Bravo Team: Sailing into Spring

Kelsey BrennerAll Blog Posts, Bravo Team

Merrily, cheerily, so merry are we,
No mortal on earth like a sailor at sea,
So merry are we as we’re sailing along,
Give a sailor his grog and then nothing goes wrong.

With longer days and warmer weather on the way, our band of singing, sailing, and rowing comrades are merrily, cheerily refining our maritime skills aboard our trusted vessel Townshend.

Thanks to the NWMC’s own Sam Torcano and the help of many volunteers Townshend has received much love from many hands. Hundreds of hours of labor put into her during her time out of the water, our vessel is afloat and slicing through the waves again on Thursdays. She has new rigging, some new copper rivets (fasteners that hold the planks together) new dock lines, and fenders and she is freshly oiled and painted.

Students are expanding their comfort level and confidence as they learn new skills and refine older ones both on and off the water. We have reefed the sails several times, both under sail and at the dock. We have anchored the boat and set up the clothesline system that will be used on our journey up to the San Juans in May. We have also begun to plan our Journey, confirming dates and camping spots.

Over the next two months, we will be learning trip planning and beach camping skills. We will be carrying all of our food, water, and clothing with us on a five-day journey this coming May. Students are going to begin learning basic navigation, how to read nautical charts, how to read tide and current tables, and how to use different weather models to determine the forecast. All of these skills are needed to safely plan a multi-day expedition.

With growing excitement, students have become more self-sufficient, and are coming to class prepared with weather-appropriate gear, full water bottles, and gloves. We are learning about taking care of the needs of our boat and fellow crew mates and making sure we work as a team to ensure the comfort and safety of each participant. Teamwork is essential to the smooth functioning of our vessel and floating community. It is an honor to be on the water with such a kind and thoughtful group of young adults as we all become more empowered by the sea and all she has to teach us!

-Captain Amber