The following log entries were submitted by Harris Tooley, a volunteer aboard the Lady Washington.
August 3, 2009
I got on the Lady Washington a little over two weeks ago. I had never sailed before in my life and I really had no idea what I was in for. I came aboard while the Lady was on Lake Union. Within the first two days that I was aboard we sailed a few times and transited to Kirkland. The lake was just beautiful. As I’m sure is the case for most volunteers the first days and sails are somewhat of a blur, and only now can I look back at all and try and parse out what I was doing and how much of it was right or wrong. The latter being the more common case.
Kirkland was sort of a land of delights. There was a jazz festival of sorts going on [Kirkland Uncorked, ed.] at the top of the dock and people wouldn’t stop stopping by to take a look at the ship. It was great to see so many people who were so interested in the history of the Lady, maritime history in general, tall ships, and Johnny Depp.
We were docked in Kirkland for a few days, and during those few I started to learn about the lines on the ship. We had sail training and I learned how to climb up the rigging. That was and will continue to be one of my favorite memories of the actual work on board. The height is just spectacular and on the first trip up Mark Scibinico (bosun) and I furled the main topgallant. We went through all the safety instructions and furled more sails and it was a sad moment when we had to go back down. Though, I was comforted by the fact that we would doing quite a bit more work aloft.
Let me now comment on the cooking aboard the Lady: It is great. Daisy, our cook, manages to make three wonderful meals a day, handles the sails, and is our gunner. Enough said.
We received two more crew members in Kirkland, Kelly and Tiny. Kelly had just gotten through with her two weeks before the mast and was back for more, and Tiny is a longtime member of the crew. After Kirkland we then transited to Anacortes. The transit for me was somewhat rough. I got pretty seasick, and later, when we had arrived in Anacortes, I asked Jimmy McManus, the mate, if it had been rough the night before. His reply was that it was only a gentle swell.
Anacortes and Family Camp
Throughout all of this, we had sunny days and cool nights. We picked up boat load of passengers for family camp, supplies and groceries, and the longboat, the Hewitt R. Jackson, then set out for the San Juan Islands. The islands are unimaginably beautiful. We split our passengers up into three watches and then rowed two watches ashore to Sucia Island. It was getting dark and we had to row the longboat back and forth twice, I was determined to row as much as possible, and my wishes were granted, as will be evident later.
Everyone was in high spirits and we dined heavily on s’mores. We had warm fire and heard quite a few good stories. Jimmy and Tiny took turns telling stories about other tall ships and, of course, the Lady. We all drifted off to sleep eventually.
The next two days we spent on Sucia exploring the island and getting to know the campers. We hiked all over, went rock climbing, hunted through tide pools, rowed back and forth between the ship and shore. We were not alone on the island. Besides vacationers and boaters we were camped only a little ways from the Hawaiian Chieftain’s shore party. They were in the midst of youth camp and had set off from Anacortes at the same time that we had. It was very fun to get to see them occasionally popping up all over the place.
We then headed to Stuart Island for one night. It was my watches night to be on anchor watch and so I really didn’t get to spend too much time on Stuart, but anchor watch is a very fun little adventure of its own accord. We rowed back and forth between the camp and the Lady. And then Mark started to pull out the masts for the longboat. Mark loves sailing, and the Hewitt R. Jackson is a fine sailer. We sailed onto the dock at Stuart a couple of times, which was pretty awesome.
Lopez Island was the last we visited during family camp. Mark took people out sailing in the longboat again and we set up our camp overlooking the salt marsh. We had the threat of rain that night and we had to build shelters out of seine twine and drift wood, and then covered them with tarps. As someone mentioned at the time, if we were to not put up any tarps, it would rain, and if we put them all up, it would be as dry as a bone. We put up all the tarps.
The next day we headed back to Anacortes. It was sad to say goodbye to our friends from family camp. They had all fallen into a sort of rhythm with us and were as much a part of the crew as they were campers. They were all troopers. All the times that we raised the anchor, Bob, Randy, Jerry, Jeff, and Tommy all would ask to work the windlass. They would set a pace that I had a hard time keeping up with. It seemed like we lost a large part of the crew when we got back to Anacortes.