becky in the bow
ship's bell

First off...

...I guess I should go public and admit here and now that I had not been out on an ocean since I was a wee lad some 35 years ago. The reason behind this is that I get very, very, very seasick. We were told over and over again that we were going to have to use the diesel engine to beat up the coast against the prevailing winds and that the ship rolls something horrible when not under sail. Mark Olson, the Ship's Steward and passenger liaison, had informed us that even many of the regular crew use seasick my personal trip preparations consisted of a lot of locating and acquiring scopolamine patches, acupuncture wrist bands, Dramamine, some Benzo-something-or-other, ginger capsules and snaps and vitamin B1. Becky said "Bah - I never get seasick!" and took no precautions at all..."Ha," I thought smugly to myself, "she'll come begging for my scopolamine later then we'll see who's the old tar and who's not."


Mark had suggested we sleep on board that night so we could get situated and spend our first night in the relative calm of the bay. Becky's mother, Awanna, took us down to the docks and dropped us off at about 8:00 that evening. things to take We were scheduled to "weigh anchor" around 9 the next morning (two bells in the forenoon watch), crossing the infamous "Humboldt Bar" with a favorable tide!

We stowed our gear on our tiny bunks which were in the main meeting/dining/hanging around/storage/sleeping room. No privacy here! We met more crew and learned some of "the ropes." Perhaps most importantly, we learned how to operate the head (toilet) which worked with an elaborate system of hand pumps and valves and flushed with sea water. (and you can't put any paper in the head.....ANY paper...boy, is that a firmly ingrained habit to break! -Becky) We were also shown how to wedge our mattresses up with life preservers, so we wouldn't get tossed out at night and thrown against the far bulkhead. It was just beginning to sink in that our "tall ship fantasy" was about to become a reality.

After getting settled in we stumbled around on the deck in the dark for awhile, tripping over the lines, hatches and steps and enjoying the view of the Eureka waterfront from our ship.

on deck

Heading back down below to our bunks, we found several crew members performing some kind of new age/voodoo ritual with "ear candles" trying to get all the bad juju out of the purser/rescue diver, JJ's head. While this did have a certain surreal feel to it, Beck and I just shrugged at one another..."probably just an old shipboard custom."

jj's evil spirits

Things turned out all right we became more familiar with the crew we found them to be totally likeable and hardly scary at all the anchor to "SAIL ON!"

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