As Mark has found his groove in the boating realm again, I’ve also found myself back in the bowels of a boat. My work, however, is not quite as romantic as his. I have no stories of hand planing teak, no lore of milling the wood over the best workbench and applying the varnish.
Oh no, my stories involve contorting my body into tight spaces, sideways, working a hacksaw while cursing like the sailor that my Montanan blood somehow bred. But, this is exactly where I choose to be…at least a few days a week. It’s a welcome break from my hours in front of the computer working on my consulting business, Blue Water GIS.
I’m elated to say that I will be the first mate aboard a stunning 65′ beauty, the Snowgoose, this coming spring and summer. Although she doesn’t possess sails for her propulsion, her lines are classic and her seaworthiness obvious. She was born and bred to navigate the Pacific waters of the north. Her birthplace was a boatyard in Ketchikan, Alaska and her birthright, bestowed upon her by esteemed designer Ed Monk, is to ply the waters of the Inside Passage.
This amazing boat serves as an educational vessel in the local Bellingham waters for marine science classes in the spring and fall. In the summer she serves as a research vessel for wildlife researchers and as an ecotour platform based out of Glacier Bay, Alaska.
Not only will I be enriching others’ lives, I can selfishly follow through with a life long dream of experiencing the Inside Passage. For those who don’t know, the Inside Passage refers to the 1,000+ nautical miles of semi-protected waters that weave between islands along the Pacific coast from Washington to Alaska. If this amazing venture is on your bucket list as well, you’re in luck, as the boat still has a few trips available this summer… It’s an experience of a lifetime, and one that I will garner a paycheck for. Blessed I am.
So back to the working bit: the owner of the Snowgoose has taken the winter to re-plumb the boat, down to the last shower drain. Since I’m one never to miss a great learning experience, I have found myself volunteering to partake in this character building endeavor. As every boatman (or woman) knows, the best way to learn a vessel is to work on it, to crawl in those nooks and crannies, and to come home with oil in their hair and under their fingernails. Although I didn’t have a burning desire to hone my plumbing skills this winter, I greatly value the knowledge I’m gaining daily about this beautiful girl that will transport me to distant shores and waters. I honestly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. Now back to that hacksaw.