A Learning Journey on the Pacific Ocean

As I climb out of the galley of Providence, an 80’ LOA class B tall ship built in 1903, the stairs  creek and my knees almost hit my chest. I have a coffee in my hand as I try to wrestle up the  stairs, holding onto the railings on the sides of the ladder. I am going up to the deck and I am wearing my “Ocean Bridge” coat and toque. I do not feel well rested after sleeping in the tight bunk in the galley all night, but it does not matter. I am excited to be alive. I am grateful to be here. 

The warm sun hits my face and I smell the ocean air. It is so bright. I smile ear-to-ear as I  squeeze out of the door onto the deck. I hear their voices before I see their beautiful faces.  There are so many wonderful people aboard this vessel.

 

I say, “good morning,” to everyone, as I look out onto the vast and brilliant saltwater, that is teaming with life and potential. The ear-to-ear smile has never left my face.  

We sailed the Salish Sea. We saw Gabriola and Saturna Islands, to name a few, and we stopped  at Valtez Island for some low tide exploration. We found rock crabs, dog winkle shells, Turkish  towel seaweed, eel grass, purple starfish, and sand pipers. 

We spent a lot of time sitting on the deck in the sun, reading maps, and learning from each  other. 

We learned about salmon, fish farming, and marine sound pollution. We learned about  acidification, the Herring collapse, sea star wasting, oxygen dead zones, trawling and plastics.  We learned about BC Ferries and their environmental programs. We learned a lot about the  status of resident and transient Orca whales. 

I am so grateful for my experiences with Ocean Bridge and the opportunities that I have had to  be able to gain this worldly knowledge from so many talented people. Thank you.

Submitted by: Jocelyn Whalen

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