On a rainy day at Elliott Bay Marina, we waved goodbye to the New Start High School students as they walked away from Adventuress. My eyes met the crew's and I could tell that they, like me, were experiencing a wide range of emotions. Some eyes shimmered with tears, others shimmered with hope and inspiration. Everyone's eyes were smiling. Everyone was grateful to have sailed with New Start High School.
New Start High School is an alternative school with non-traditional programs to help its students succeed. While the students may not have done well in traditional schools, they are determined to take full advantage of this opportunity to learn, grow and graduate. And they are surrounded by people who care about their success.
|Bev with her students|
It was the right thing to do.
In my four years with Sound Experience, sailing on dozens of voyages, I have never seen such eager participants. These students were gracious, hard working, and thirsty for every experience. They were quick to smile and eager to help. They embodied the spirit of Adventuress.
Students came with their own hopes for the voyage. One student planned to join the Coast Guard after graduation and this was her first overnight experience on a boat. Another was considering working in the marine trades. But my favorite reason for coming was this:
|Troy at the top of Adventuress' mainmast|
That was merely the tip of a tremendously thoughtful and inspiring iceberg.
Their trip was short. They spent two nights aboard Adventuress, but that was enough time to endear us to each other. The bond happened so quickly, and so powerfully, that we were all choked up at their departure—it felt like we had known them for months. I am certain the experience was even more powerful for them. Here's what they had to say about their time on Adventuress:
"I learned how far I can push myself. My experience opened my eyes and showed me that I can go forward and do more with my life. I can work hard and work with others. It's given me the push to want to be better." - Angela
"Before, I didn't know my classmates, but now, being on this ship, I feel like they're extended family. Most of us didn't talk before and now we're communicating together." - Troy
"I've grown stronger, as in my will to do things. When someone asks me to do something, I'll just to do it rather than waiting for someone else to do it. I have more initiative and more respect for the things I do and what others do." - Nick
"I learned that even when I'm afraid, I can overcome those fears by taking one step forward. Just keep moving forward." - Katrina
"I learned to not be scared to do things. It's ok to try something new. Go out there, explore, see what's new in life and have fun." - Andres
New Start's journey has continued to have a powerful effect. One student has already returned to Adventuress to volunteer for a week. Bev was named Teacher of the Year for her district. And Sound Experience continues to tell New Start's story as an example of the empowerment and community that can happen aboard Adventuress.
|Volunteer Antonio chats to Cpt. Daniel|
|Keeping the ship safe on bow watch!|
|Rowing the dinghy, Ayashe|
|Furling the foresail|
|Jessica climbing aloft and rowing Ayashe|
|Mechanical advantage is a wondrous thing!|
|Everyone squeezes into the main cabin|
|Providing our own entertainment!|
|Doing the dishes|
|Thumbs up for washing the decks!|
|Scrubbing the sole boards (floors)|
|Nick checking the engine|
|Andres cleaning the soles|
|Jose hauls up the jib!|
|At the helm|
|Charting our location|
|Angela and Merilee|
|Hanging out on the bowsprit|
|Bev performs as the crab zoea|
|We sang "La Bamba" and danced!|