I am full of gratitude this morning, for friends, for love, for living near the water and the boats. My daughter was home for college this summer teaching sailing at the NW Maritime Center to children who were here visiting and to children who live here. She says that some of them had hardly been in a boat before. If one child got scared in the pair out in sailboats, they might get others scared and crying. Still, she felt that they had enough staff and good training and were very safety conscious in this cold water.
One week half the kids said that their favorite thing the whole week was when one of the instructors went overboard. Honestly, he was pretty cold after that but learned to bring extra clothing.
My daughter took the Level One Sailing Instructor Course in Seattle before she started teaching. The instructors here at the Maritime Center got to know each other and work as a team.
The small land pirate ship is on the water side of the Northwest Maritime Center and is popular all summer, during the Wooden Boat Festival and for the younger Messing Around in Boats program in the summer. Small pirates ho! Gratitude for imagination and cameras and play and the sunrise and sunset.
In September at the Wooden Boat Festival I went down to look at the boats. There was a square rigger with a pirate. A 22 foot square rigger with the largest sail about the size of a baby blanket. After we had exchanged introductions, Captain Jack explained that his grandfather had built the square rigger to play with his grandchildren and he has restored it. It has an outboard in the middle, well, an inboard outboard so to speak. I asked how it sailed and he said, “Downwind.” I asked about hull speed and currents and he replied “AAARRRR, don’t talk to me about current.” A small child came by towing parents and he handed a pirate toy over from a big gold chest.
Then another small child came up. Very small with red hair. He gave her a pirate flag, which she waved. But she still looked at the boat. “You can come aboard,” he said. He told dad to bring her. Dad stepped aboard with her and Captain Jack put a black bandanna hat with a skull and crossbones on her. Then she saw the swords. Cutlasses made of foam! She reached for one. “Go ahead, you can have a sword fight with your father!”
She did, with me and mom laughing. “Would you like to take the wheel, matey?” said Captain Jack. She nodded. She and dad went back in the very small wheelhouse and she practiced steering the squarerigger. “Me boat has been shanghied, I’d better escape!” said Captain Jack, stepping ashore and leaving her and dad in full possession. The small pirate was very serious the whole time. This seemed to be new territory and she was concentrating on all of it.
Captain jack told me that he came to the festival last year and got invited back. He was very pleased and towed his boat from the inland lake. Hooray for Captain Jack and for all of the boat owners and contributors to the Wooden Boat Festival that encourage the children to be involved and Joey Pipia and all of the play pirates….