By Nancy Israel, Bravo Team Co-Captain
Bravo Team this year is a group of creative and caring middle and high school students from Port Townsend’s alternative learning program, OCEAN. We’ve really been enjoying the gift of being together during the pandemic to work as a team with a common goal and doing hands-on work. Although the group tends towards the quiet side, they have been gaining confidence and leadership skills week by week while rowing and sailing the aboard the longboat Townshend. Every week the coxswain position changes, giving them a chance to work on getting the groups attention (ALL HANDS!) and giving rowing commands (PREPARE TO GIVE WAY!). We see shifts from week to week of willingness to speak up or try something new. We also appreciate just “being” on the water, taking in the beauty of this place. It lifts spirits and provides inspiration, boosting mental health.
Students are learning that the boat takes care of us if we take care of the boat by doing our annual winter maintenance in the boat shop. 10 students plus 3 adult leaders have been putting the time in to clean, sand, oil and paint the boat. This past week many hands made light work of painting the hull in one hour! Many students have never done this kind of work before. You can see the pride and care that is being taken to maintain the boat. Relaunch will be next week allowing us to out on the water for the rest of the winter/spring. Continuing to build maritime skills, leadership and environmental learning will be our focus.