Taming the Dragon

Wednesday 

Hello! I’m Brad, the latest tamer of Sea Dragon. Upon arrival, we met a crazy man named Rico who screamed “Welcome aboard!”. He had arrived a few hours earlier than the rest of us to get first try of all the bunks and decide which was comfiest! He introduced us to the crew; Anna the Skipper, Maggie the 1st mate, and Mo the boat jester (deckhand). After getting settled in, we had an amazing dinner and dessert and called in a night. The next day we went over safety training and had a fun 4th of July celebration with cake and last drinks before departure. After clearing customs on Monday, we left for Hawaii. Our first day at sea was mixed — most of the crew got sick. I lucked out and was okay, and ended up helming for 4 hours straight!  I loved every second of it. I still can’t believe I’m sailing across the Pacific… We quickly settled into our watch routine and life on the boat. Large waves and strong winds were a constant companion for the first few days which did not help anyones seasickness, but they make helming so much fun! I’m having to balance my enthusiasm for riding the waves with my guilt for throwing shipmates across the boat down below… The passage has been cold so far (not what I expected on a trip to Hawaii), but the permanent crew have definitely helped keep moral up. It’s been really great to have a crew of fellow adventurers onboard!

Thursday

Sea Dragon continues west. Each member of the crew pushes themselves as we all learn the craft of offshore sailing. 
And what a motley crew.
Our fearless Captain, Anna, exudes the confidence and calmness that comes from a lifetime of sailing. She is always ready to answer questions both simple and complex. 
First Mate Maggie always has a smile on her face and always there to share her knowledge salty sea tales whilst keeping those extra chatty helmsman on a straight course. 
Deckhand Mo, while new to the boat, displays both skill and silliness on every watch, and is experienced in big boat sailing for her age. 
The amateur crew members include Jeff, whom and others are convinced is my long lost twin. The fact that we share clothes accidentally only lends credence to this idea.
Rico and Gabbi, two Brazilians who have never met before, playfully argue constantly in Portuguese, Wade, a quick witty guy who tells the worst jokes but has the best laugh, Chris who not-so-secretly naps on night watch but is ready for action at any moment, Tina, a math teacher pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, and Rick a quiet mariner willing to break old habits and learn new tricks.

Friday 

Everyone has settled into a regular watch schedule; we’re typically on for 4 hours, and off for 8. During watch we take turns driving the mighty beast, keeping lookout for other vessels crazy enough to be crossing to Hawaii in hurricane season, and cooking meals! Day light usually means others might join you on deck to enjoy the clouds and grey ocean, ad nighttime is peaceful and relaxing.  In the rare moments that the clouds are absent, you can see the entirety of the heavens. It is truly breathtaking.
Watches are the time to take in the views, learn about sailing and chat with the other crew members. Before you know it, fine schedule becomes routine.

Saturday

Hello shorts! For the first time since Mexico it feels good to wear something other than foul weather gear. Everyone’s seasickness has gone away and laughter is commonly heard around the boat. Wade treated the watch crew to an array of dances both awe-inspiring and terrifying, and Gabby and Mo re-enacted the Titanic bow scene (I’m flying Mo!). Whilst all is fun and games, care has to be taken to respect those sleeping off watch as we were reminded by 1st mate Maggie. Sorry Maggie!!
Life is good onboard Sea Dragon.

Sunday

Let there be light! For the first time in days we had sunshine. I did my magic dance and conjured up a patch of clear sky and it was welcomed with open arms by all. Everyone came out on deck for lunch to soak up the much needed Vitamin D. Skipper Anna took the opportunity to use the extra hands to pole out the yankee and butterfly the sails. After the sail change we were treated to ice cream (definitely a bribe) and continued to lounge around on deck in sunnies and shorts, listening to good music and enjoying the weather.