My daughter Erin and I have just shared the experience of a life time, returning to those waters and harbors that we had sailed together for so many years on a magnificent sailing ship, the Schooner Zodiac. We sailed with a ships crew of nine or ten and 26 lubbers whose skills were with the ukulele, not sailing. But we all learned, each of us assigned a sailing station the regular crew taught each new sailor "the ropes", both literally and figuratively. We had perfect weather, wind, and wonderful ukulele lessons and jams both while sailing and when at anchor.
The first night we anchored in Echo Bay on Sucia Island. Here is Gunnar taking us into the beach for an hours hike over this beautiful Island. The Zodiac was built in 1924 for the two Johnson brothers, heirs to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. It took a lot of bandaids to pay for this beauty. We sailed her into the bay and anchored under sail coming up into the wind, dropping sail and setting the anchor. A classic maneuver in a boat of this size. She draws 16 feet, is 160 feet long and of course all wooden. In wonderful condition she is a labor of love for all who own her and sail upon her.
Here in the chart house you see Ann Reinhart a long time Zodiac volunteer who conceived and organized the Ukuleles At Sea cruise with Gordon one of the very pleasant volunteer crew and on the right, Dean Viviretto, a music teacher, great uke player and very pleasant guy from Los Angeles. Dean led the classes both on deck and below.
Here we are at anchor with dean teaching us a new song. What fun to sing in the sunshine amidst the beautiful San Juan Islands.
We had some incredible jamming on the deck. The stars seemed to be all aligned on this trip. I brought along my bass, and one of the passengers, Joe Dodd, a former professional musician and bass player had just come along for the sailing experience, did not play the uke, but boy could he twang on the bass. He had a ball, we all loved his playing, and I got to play my tenor and hear my bass creation played really well. Also shown here is Sue Olson, gleefully playing her new Pinecone concert that I had just sold her.