Monday, June 28, 2010

Sailing Through Deception Pass

By the Crew of the schooner Adventuress

It is a highlight for all mariners – passing through the ever-so-narrow Deception Pass. We experienced this ourselves on June 25th with a group of young participants from the Treehouse organization ( onboard. We were travelling from Everett to the San Juan Islands.

The pass is known for its majestic towering cliffs on both sides and turbulent currents. We timed our passage at slack tide to avoid the worst of the currents. Additionally, we paid tribute to Ko Kwal Al Woot (aka the Maiden of Deception Pass) by sharing her story and paying tribute with a sacrificial brownie to ensure our safe passage. Our timing and sacrifice paid off as we motored safely through the narrow passageway. (Maiden photo comes from:

The story of the Ko Kwal Al Woot dates back to the time the Samish people lived in this area where they found plenty of food from the sea. The “Maiden” (as she is known) makes the ultimate sacrifice for her people by agreeing to marry a man living in the sea who had power over their food and water sources. The man used his power to persuade this beautiful maiden, who he had fallen in love with while watching her gather clams along the shore, to marry him. Initially, she returned to her village once each year to see her people. But in a short matter of time, she no longer wanted to leave her husband or the sea. So, she stopped coming back to the village. She had fallen in love with the sea. (A more complete story of Ko Kwal Al Woot can be found at

There was one additional highlight of our passage through Deception Pass. A couple of our newest Shipboard Volunteers were standing on the towering bluffs waving us on. One of them played the bagpipes as we passed by. We could feel their presence on the deck of the ship. It is always wonderful to see this kind of community support. Thanks Chiara, Rob and Danaan!

Fair winds,

The Crew of the schooner Adventuress

Friday, June 25, 2010

Two Days of Maintenance: Complete!

By Capt. Daniel Evans,

Howdy folks!

We just wrapped up two days of maintenance on Adventuress and you wouldn't believe how much we got done. I could keep it a secret, but decided I would enjoy it much less if I didn't get to share it with all the people who work so hard to keep her(and us) afloat. So here is a list, but keep in mind that for everything that was completed many other things had to happen: like moving deck boxes, walking every where except the deck, working out of Hefe, mixing, cleaning, coordinating, prepping, troubleshooting, buying, climbing, sanding and well...a little bit of guessing and just praying it will dry in time.

So here we go:
  1. Scraped the entire deck for paint, etc. and slushed the whole deck
  2. Scrubbed down and Osphod the entire hull
  3. Sanded and Painted both rubrails
  4. Popped paint bubbles on the entire hull, then faired and painted all bare spots (2 coats)
  5. Slushed not just the standing rigging, but the backstays, head rig and jib and staysail stays
  6. Cut down all the troublesome bolt ends in the focsle that have been bopping people in the head, arms and feet
  7. End for ended both the throat and peak halyards on the fore (anything to give them some life!)
  8. Painted beautiful bunk numbers on the new focsle bunks
  9. Had a thorough cleaning of the belowdecks (field day)
  10. Replaced bad shackles aloft - bad shackles! Bad Shackles!
  11. Inspected and cleaned 'suspect' blocks aloft
  12. Pinned or double nutted every bolt that wasn't already done in the standing rigging
  13. Applied sodium borate not just to the lazarette, but to the main cabin and focsle bilges
  14. Killed bad mosses that were actually growing aloft in our trestletrees! Bad moss! Bad moss!
  15. Finished the servings on the head rig
  16. Traced down the issue with the fire pump that was not allowing us to use more than one fire hose (long story, but it was an air leak in the heads)
  17. And finally, pulled out all the sole boards in the main cabin, sanded them down and painted on a beautiful coat of Varathane.

It was tremendous work by our Chief Mate Sarah and this eager crew. They worked hard, completed tasks well and were still cheerful at the end of the day. Kacie worked the first day even though it was her day off and Merilee stopped cooking long enough to slush the fore shrouds. Adventuress was in need of some love and she got it in these two days.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Teacher Sail Aboard Adventuress!

By Megan Addison, Education & Outreach Coordinator

On Sunday, June 13th I had the pleasure of sailing with a group of educators from all over Puget Sound. We had teachers from Vashon Island, Edmonds, Bothell, and Seattle, not to mention a few folks from the Seattle Aquarium and Environmental Science Center in Burien.

Our first Teacher Sail in the 2010 sailing season started out with beautiful blue sky and sunshine. All the teachers were there on time if not early, and we were all on board by 9am. After a brief welcome and introduction circle, we got off the dock and used all the muscle on board to raise our four sails. While underway, the guest-educators had the opportunity to investigate Adventuress' various learning stations: a tour of below decks, looking at plankton under the microscope, and checking out the marine invertebrates in our onboard aquarium.

We took a break from the stations to enjoy some "lemony scone-type-things," or so our Galley Coordinator called them. While we were munching on our treats, the crew donned silly outfits and performed a hysterical skit. After, the educators finished their tour of our learning stations with watersheds and nautical skills.

Three hours of sunshine, great wind, and a fantastic group of educators and their families reminded me exactly why it is I want to remain a part of the Sound Experience family. The passionate educators this program attracts, the crew who never cease to amaze me in their creativity, enthusiasm, and flexibility, and a boat that continues to bring people together are just three reasons I’ve stuck around.


Congratulations to the Crew of S/V Ocean Watch

By the Crew of the schooner Adventuress

On Thursday, June 17th the S/V Ocean Watch returned to Seattle after a 12+ month circumnavigation of the Americas. Their mission was to create awareness about the many environmental concerns facing our oceans today. They travelled 28,000 miles and reached out to 10,000 students along the way. They truly educated & inspired everyone whose lives they touched throughout this epic journey.

The last leg of their journey was from Port Townsend to Shilshole on June 17th. It happened to coincide with our transit from Elliott Bay Marina to Everett which allowed us to greet them as they approached Shilshole. Along with other sailing vessels, helicopters and a fully-charged Seattle Fire Department fireboat, we escorted S/V Ocean Watch into the marina. There were also fans and supporters along the shoreline waving, cheering and holding up signs welcoming them all home. Once secured on the dock, we joined the large crowd at the top of the dock that had gathered to recognize their significant accomplishments and to congratulate them on such an incredible endeavor. We had the opportunity to meet the crew and tour their ship. We also observed some local school students, who had participated in the entire journey via satellite communications, interacting with their “heroes”. One of their teachers said that this experience was so real for them and as a result, the impact so lasting. This is truly effective education.

We tip our hats to the crew of the S/V Ocean Watch. We ourselves are inspired by their journey and the impact it is having on so many people. We know that their experience and learnings will continue to educate and inspire more and more people as their stories are told. We ourselves look forward to learning more about their experience and sharing it with participants that come aboard the Adventuress.

Fair Winds!

The Crew of the schooner Adventuress

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Haikus From Anchor Watch on the Waldorf Trip

Recently, two Waldorf schools joined us for a four-day overnight trip out of Bellingham and through the San Juan Islands.

On our overnight trips, everyone aboard stands a one-hour anchor watch to keep the ship and their slumbering shipmates safe!

Anchor watches are magical hours. Participants are roused gently from sleep by whispering their names and tugging at their pillows. They don their anchor watch garb--which was thoughtfully laid out the night before--and make their way gingerly to deck.

Always there are things to do on anchor watch. Careful not to make a noise, we sneak around checking and rechecking the ship. How high is the bilgewater? Is the anchor light still on? Are our bearings still within an acceptable range? Check, check and check!

As the nights progress, our participants learn the ropes and we finish with time to spare. Sometimes, like on this trip, we write haikus. Here are the haikus written by the Waldorf students:

Night is very dark
Chuckanut Bay is awesome
We love it here

Ripples on water
Rain pats softly on the deck
Clouds cover the stars

The water is smooth
Glossy like a mirror's face
Quiet like the moon

Tomorrow is now
The water is calm and clear
All is sound and safe

Campfire on the shore
Joyful music and singing
As we guarded home

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Calculating Speed Without GPS!

By Monica, Program Coordinator aboard Adventuress

We're back up sailing in the beautiful San Juan Islands! This recent group was very interested in really learning how to sail, so we accommodated. We incorporated something from the "old" days of sailing. We calculated our speed using something other than a GPS. Here's what we did:

Our deck is 101 feet in length. A nautical mile is 6,076 feet. Rounding these two figures off (for ease of calculations) to 100 and 6,000 respectively allows for a very simple (and fun) way to approximate our speed. Mathmeticians will immediately see the formula which is 60 divided by the number of seconds it takes for an object in the water to travel from the bow to the stern of the ship. This simple formula results in our speed expressed in knots.

For those non-mathmeticians, here is how you get there...

x = the number of seconds it takes an object in the water to travel from the bow to the stern of the ship which is 1/60 of a nautical mile

y = x(60) = the number of seconds it takes that object to travel one nautical mile

y / 60 = the number of minutes it takes that object to travel one nautical mile

z = y / 3600 = the number of hours it takes that object to travel one nautical mile
To convert the number of hours to travel one nautical mile into knots (nautical miles per hour) take 1 divided by z.

The mathematical laws of cancellation when multiplying and dividing result in the very simple, final formula of 60 divided by x. So any time we see an object drifting towards the ship, we can easily approximate our speed by timing the object as it passes from bow to stern and divide that time into 60. So who needs a GPS to measure speed?

Students at the bow would signal students at the stern who were holding a stop watch when they saw something drifting by. As the object reached the bow, the lookouts would lower their arms signalling the ones at the stern to begin timing. When the object reached the stern, they would stop the watch and announce the length of time. We could then very quickly approximate our speed. Pretty cool.