Our route today (on Trip30)

Today we were assigned crew duties. Every day we will rotate so that we all get to experience each job twice, and I am starting out as the mechanic. Honestly it sounds a little daunting to me. That is a category of boat work that Jacob is completely responsible for! I have assisted a little, but mostly just with rushing to grab another roll of paper towels when things go amiss. My duties as mechanic include:

  • checking the main bilge
  • checking the engine bilge
  • checking belt tension
  • checking the sea strainer
  • checking oil level
  • checking coolant level
  • recording fuel level
  • recording engine hours
  • checking and recording water levels
  • monitoring the holding tank
  • cleaning the cabin sole
  • assisting the deckmate if needed

It was all more straightforward then I had imagined it, and I think I can do it at home now too! That is a nice feeling. Sundance is a little more fancy than Lark though, and we don’t have electric lights showing us exactly how much water or fuel we have left. We also took our first exam this morning, ASA 101, and I passed. I hope so, because this is the easy one! It was mostly on the parts of a sailboat, points of sail and some basic rules of the road.

In order to prepare for these tests Jacob and I read all three ASA books cover to cover before I left, even spending hours on the phone at night while I was in Chicago. He is a really great study buddy! He did the same thing for me when I was working on passing my liscensure exam…he listened to hours of tapes about professional counseling while we had a roadtrip up to Grand Lake and back around.

breakfast in the cockpit

Before we departed today, we charted our course for the first time, and it was really fun! We drew the legs, calculated the distance, course and position of each leg, and determined an approximate time of arrival. I have always loved playing with maps. One of my favorite gifts from Jacob was a gorgeous road atlas he bought for me right before we left for Alaska the first time.

charting lesson

It was an amazing trip today. Along the way we saw 3 orcas, dolphins, seals, and even an otter. The whales were a highlight for everyone! Lisa has been sailing in the area for years and years and has never seen them before. She is a naturally joyous person, and this brought even more joy out of her…it was infectious! Everyone on the trip is really into animal spottings though, which is right up my alley! I don’t want to miss even one shiny seal head!


We landed in Friday Harbor around 5p and I ran to town for a quick look around and to buy some wine. Everyone has forgotten to bring it aboard in the beginning, and we are all excited to have a glass in the cockpit together now that we are friends! We met up for a fancy dinner by the harbor with a fellow women’s cruising boat at ‘The Place’ and it was SO SO good. I ordered a bouillabaisse that was made with coconut milk and tons of different types of fresh seafood, including clams, scallops, shrimp and halibut.

Friday Harbor


This is pretty fun so far!