A Different Kind of Journey: Scholars on the Salish Sea

by Rosida Mohamathno

Recently, I participated in an eleven-day San Juan Islands boat trip organized by Salish Sea Sciences and Northwest Maritime Center. Rainier Scholars-Tacoma Academic Coach Shakayla Fields accompanied a group of  high school scholars and two Rainier Scholars-Tacoma student advisors to chaperone, support, and lead our students on this excursion. It was very, very, very intense.

Our students rowed from Anacortes to the following islands: Saddlebag, Cypress, Vendovi, Matia, Sucia, Lummi Rock, Clark, back to Saddlebag to end back at Anacortes, a distance of approximately 40 miles! 

Joining at the end, my life was in our scholars’ hands. They proved their leadership and teamwork skills in rowing, steering and navigating the boat, assessing currents and tides, learning to communicate in maritime lingo, tying knots, anchoring and much more.

As the former Rainier Scholars Recruitment Director, I remember these scholars when they entered our program. To see them now, as high school students, taking on such a daunting challenge and succeeding was very meaningful.