• Patsy Clark Urschel

And we're off!

Long before the pandemic hit our corner of the world, Bill and I were determined to transform the way we lived by converting one of our passions into a day to day reality. We had used our boat the Endeavour for years to connect, share, and work with universities and natural history museums as patrons and informal research partners. Our plan was to formalize our relationships with these learning organizations by offering our ship and our time in the service of marine-based research. Through existing contacts, we quickly booked several gigs and made the big decision to leave Seattle indefinitely to see what kind of a life we could build. Our plan was to share our work and discoveries through our blog and socials and develop a following of like-minded/curious folks.

By mid-March, the pandemic lead to the postponement of all of our projects until 2021 but we still needed to vacate our beloved slip on Lake Union, as another boat had engaged it after we gave notice. We had each peeled back our consulting work to make room in our lives for the research work, so we decided we would leave anyway, but with one revision: we would make this first year one of exploration but guided strictly by our own preferences rather than those of a client. We both have a deep love for the NW corner of Canada and decided if the border opened by the end of May, we would head to Alaska for the summer by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada. Our yearly trips to visit the inlets north of Desolation Sound have largely been done in the winter, so this was a chance to see this very special land in warmer weather.

After sheltering in place for exactly 6 weeks, we let go of the lines for the last time at Seattle's Fairview Marinas and made our way to Port Townsend, WA to haul out the boat for repairs. My son Chris and Bill's ex Alex saw us off at the dock and friends Kevin and Malory formed a small phalanx of paddle boards to wish us well as we made our way to the Ballard Locks and Puget Sound. Every adventure seems to start with a departure. We will miss our dear friends and our long time home in the Seattle area AND we are excited to begin a new chapter.

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