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Ship trip a sound success

The schooner ‘Adventuress’ during a recent field trip in Puget Sound by science students from CKJHS. - Photo courtesy of CKJHS
The schooner ‘Adventuress’ during a recent field trip in Puget Sound by science students from CKJHS.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of CKJHS

Every day’s a “bad hair day” aboard the sailing ship “Adventuress.”

It’s windy out there.

But none of the two dozen Central Kitsap Junior High School kids on board for a three-day cruise seemed to care — or even notice.

“I liked all the new experiences,” said eighth-grader Stephanie Capatan, 13. “You think you’re going to miss TV and all... but they keep you so busy you don’t miss a thing.”

Ninth-grader Kevin Eckert, 15, said he enjoyed working as part of a group on board. He said he particularly liked “raising the sails.”

Bridget O’Malley, one of two teacher/advisers to go along on the annual sailing field trip held last weekend, said it was her third trip out and second time on the Adventuress — a sleek, beautifully restored schooner originally built in 1913.

Her co-teacher on the trip was Tod Lokey. They both teach seventh- through ninth-grade science at CK Junior High in Silverdale.

“I wanted the kids to have a connection to Puget Sound,” she said. “Unless you go to Waterfront Park or a marina, you have no idea” how much water there is in Western Washington.

“They really push the ecological theme on the ship,” she said. “How conservation helps the community. Kids get a better understanding of the ocean and natural resources. They really grow as people on the boat — it pushes them in a lot of ways.”

Teachers and kids get a different perspective while living on board for three days. All of a sudden, the world is made of water — with bits of land here and there. And cooperation becomes paramount. You’ve got to watch what you, and your fellows, are doing, or somebody might end up in the drink.

“We performed skits on board,” continued O’Malley. “The students learned to speak before a crowd. We were part of a pretty intimate community. Kids learned about themselves as well as about sailing.”

Some students acquired their sea legs faster than others, and then felt “strange” when they returned to land.

“I wasn’t seasick,” said seventh-grader Jake Hunzeker, 12, “but when I got back, I kind-of got landsick. I walked into a (room) and thought the place was rocking back and forth.

“I just liked the whole feel of being out to sea on a ship. Free from all the chores on land,” he said. Favorite experience? “We got to climb the rigging and get on top of the mast.”

The Adventuress is owned by Sound Experience, a company out of Port Townsend.

“The mission of Sound Experience is to protect Puget Sound through education,” said interim executive director, Beth Grafe. “Our programs offer learning stations emphasizing marine science, nautical skills and ecology.”

She said children set sails, sample plankton and marine life, and observe weather patterns. They learn to actually steer and navigate the boat.

The company provides programs out of 10 ports in Puget Sound. Third-graders through seniors are able to participate.

“We use the ship as a metaphor for our planet,” she said. “A closed system that requires understanding, and sails best when all aboard are working together.”

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