Bravo Team’s Five-Day Island Adventure

By Captain Amber

With calloused hands, warm hearts, and soaring spirits, Bravo Team returns from Journey! Five days out in the islands and four nights under a blanket of stars have left us better friends and more experienced mariners.

Navigating underway, with a VHF radio for comms and weather and our trusted paper charts to plot courses and positions, our aspiring mariners refined pre-introduced concepts and navigational math. I introduced correcting the compass and the difference between true and magnetic north, and how to find that variation, and the importance of that distinction. We calculated speed time and distance so we could determine when and where we were going to be for each tidal change, so that fighting or rowing against current was minimalized.

We made pita sandwiches under a tailwind, and ate gorp under oar! We whittled away nautical miles as the skin slowly wore off the pads of our fingers. We surfed a longboat in choppy following seas while we sang to the wind. We set and struck sail again and again as we guided our vessel from anchorage to anchorage. Our complete route took us from Anacortes to Saddlebag Island, then an evening on the dock at Vendovi, onto a mooring ball at Pelican Beach, and back on anchor at Saddlebag Island.

With a constant slew of wildlife around us, we had the opportunity to see many creatures in their natural habitat. We saw seals, Canadian geese, porpoises, forage fish, blooming camas, and chocolate lilies. We took shelter under evergreens and clamored over driftwood from distant wooded slopes. We skipped rocks over wavelets and smelled flowers with names unknown to us. 

Meals were eaten after gratitudes given for our fortune and appreciation of life. Cleanup, chores, meal preparation as well as navigating, sailing, and rowing were duties shared by all. With a daily group rotation, each teammate got to experience being a cook, navigator and bow watch, as well as drive the boat! Teams partnered up with an instructor for their assigned duties, and we made quick work of everything with many helping hands.

Above all, we came together as a team and got an opportunity to unplug from the business of modern life. Teammates got a view of the world accessed by very few, very lucky people. Viewing the world from the water, a complete 180 from our regular view of the water from land, gave us a brief change in perspective that has a lasting, positive change in our lives!

Bravo Team is supported by the TKF Spirit Fund