Singing Our Way Across the Bay

Chrissy McLeanAll, Bravo Team, Youth Programs

Today was a nearly perfect Fall day. The sun was shining, the mountains were glowing, and there was a light breeze on Port Townsend Bay. We needed to do something special.

So we looked at options for a longer journey with the three and half hours we have together. The group decided that today was a good day to head to Rat Island, 1.75 miles across the bay. We only had four students today, so the longdory Onward was our vessel of choice. She is lighter and a bit easier to row with a small crew.

As we got underway, we started to get into a nice rhythm. We rowed and sang sea shanties for almost an hour until we made it to the tower on the North end of Rat Island. There we had snacks and time to observe the birds (buffleheads, double-crested cormorants, common murres, and shore birds to name a few) and wild life that feed in the shallow water near the island and inside Kilisut Harbor.

Before we knew it, it was time to turn around and row home. We practiced our power strokes, which are strong coordinated strokes we use when we need an extra push. We got up to 100 power strokes as a crew.

At the end of the day, we reflected on our favorite moments: singing shanties, seeing harbor porpoise, having fun as a crew, rowing together, scooping up things from the water, and seeing the birds and the sea floor near the tower.