A pirate-clad ukulele player and a septuagenarian celestial navigation buff sit down at a dinner table. What do they talk about? How do they pass an entire night together?
It’s almost a rhetorical question given the improbability of this pairing, but about a dozen people now know the answer thanks to a transpacific sailing expedition that recently ended in Newport Beach.
The Alaska Eagle, a 65-foot aluminum sailboat that just returned from a yearlong, 20,000-mile trip to New Zealand and back, was staffed by a motley crew of sailors, and they didn’t just eat one meal together. They ate, slept, breathed and worked together — never more than 20 yards away from each other — for weeks at a time. The majority of crew members for the voyage were not professional sailors or even experts, but they were selected from a pool of applicants based on their personality traits, as well as their sailing abilities. This rigorous process helps ensure there are no major conflicts, said Captain Sheri Crowe, who has piloted the boat along with her husband, Rich, for a quarter century.