Finally in San Francisco

In my last two posts, I shared a bit of our incredible passage South from Washington. All said, Resilience’s maiden ocean voyage was spectacular! The display of wildlife seemed to ramp up each day. On our final morning the grand finale was breathtaking. Massive pods of Common Dolphin joined up with dozens of Orca. Together these two species danced from horizon to horizon. Then came the Fur Seals and Northern Right Whale Dolphins, who swam at our bow. To top it all off, two Blue Whales joined all of us as we made our way towards the Golden Gate! No one slept that day. How could we? The excitement of the morning transformed into pure ecstasy as we approached the iconic Golden Gate bridge. The wind picked up and the ocean swell turned in our favor. We unfurled our full 130% Genoa, shut off our engine, and sailed with the surf. We broke our speed records for Resilience. We were sailing an average of 9.5kts but at one point I saw 13kts on the gps! Not bad for a single sail and 15kts of wind! It was at this moment that our new friend and onboard cetacean biologist, Jared Towers, felt compelled to fly the drone as we sailed beneath the bridge. Next thing we knew, the drone was in the air and spirits aboard the boat were at an all-time high! There’s something about finishing a passage with such a clearly defined finish-line. I can only think of a few other passages that ended so triumphantly (New York City 2009, Bermuda 2019, Marquesas 2020). Now that we’ve made it to California, we have officially completed our first season aboard Resilience. Our crew is mostly off now. Kiera and I are the only two currently aboard. I’ve been pushing hard, practically begging, that we don’t film or do any field work while in California. We have so much other work to do! I am not just talking about continuing the refit and repair of Resilience. Of course we have a long and daunting list of boat-work we need to accomplish before the end of the year. I am also talking about organizational work ranging from fundraising to strategic planning. Our goal was to use this summer as a proof of concept and a trial run for our mission. On that front, we exceeded our expectations! I am so thankful and impressed by the grit and spirit of our crew this summer. To get a project of this magnitude started so quickly was not an easy task. We were given our fair share of hurtles, but we persevered and as a result, we had an incredible season. It’s time for us to dig in our heels and do our best to ensure we can continue to transform our vessel into a safe and impactful research vessel. We need to raise the funds needed to pay our crew members so that we can keep good people around. We need to keep on working to improve our methods and build on the momentum we have already created. Thrilled. Thrilled is the word that comes to mind when I think of where we are and where we are headed. We’re so thankful for all of you who have stuck with us through all of it. The best is yet to come!

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