Go Sailing on the Schooner Adventuress - June 9

All Mountaineers are welcome to join the Sailing Committee for an afternoon sail on the historic schooner Adventuress! Departs from Shilshole Bay Marina on June 9 for an afternoon of fun. No prerequisites!
Carl Harrington Carl Harrington
Seattle Sailing Committee
May 29, 2019

As the Seattle Sailing Committee prepares to dive into sailing season, we invite you partake in one of our most popular events of the year: a sail upon the schooner Adventuress, a local gem of a vessel that travels the Salish Sea educating young and old alike about local environmental issues, sailing technique, and history! Register below and keep reading to get the inside scoop of what a sail on the 'good ship' Adventuress is like.

Beginner Sail on the Adventuress

Sunday, June 9 at 2:30pm

$45 members | $65 guests

register 

 

About The Adventuress

The Seattle Sailing Committee has been hosting sails aboard the schooner Adventuress for many years to kick off the sailing season. The Sailing Committees (Seattle and Tacoma branches) offer instruction and sails on members’ boats, but the Adventuress sail is an opportunity for anyone to experience sailing on a tall ship.

Launched in 1913, Adventuress was built as a luxury yacht and expedition platform. Though a yacht by all accounts, her design was based on classic working boats of the previous century, stout and fast. Her history is part of her great charm and includes 100-plus years of adventures from wild ocean storms, military service, and Pilot duties, to a modern sail training and environmental education platform.

Sailing on a tall ship is much like sailing on one of our skipper’s boats, but scale of magnitude larger. Crewed by about a dozen professional and volunteer crew, Adventuress actually needs many more hands to hoist her 5,478 square feet of sails. Now, it is not required of guests aboard Adventuress to participate in setting the sails, but pitching in is often part of the fun. About a dozen people line up on each rail, two teams per sail. After some basic teamwork instructions like “Heave!” “Two-six!” “Up behind!” and the reminder to pull, not walk backwards (the boat is only so long and you’d run out of deck pretty quick), we are ready to raise the sails. 

“Hold the peak! Hold the throat! Hold all!” the Mate calls. “Tis well,” the Captain replies. “Up behind!” barks the Mate, and we all drop our line “like it's on fire” as instructed. “Make fast and square away lines.”

As the schooner Adventuress’ enormous sails fill, 133 feet of wood hull heels ever so slightly to leeward and begins to make way across Puget Sound. To the South we see Rainier, to the North Baker, and the tree lined shore is all around us. A keen observer might see a harbor seal or porpoise as we cut through the blue-green waters of the Salish Sea.

Oh, did we mention the shanty? Yes, there is an opportunity to sing as you work! We get a taste of the old seafarer’s life as we belt out, “Rolling Down to Old Maui,” or “Paddy Works on the Railroad," or my personal favorite, “South Australia.”

As conversation resumes, and the work of the ship continues, guests explore Adventuress. And often, some fine food is shared in the great cabin aft. You can explore the cabins and galley, where the crew lives for several months in the season. Bunks line the hulls, and you realize life aboard is sparse at sea, even on a 100-ton ship. To live aboard a boat, really any vessel from my experience, is to realize that resources are limited and should be used wisely. There is little room for stockpiling non-essential possessions, and you must have enough supplies to make it from port to port, which could be days or weeks apart 100 years ago.

As the ship sails on, she must be tended to. Unless you are a modern jet pilot or mariner, I bet you probably haven’t steered something bigger than most houses. Well, here is your chance. It is a popular activity to join the Captain on the fantail and take a turn at the helm, turning Adventuress’ spoked wheel to keep her on course. If you get lucky, you might get to tack her bow through the wind. But turning 133 feet of tall ship takes more than a simple flick of the wheel. First, the crew and guests must be warned, and a few volunteers set up to control the sails as they change sides. It takes a strong voice as well as a steady hand, as your voice needs to reach from the stern to the bow. You muster your best impression of Lord Nelson and bellow to the hands at the bow “Ready about!” and “Helm’s alee!” As the wheel goes around, 98 tons of water are displaced as the hull moves through the wind. The sails shiver and luff until they come over and fill on the new leeward side. The power of the wind and the physics of aerodynamic lift pull the ship in a new direction. You are a part of a ancient technology that has been used for thousands of years.

Visit Sound Experience to learn more about the Adventuress. 

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