01 September 2014

the yankee clipper

Earlier this summer I boarded the Yankee Clipper, a forty foot Sea Scout's gaff-rigged sailing ship from Ballard, Seattle, and set off for the San Juan Islands -- through the locks, past the mountains, under Deception Pass, and across the water.

The Sea Scouts, an off-shoot of the Boy Scouts, is a program in which middle to high school kids learn the art of ship handling, navigation, and, on the way, leadership. Lucky for me, they needed adult female volunteers to chaperon. 

The days were filled with long hours of hot cooking, chilled sailing, and watching with great delight as the crew members grew into their own skins. As a ship's mate and galley cook, I didn't spend much time on the islands themselves as hikes and landings were generally undertaken right before meals while I was cooking. But oh how I enjoyed the quiet of the ship while the crew was gone and the shouts, calls, and stories that followed their return.

Not to mention the great reward of bringing warmth and nourishment out of limited food supplies in a galley boasting about 6' feet. Also the joy of learning the quirks and foibles of Princess, the galley's three-burner propane gimbaled stove.

While July and August usually have little wind to offer here in the Sound, there were a few days when the sails were unfurled and the galley was stowed and emptied. One day we even exceeded our motoring speed under sail, quite a feet for the Yankee Clipper, originally built as a troop-transport (essentially a large, motored canoe). Her lines are not ideal for sailing, but that hasn't kept me from falling in love with her spunk.

1 comment :

Indy said...

Wow, what GORGEOUS photos! What an adventure! :)

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