Schooner, launched 1924, Bellingham, Washington
Home sweet home!
I fell in love with Zodiac very quickly upon my arrival, she’s a beautiful little schooner, the smallest boat I’ve worked on, but the oldest. She was built for the heirs to the Johnson and Johnson Company but sold in the 30’s to the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association and renamed the California until the 70’s when she was purchased by her currant owners.
Compared to the other vessels I’ve worked on she has two unique factors.
She doesn’t stray far from her home port in Bellingham, Washington. Unlike other vessels where I struggle to find the grocery store and can’t plan ahead that they’ll have what I want, here I know the grocery stores like the back of my hand. When I check out and the cashier asks if I found everything okay I feel like answering “I might know where things are better than you do.” Another benefit is that I’ve gotten to know Bellingham really well and have fallen in love with the area.
Zodiac also runs solely on volunteers, well except me. Some of them have been with the boat since the beginning, the old man’s group, but there are lots of youngster and we are always looking for more people. Running the ship with volunteers allows for more of her profit to go back into the ship so she can continue to do what she is doing, she’s almost 100. On other boats you usually have the same 20 crew members for 4-9 months, you’ll end up getting sick of one person and you are still stuck working with them. On Zodiac every trip is a different group of people.
Zodiac has two types of trips, day sails with up to 59 people where I often make salmon dinners or three day overnight trips with 39 people. My favorite thing about the way her trips are organized is most of them have a theme. We do lots of student trips and family oriented things with the focus on sailing, but the best ones are our brewery expedition, seafood and winery tour, ukulele lessons, nautical knitting, book group and evening beer tastings with local breweries.