Sail to Washington: Crew Log 6/21/2017  by Krista Norris

At 5:30 am the sky over the island of Manhattan turns from purple, to red, to blue, with flecks of gold on the cirrocumulus clouds high in the largely clear sky.  A wake-up song by Bosun A.J. St Martin drifts across deck.  Her lyrics make their way into our sleeping ears saying something about New York City, something about leaving, a bittersweet quality in the chorus- I only catch bits as we all just begin waking up.  

At 06:01 am we’ve pushed off  from the dock in Alpine, New Jersey. We are bound for Washington DC.  A new destination, but a familiar practice.  Dock lines get coiled, water samples collected and logged, and eggs splash onto the griddle in the galley.  It’s cool and sunny.  Cormorants and swallows dart through barges anchored by the navigation channel with some flying ominous little red flags.  As the skyline of the Big Oyster drifts by off the portside, I’m reminded of a song we play often on the sloop, “In Tall Buildings” by John Hartford.  It tells of a fate I think everyone on board is ecstatic to have avoided today.  Hello to the sunshine, hello to the dew.

There are many unknowns ahead of us, when we round Sandy Hook, stirring nerves as well as excitement.  We’ll move to a 24 hour watch schedule, with increased boat checks and safety measures to keep the good sloop safe and sound in the open Atlantic waters.  When will we get to raise the main sail? The radio crackles- whales sighted off Ambrose this morning!

Today feels significant. Though the waters may be different, the mission and the message remains the same.  All our waters are connected, All our waters must be protected. “Set your course to Washington DC!”