A Magical Overnight Journey

Chrissy McLeanAll, Bravo Team, Youth Programs

On May 6th and 7th the Bravo Team set out on our journey. The students had been training all year to learn the skills they needed to row, sail, navigate and work together. They worked in three teams and each group rotated through cook crew, boat crew and morale crew.

After spending 4 hours organizing and packing all of the gear we would need, we set out across the bay to Kilisut Harbor. Our goal was to overnight in Mystery Bay. The boat crew practiced keeping “red right returning” as we jibed our way downwind through the winding channel.

We arrived in Mystery Bay and tied off to the dock. The cook crew got to work preparing our burrito dinner while the boat crew made a navigation plan for the next day (and figured out what time we needed to wake up). The morale crew made sure our water bottles were filled and set up our boat cover for sleeping.

We had a campfire and played some games as the sun set and the crescent moon became visible. When it was time for bed, we all piled in to the boat. Some of the crew slept on the sole of the boat, while others we in bunks we made from the oars. It was definitely cozy!

The next morning we woke up early to catch the ebbing tide out of the harbor. We sang and rowed as the boat crew navigated our way our of the channel. Near Fort Flagler, we stopped rowing and let the fast moving current pull us along the shore of Rat Island. LOTS of harbor seals were popping their curious heads up at us.

We anchored on the outside of Rat Island for a quick dip in the water and a snack on shore. Then we weighed anchor and set sail for home. The cook crew had the fun challenge of making Tuna Pitas while we sailed upwind. It was one persons job to “tack the Tuna!”

We arrived back to Point Hudson 26 hours after we had left. For most of us it felt like a lot longer. We enjoyed each others company, shared the work, sang, laughed, and helped each other. It was the best kind of magic.