sailed for most of the day. We had a Man Overboard (MOB) drill and managed to get the "person" out of the water in three minutes from the time the drill was called. Most of the girls got time at the helm and on bow watch. There were lessons today ranging from watersheds to sea monsters to boxing the compass. Silly games were had that involved sticking out your tongue and making the "thpbbt" sound. The apprentices worked on splices with me. Also, we sailed onto anchor tonight. Right now a girl is playing "In the Jungle" on the saxaphone!

The trip is going well, the sun came out today and the wind joined it once we got into Rosario Strait.

More orca pix from Adventuress!

More photos of the orcas who visited Adventuress!

The great orca experience that the girls shared on Wednesday is sure to be remembered by everyone on the ship, so we thought we'd share a few more photos.
Here's a report from Shipboard Program Coordinator Aubrey:
"I've never seen orcas that close before! We had our engines off, and they just swam up to us. Everyone came up on deck and we must have spent two hours watching the bow, off the stern, off the sides of the ship, just surrounding us. We took a few moments of silence and could actually hear them breathe. Several times a group of 5 or 6 would come up in a line, bringing the young calf along to the surface. It was so, so cool! And what better way to introduce our education station on Marine Mammals. "
The girls have been busy with many fun activities in addition to the orcas:
"We've been rowing and sailing in our small boat, Ayashe. Yesterday we went on a shore hike to Jones Island where we did a "trust hike" and an observation hike. The girls said they wished it didn't have to end! We also got to go climbing aloft in the rigging. A few girls who were reluctant to go up decided to give it a try anyway and successfully conquered their fears. Last evening we set up an art gallery below decks. All of the girls made art based on the trip experiences...we even had plankton art hanging in the main cabin and "bowling alley. We continued the plankton theme with chocolate-chip, plankton-shaped pancakes for breakfast this morning. And to top it all off, we had a birthday cake for crewmember Hannah. Tomorrow we head for Bellingham and our final watch meetings and Closing Circle."

Heave away, haul away, girls! Raising the mains'l aboard Adventuress

"Ready on the peak..."
"Ready on the throat..."
"Ready on the sheet..."
"Ready on the lacelines..."
"Ready on the chantey..."

Adventuress has the second largest mainsail on the West Coast, second only to the schooner Zodiac. The sail weighs as much as a small car!

It's a Superpod!

What a sight!! On the trip from Port Townsend to the San Juan Islands on Wednesday, the ship sailed past a "superpod" of orcas--members of J, K, and L pods swimming together, running from port side to starboard side. On board, a moment of silence allowed all to appreciate the awe-inspiring experience. "It was truly fantastic," reports Captain Joshua. "They came at just the right time to give the girls a sense of this powerful place."
More favorite things...
  • Being under wind power.
  • Climbing aloft.
  • Being on the water.
  • Sweeping below decks.
  • Learning how to "talk sail."
  • Singing sea chanteys.
  • "Plankton races were awesome!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Each evening aboard Adventuress, a troop of costumed characters emerge from the main cabin in response to a resounding chorus of "What's for dinner?" A lively skit ensues, as the Watch Group members assigned to dinner prep use their theatrical talents to let the rest of the crew know what they have been cooking in the galley.

Then it's time to climb down the ladder into the foc'sle, grab dishes and utensils, get in line in the "bowling alley," and make your way to the galley to fill your plate with delicious vegetarian fare. For some reason, the food always seems to taste especially good after a busy day on the water, and a welcome sound is the "ding ding" of the ship's bell signaling that everyone has been served and it's okay to come back for seconds.

Dish washing usually takes place on deck. Hopefully you've eaten everything on your plate to minimize waste. Any remnants are scraped into the compost bucket (to be eventually offloaded to nourish someone's garden); plates are rinsed with saltwater; then it's into (1) hot, soapy, fresh water, (2) hot water rinse, (3) mild bleach solution, and finally (4) dish racks to air dry. This sytem is great for conserving the precious supply of fresh water on board, and with everyone pitching in to help, cleanup is quick and easy.

Girls at the Helm Album #1

Going through the Locks.

At anchor.

Morning chores.

Deck art.

All "hands" to furl the mainsail.

Creating a Watch Flag.

Furling the jib.

Black-bean burgers!

...and lots of potatoes.

Adventuress at dusk.

Tuesday morning brought a breakfast of French toast and fruit and a run-down of the day's activities. First up was everyone pitching in for Ship Stewardship. Watch Groups were assigned to washing the deck, cleaning the soles (floors) of the cabins, and yes, cleaning the heads! With things shipshape, it was finally time to set sail. All hands joined in to sing a sea chantey while raising the big mainsail, followed by the foresail, staysail, and jib. Gray skies and cool temperatures called for jackets and hats, but a nice steady breeze made for pleasant sailing. Watch Groups rotated through time on deck for sail handling and navigation lessons, time in the deckhouse for plankton class, time in the main cabin for artwork and journaling, and time in the galley to help with lunch (salad and two kinds of macaroni and cheese). One group decided to bake cookies for the ship, choosing three different recipes from the galley cookbooks. Each Watch Group created a special flag as well. A hearty dinner of black-bean burgers and potatoes was served at anchor before evening programs began.The Brave Porpoises were asked what they liked best about Day One:
"Making new friends."
"Watching it go from dark to light during early morning anchor watch."
"Sleeping!" (much appreciated after a busy day at sea)
And one of the girls (aka "Rosy Rockfish") shared her impressions of Day One:
"Last night was my first night aboard the Adventuress. It was calm that night. We played games. There are two cabins on board. The ship is big, the food is good, and there is lots of room. Fun activities and wonderful sights. I learned how to tie a bowline from an overhand knot and to tie off to a cleat. What I liked most was talking."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Girls are at the Helm!

Girls at the Helm has begun! At 10:00 this morning, 21 girls boarded Adventuress at the Center for Wooden Boats at South Lake Union. Stepping across onto the deck of the ship, they began a six-day journey of discovery on Puget Sound. After introductions and bunk selections, the girls were assigned to one of three Watch Groups and had their first challenge: choosing a Watch name! With a bit of brainstorming, they decided on the Brave Porpoises, the Sarcastic Sea Stars, and the Sea Cupcakes (an endangered species, it turns out). Groups were then led through orientations by their Watch Leaders, learning about line handling, on-deck safety, and below-decks life (including how to use the heads). Vegetarian enchiladas and salad for lunch were enjoyed before heading off the dock and motoring north on Lake Union to go through the Ballard Locks and out into Puget Sound. Watch Groups had activities and time for reflection before anchoring and a dinner of curry soup and ciabatta bread. Evening finds everyone gathered in the main cabin for the daily resource report (sharing how much fuel, water, and electricity were used today and how much waste was produced), a skit about the day's activities, and a game of Scattergories. Tomorrow we set sail!!