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Youth On Board Submissions

As part of the application process for the Youth on Board Program, each teen was asked to submit a poem using some or all of the following words:  Ocean, tide, ship, water, current, rope, sail, bay, dock, knot, helm or wind; or develop artwork for a hat and t-shirt design that could be used by the program.

Here are some of the poetry submissions.

Travis Breiner, Mount Tahoma High School, Tacoma, 17
History & Navigation

Ship on the ocean
People on the bay
Most don’t see the water, most every day
But the sailors do
And it ain’t so blue
Next time you go to the bay, is the water true?

Chandler Brooks, Bellarmine, Puyallup, 14
Photography and Film-making

Sailing over the ocean blue, water lapping over the bough and wind whistling through the sails,
I found a sense of inner peace that is otherwise difficult to find.  Though the work on board was
physically hard and time at bay was long, life onboard a sailing ship gave me bountiful
opportunity to be me.

Jeff Becker, Stadium High School, Tacoma, 17

My life is like a rope woven in many layers.
My life is full of hope driven by all my prayers.
My dreams are like the tide in and out as the days pass.
My dreams are I hope to be fulfilled on day at last.
My feelings are like a dock strong and solid.
My feelings sail like a boat away into the sunset
My thoughts will stay afloat forever …

Malcolm Clark, Mount Tahoma High School, Tacoma, 16
Photography/Film and Sports

Waiting for the ocean tide.
Ready to sail the ship.
From the dock to the bay,
Is just a command away.

The wind and current are right.
Captain takes to the helm.
Tied a knot to secure the rope.
Our spirits are high with hope.

Bring to Tacoma the “Tall Ships.”
Make the City proud.
See the big sails set.
2008 is the best year yet.

Bryan Cargill, Curtis High School, University Place, 15

“Cold Water”
The ocean was at its peak now.
Wind stronger,
With the rain pounding just as hard.
The current fierce with intensity
I stand there on the helm,
My scarf that I knitted fluttered before me.
The dock was soaked with sea foam
This gave me a sense of peace inside,
A calmness of the soul.
I checked the speedometer for our knots –
No faster than 10.
Grabbing the rope I made myself,
I lashed the sails back together again
The tide was high as it threw us about.
The Bay I could see,
In the pitch black of the horizon it was by
I look around to see my world,
Water oh-so deep
Ripples to a calmer pace
A heart beat from the earth’s core.
Then the temperature finally hit me,
As if my dragons breath didn’t give it away
As cold as ice the air stung
Sweet with snow and ice
I breathe in deeper, deeper, deeper . . . . .
My lungs fill with the heavenly sent
The last true breath I took
Before our ship fell into the water
As my face turned blue
And my scarf floated before me
My hair scattered from the new air
Down we went
I’m still at the helm
Never to be found

Caitlin Dawes, Meeker Middle School, NE Tacoma, 14
Photography/Film and Instrumental Music

The current, fast then slow, can’t help but stop the ocean’s flow.
And the sails bug and huge can’t help but capture the wind’s ill news.
The water rising with the tide, makes for quit a bumby ride,
But the rope, in knots upon the helm, keeps the ship from sinking down.
The Bay is near, we see it now, let’s dock our ship and secure the bow.

Joshua Dansby, Insight School of Washington, Roy, 14

The Wind is in my heart,
The boat is my start.
The start of a journey that will have no end.
I will never look back as the boat is my friend.
I will be here through the thick or thin.
The wind is in my heart, the boat is my start. . . . .

Eric Franklin, Mount Tahoma High School, Tacoma, 14
Basketball, Photography, Environmental, Navigation

Tide meets with the beach.
Back to the ocean it goes.
The wind smells of salt.

Jerilyn Freano, Henry Foss High School, Tacoma, 17

The sky turns pink as morning dawns
The waves, so calm, now rock the ship.
A fresh breeze stirs upon the helm,
High above sails move and dip.

The water turns from grey to blue,
The sunrise breaks upon the bay.
The ocen moves as if awake:
Here comes the beauty of the day.

The time is now; it’s time to sail.
Cast off from dock!  Untie the rope!
With sun in my face and wind in my hair,
I welcome the day with joy and hope!

Jayna Gilley, Christchurch Academy, Kirkland, 17
Navigation, Photography/Film

The wind whips against my face,
As we make all great haste,
To get across Puget Sound,
And make the discovery waiting to be found,
A plethora of knowledge stored,
Within the tall ship moored,
I want to make this discovery,
Within the ratlines it will find me,
In my berth throughout the bells,
Although my clothes have a particular smell,
I’ll chart the tides and log the knots,
With my hard work and unending fight well fought,
The experience will be well worth the making,
Knowledge is the end of the undertaking.

Ellen Gilley, Christ Church Academy, Kirkland, 14

Though the ships and tides change
The memories run with the current of the ocean
Linking us together like ropes holding, holding
The sail up through our lives.

Monica Jadwin, Lincoln High School, Tacoma, 16

As I stand on the deck of the ship
I feel the current pulling me out with the tide.
The cold wind hits the sails, dark and choppy waters make me stumble.
I catch a rope and the treacherous journey begins.

Josh Jones, Spanaway Lake High School, Spananway, 15

All around me is the sea, deep, blue, and full of mystery.
I am a ship among many, searching.
My sails are my dreams and aspirations,
Catching the wind they carry me toward my goal.
I sail on.

There are days with no currents, no winds.
I press on and struggle.
Wondering if I have lost my way.
Certainly not, for my path is charted by the Captain.
I sail on.

My friends sometimes sail along beside, encouraging me.
But we must part, for everyone’s journey is different.
Although I hope we meet at the same destination.
For now, the winds carry us apart.
I sail on.

Through the cold and lonely artic,
Icicles hanging from my bow. I make slow progress.
Through the warm tropics,
Birds besting in my mast.
I sail on.

One day I will see the long awaited dock,
One day, I’ll be home,
But for now, I sail on because there is no turning back.
My trusted Captain is at the helm.

Lisa Jones, Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee, 16

We sail the ocean blue,
In search of myths and fun, too.
We go wherever the wind takes us.
As we throw off the ropes that hold us to the dock,
We wave good-bye knowing we may never see lands again.
She sails straight and true.

Devon Kaapana, Life Christian Academy, Tacoma, 15
International Relations, Navigation, Cooking Pyrotechnics


Woken by the sound of the rhythmic tide
Cold Ocean washes over me
Spitting water from my mouth my eyes first fall on the gleaming bay
Chills up my back from the biting wind
Something heavy weighs upon my legs and my heart
Then I see for the first time
Knotted snakes of rope around me
Torn sails and beaten wood scatter the beach
With the voices of a vicious battle lost
All hope leaves me as I recall haunting events that occurred
Living with pain is not something I am capable of
I wade in and offer myself to the current
Its force pulls me, takes me
For once in a long time
I am at peace.

Stephanie Little, Mount Tahoma High School, Tacoma, 14
Navigation, Photography, The art of sailing

Tide, tide look how your oceans so blue and wide
Oh how I long to be next to you
Sitting on the beach watching the currents go by
Hoping that one day I could set sail on a ship.
The light briny wind blowing in my face
Water splashing with grace
Man, that’s the dream.

Genee Mcclelland, Mount Tahoma High School, Tacoma, 16
Drama club, Navigation


Gentle current tide
Sailing ship floats in the wind
Rope trails in the water.

Hunter Montiel, Meeker Middle School, Auburn, 14
Navigation, Astronomy

Commencement Bay

In and out
The tide does not pout
The wind is whirling
The ocean sighs
As it waves goodbye
To the Tall Ships that are so high
The current rushes
With the ships on its back
The sails sway back and forth
Goodbye Commencement Bay!  I’m headed north.

Elizabet Nichols, Bellarmine High School, Tacoma, 15

“One Day”

One day I said I want to sail the ocean blue and ride the currents blue.
One day I said I want to tie a knot that will never rot
And then I thought
That day is today because I am on a tall ship as I sail away.

Stephanie Ramsey, Kopachuck Middle School, Fox Island, 14

Early one day my sail shot through the bay,
With each wisp of wind,
The current and I did play,
As the tide came toward town,
My ship went up and down.
Oh the ocean looked beautiful that day.
The water was right, my sail tried to fight
But my knot in my rope kept it from stray,
I thought I might dock,
But the distance was a lot,
So I held the helm, to go straight,
I’m glad that I had,
Because it would’ve been bad,
If I didn’t enjoy that day.

Benjamin Rogers, Lakewood High School, Lakewood, Colo., 16
Environmental Education

Working at Sea

I cling to the rigging as we sail away,
Into the ocean, gone is the bay.
The waves rock the gigantic ship,
And we, the crew, try to prevent a tip.
The current and the tide rock us to and fro,
We must reach the next dock, so wind please blow!
I must gather the ropes and tie special knots,
And help the crew not let water get caught.
Aboard the ship for we can’t let it sink,
And that wind can change in an eye’s wink.

Jordan Sharp, Tacoma School of the Arts, Tacoma, 16

Water crashes up against the ship’s side,
The moon’s gravity pulling the ocean’s tide,
Wind pulling up the beach’s sand from the rocks,
At the helm, the disconcerted pilot does confide,
“Surely this is not the best way a ship docks.”

Dan Spencer, Bellarmine High School, Fircrest, WA, 15

Wind wails.
The sails,
Whose tails
Are full of ails,
Before this gale.

The foam of the waves
Mixes with tiny flecks of life;
A vibrant potion.
As our ship glides
Over the reflected bay lights on
This beautiful ocean.

Zoe Snape, Stadium High School, Tacoma, 14
International Relations

The winds have carried me far,
I’m at the helm of my ship,
On the oceans, tides and currents I sail.
I am headed home to the familiar waters of the Bay.
The dock is in sight.
I ready the rope, I tie the knot.
I am home.

Kathryn Smith, Lincoln High School, Tacoma, 15
Environmental Education, Photography/Film, Adventuring

Watch as the ships glide by, full sail,
Great wooden things from ancient tales.
See the shiny hulls covered with spray,
Gathering here in Commencement Bay.

Josie Tarr, Bellarmine High School, Tacoma, 14

The ocean tide crashed against the ship lying at the dock
As me and my ship headed out to sea
The ropes were tied in knots
With the sails flapping in the breeze
The deep blue water was singing a song of fury
But it was calming
Calling me
Calling me
The current and the wind started to pick up and take me out to sea
Then from afar I heard the voice of an old seadog yelling at me from his helm
This is what he said
“There’s a storm coming   Better turn around”
But the sea was singing its song
Calling me
Calling me.

Dedicated to all those who have been claimed by the sea.

Ben Wagsholm, Cle Elum-Roslyn High School, Cle Elum, 14

I want to be a part of it,
A part of the experience,
A part of feeling the rope slide, slide between your hands,
Knowing that the tide is right under your feet,
I want to be a part of it.

Riley Wilmot, Todd Beamer High School, Federal Way, 15
History, Photography/Film

Sing a sea chantey
Pull the sails in before you
Sing the song again.
* * * * *
She told us to row
So row, ho, all together
Now row or you’re through.
* * * * *
Bring the boys down, tie
The ropes tight to the bow, and
We’ll see her tonight.
* * * * * *
I got me parrot.
I got me leg.  I’m ready
So let’s sail these ships!