Middle Schoolers Set Sail for Five-Day Voyage on the Puget Sound
On an epic five-day, four-night journey through the Puget Sound in late June, Seattle Academy students sailed aboard the Adventuress, a boat with over a century of rich history. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from SAAS navigated the waters of Puget Sound blue for what was many’s first live-aboard sail adventure. Joining them were faculty members Harvey Hinman, Chelsea Adrada, Mark Zavala, and the wind-chapped crew from Sound Experience composed of marine biologists and camp counselors. Sound Experience is a local nonprofit that fosters environmental sustainability and youth development through maritime education and trips. Their voyage started at Shilshole Bay Marina and took them south to Blake Island, around Vashon, along Bainbridge, and moored in Eagle Harbor for an evening.
Water-farers sailed the 133-foot schooner Adventuress, which would be their vessel, shelter, and entertainment for the next five days. The Adventuress has quite a history laying claim as a National Historic Landmark. Its maiden voyage dates back to 1913 in East Boothbay, Maine, where it was built for a wealthy businessman from Chicago. Initially intended for whaling, Adventuress served two-and-a-half years with the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. Prior to this, and most notably, the boat and its famed shipmate and museum naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews — of whom Indiana Jones, the Hollywood star, was inspired and modeled after — discovered fossilized dinosaur eggs in Mongolia.
Great weather facilitated an ideal environment for marine education, including boat terminology, mechanical advantage, sail theory, plankton sampling, and ocean acidification. “It was an incredible way to end the year,” says Chelsea Adrada. “Sharing such close quarters facilitated community building and we saw genuine connections form between students across all grade levels.”
Captain Nate Seward, with the help of Chief Mate Gaia Wilson, kept the crew on a rigid schedule with shifts starting at 7 a.m. These middle schoolers were given no grace when tasked with night watch, where they took shifts throughout the night recording drift distance, direction, bulge checks, and determining whether additional anchor chains were needed to secure the boat safely til dawn (seeing some bioluminescence in the process).
“I saw a lot of students challenge themselves in more than a few ways. And that was impressive,” says Mark Zavala. “Multiple kids said they would not climb the mainmast, exclaiming that they were afraid of heights and would never. But then other kids were so encouraging, and the crew was so encouraging, that those kids, in the end, climbed the mainmast!”
With the good fortune of blue skies and porpoise, pelican, and humpback whale sightings, the captain and crew returned home for solid ground and much-needed showers.
“The Outdoor & Travel Program was thrilled to be working with Sound Experience and our amazing leaders Chelsea, Mark, and Harvey to offer our Middle School students this amazing adventure in their own backyard. We are excited to offer a wide variety of local and international trips again this coming school year! Be on the lookout for a full list of trip offerings and sign-up information in the fall.” - Freddy Carley, Outdoor & Travel Director