Bravo Team: Preparing for Adventure in the San Juan Islands

Bravo Team is excitedly preparing for adventure. With most of the students onboard to head up to the San Juan Islands in early May. We have been working hard to learn the skills necessary for such a trip. 

Students have been introduced to some of the main navigational equipment for planning a multi-day journey, and have been diligently practicing all useful knots and navigational tools that we will use underway. Parallel rulers to plot headings, dividers to measure distances between points, compasses to take bearings and fix our location at sea, as well as a plethora of reference books to check tides, currents, anchorages, to identify wildlife, weather, and wind speed.

With growing excitement, and some anxiety about sleeping arrangements, we set up Townsend’s boat cover and had all students arrange the boat as if we were going to sleep on it. It was cozy, to say the least. The term Captain Chrissy Mclean used was; “hygge.” Used In both Danish and Norwegian, hygge refers to “a form of everyday togetherness” and “a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness, and a spontaneous social flow”. The noun hygge includes something nice, cozy, safe, and known, referring to a psychological state.

This cozy “ togetherness” has been building over these past few months as we all become more familiar with each other. Our quirks, our strengths, and our areas that we potentially may need support in are all valued as part of a unit with many moving, thinking, and feeling parts. One of the next goals is to discuss and note what each of our crew looks like when tired, angry, anxious, upset, or overwhelmed. We all have different ways of dealing with the joys and stresses of the world, and if we can be clear and transparent with each other about these things, then we will be better equipped to be supportive of each other in our times of need. On top of that, we will be planning our meals, packing our shared and personal gear, and doing a big shopping for the necessary food items.

Each student has a bedroll and a small personal bag to bring, with the basic necessities for minimal comfort. They have been given the list of required items and will be packing over the coming weeks. No cell phones or electronic gadgets are permitted aboard besides the ones we use for safety and communication to our land-based team.

With our route set, Captain Chrissy Mclean and I, Amber Hocking, will be working on a float plan, a communication plan, and an emergency plan for safety.

We have a couple more weeks to prepare for the big splash and are both incredibly excited about this adventure we are about to embark on. 

The longboats are such an amazing tool for building teamwork, community, and self-reliance, as well as a vessel to step away from the business and noisiness of everyday life and drift off to another world, to breathe salted air, and commune with nature. To be swept away by the incredible beauty of the world that still is available for those who dare to venture forth to greet it.

-Captain Amber