lifedeathuniversecookies said: Hi! I must regretfully admit I've only recently become acquainted with your marvelous work, thanks to your guest strips for Danielle Corsetto. I plan to make up for this by being a die-hard fan for the rest of my life, though! My pressing and urgent question is this: what was the program you were a part of during your spring break, as portrayed in Baggywrinkles? I've searched all over your (various) websites and can't find any information about it. I'm really interested in participating myself!
Good lord this is a SHOCKING oversight on my part. The print editions of Baggywrinkles do contain links to the program, but apparently those pages just aren’t up on the site! Gracious me. I’ve added some explanatory text at the top of the page just so nobody else has to go on the same scavenger hunt you did.
The program I participated in was run by Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, owners of the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain. I began training on the Lady in 2007 and came back aboard as crew several times over the next few years. I also spent a brief stint aboard the Exy Johnson at the Los Angeles Maritime Institute in San Pedro, CA.
GHHSA runs a fantastic program called Two Weeks Before the Mast, designed to train new volunteer deckhands from the ground up. I had absolutely no maritime experience when I showed up, but those two weeks changed my life. The program runs $500 for two weeks aboard, with 3 meals a day, a bunk to sleep in, and a ludicrous amount of instruction from the ship’s crew. At the end of those two weeks you can stay as long as you like, trading labor for room and board.
It’s far from easy — the days are long and the work is hard and your brain will feel like it’s going to explode — but the rewards are beyond measure.
Let me know if you end up going! It’s my ultimate end goal to use Baggywrinkles as a platform to
spawninspire a new generation of tall ship sailors — nothing makes me happier.
I just want to mention that there’s a similar program on the east coast - so if you want to sail on a tall ship but don’t want to or can’t get out to the west coast, don’t despair.
The Kalmar Nyckel runs a Summer Crew Training course on board the ship in Lewes Delaware. The class runs for about two and a half weeks, and it’s $165 for the class, supplies, crew shirt, room and board. No sailing experience of any kind is required. It’s a great experience, and once you’re a crew member you can sign up to go on sails and voyages and help sail the ship with us!
Expect sporadic updates for the rest of this month - I’ll be out having more adventures! I’m heading to Toronto to pal around with my bud Tansey, and then sailing in Cape Cod until August. I’ll try to post some sailing photos and art while I’m gone, but internet isn’t reliable on the boat.