Thursday, July 29, 2010

RIley's Big Adventure!

As Riley enters High School we decided that a summer adventure like no other would be a great idea!  When I say we (that is JB and I).....this was news to Riley.  She was set to play lacrosse, go to a 4 day lacrosse camp, hang out with friends texting, going to the mall and the beach.   

After an exhaustive search of camps, summer plans etc I stumbled upon the Tole Mour.  A Tall Ship Sailing adventure which is a unique summer program that is a 3 week live aboard camp that focuses on sail training, marine science and island exploration.  It stimulates minds, encourages teamwork, develops self esteem and is guaranteed fun!   For the entire voyage, campers are immersed in sailing, marine science and teamwork.  The Tole Mour is the largest sailing school vessel on the West Coast.  Over the 3 weeks they will learn how to sail the ship  and professional crew gradually turns over the responsibility of running the ship to the trainees.  They also study marine science through the use of  Remote Operated Vehicle and spend as much time as possible in the water.  

We really wanted to expose her something different, surround her by people who care about the ocean and the environment and who make learning about the world around us fun.  And to live without modern culture for a bit and hopefully come home energized and excited!  

Riley was just certified to Scuba Dive so she will be diving in kelp forests and up and down the Channel Islands (along the CA coast)  They also will be boogie boarding at remote beaches, kayaking in beautiful locations, climbing aloft the mast of the ship, camping on islands, standing watch on the ship an so much more. 

One duffel bag for 3 weeks! NO electronics.  8 berths in a cabin and a very small head (bathroom), laundry by hand and hopefully an adventure of a lifetime.

She was startled at first, wanted to hear more and soon embraced the opportunity!   I love that kid. Open minded and willing to take on adventure.

So 24 hours after flying in from Steamboat, she packed up and we headed to the Port of Long Beach,.

Here she is ready to go! 
Her home for 3 weeks! Not sure where she stores her gear but someplace behind the berth

Once she dropped off her gear she was directed to the bow to get fitted for her wet suit.  They want them to get in the water as much and as soon as possible.

She was directed to get her ":mug" the one she will use for all liquids for the next 3 weeks.  Recommended she decorate it well so she is sure which is hers.  And that was it....time for me to go.  She hugged and kissed me and skipped off onto the ship.   Wow, my baby is growing up that is for sure. 

I hung around the docks for a bit talking with other parents. Was happy to see most looked like the shopped at REI or other outdoor like shops.  Seems any parent shipping their kid off sailing for 3 weeks must be pretty down to earth as well.

And then I was alone....no one at home ( JD and John were driving back from CO) and nothing to do.   I stopped at Starbucks, read the paper, chilled out and then made my way home.  Zen was happy to see me and we spent the day working in the yard.  Cooked a nice dinner and settled down with my stack of magazines.  Being alone in my house is a rare thing- I enjoyed it immensely for 2 nights and then was eager to have my husband and boy come home. 

Love you and miss you already!!!