Tag Archives: Sailing

"Each Guided by a Private Chart" Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority

Hawaiian Chieftain Under Sail, Photo by Grays Harbor Historical Seaport

Hawaiian Chieftain Under Sail, Photo by Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority

“We are magnets in an iron globe. We have keys to all doors. We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

What drove your interest in the Seaport? Why did you think it was something worth being a part of, something worth supporting? If you’re a sailor, what moved you to sail? What inspired you to sign in to Ship’s Articles? What nudged you into giving up two weeks or more of your “real life” to live as so many did before compulsory education and airlines and global e-trade?

For many of us, it was the crew. We came at first to see the boats but we returned to see the family. Before long we were part of that family. No matter how shy, no matter how boisterous, how weak or how strong, we each found our place.

But what is family, anyway? Isn’t it a place to learn and grow? A place to put down roots so that you can stretch up to the sky? No one stays on the boats forever (although for some of us it may seem like it), but where do we go? And what do we take with us? You’d be surprised…

Join the family


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Filed under General, Life, Sailing, Writing

Eleven Days

I got off the boat eleven days ago. I worked there for $40 a day.

Today I found a 9-6 receptionist job for $15 an hour. With an hour for lunch, this boils down to $120 to sit in an office all day and be nice to people. I can do that. In fact, I’ve done it before. I’ve counted on those hour-long lunch breaks to get my reading, studying, and even exercise done.

That seems like a different world.

For the past year, I have spent at least six days per week at work, at an average of fourteen hours per day. I was actually very excited to find a job in my field that paid $40 a day! These were labor-filled days. Keeping up the boat demanded heavy lifting, climbing, cleaning, hauling, painting, sanding, teaching, and in all kinds of weather and all kinds of conditions. Some days the students were screaming because there was water washing over the deck and they couldn’t keep themselves upright. Some days were so hot and still I couldn’t even get them excited about petting fish.

Eleven days… off the boat for eleven days. Most of these eleven days I’ve been sitting on the floor staring at this computer screen: sometimes surfing, occasionally chatting, but mostly job-hunting. I’ve had a wireless connection from the first moment of consciousness in the morning until finally drifting off, unable to type another word. I haven’t had to work twenty-eight consecutive days for each day of leisure, and I haven’t had to travel for an hour to the nearest e-cafe for Internet, just to spend my last $1.50 on chamomile tea because it’s the cheapest thing on the menu. I haven’t woken up in the wee small hours of the morning to discover that I’m laying on deck in the middle of a torrential downpour, having to run around closing hatches and putting in weatherboards before rushing off to my stuffy cabin, looking for dry clothes and dry blankets before drifting off for the one or two remaining hours of sleep I might be able to squeeze in.

I’ve had a grocery store, a movie theatre, a library, a bank, even a Target within walking distance these eleven days. I’ve been able to see new places in broad daylight- during business hours, even, and been able to buy souvenirs.

I’ve been offered what I consider to be three days’ pay for half a day’s work. I’ve slept in till noon. I’ve watched movies and read magazines. I’ve washed the dishes that only I have dirtied. I’ve had a hot shower every day. I haven’t run out of toothpaste, deodorant, or clean clothes. I’ve even been to the nail salon.

Eleven days… Maybe day twelve is where the fun begins.

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Filed under Life, Sailing, Writing