Day 22 S/V Kaisei: “Midshipman” Ryan Morris

26 08 2009

Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Lat: 38° 51’ N Lon: 133° 23’ W

Ryan Morris, aka Moose

Ryan Morris, aka Moose

We asked our youngest crewmember to write today’s blog. At age 18, he comes by sailing naturally. His grandfather, John Morris, Jr. M.D., lived aboard his sailboat in Marina del Rey while he was a professor at UCLA’s Medical School. Dr. Morris’s grandfather, Charles Morris, was a legendary sea captain in Eastport, Maine. Ryan would like to attend the US Coast Guard Academy, and based upon his work as a deckhand on the SV Kaisei, we’re certain that he’ll make a great cadet.

In his own words:

My name is Ryan Morris and people close to me call me “Moose.” I was born far from the sea in Colorado and moved to Ukiah, California when I was five years old with mom, two-year old brother and soon-to-be stepfather.

As the youngest member of the 25 member crew of the tall ship Kaisei, I am having the “time of my life!’
My fascination with the sea began this summer. Previous summers have been all about basketball and two-week family vacations. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my parents, Shannon Morris and John Sakowitz, I was able to take a month-long National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course in British Columbia.

That program helped me to build new skills, do a two-week kayaking expedition, and see astonishing vistas that most people will never see in their lifetimes. The program also included a two-week sail-training course which became the building block that made this amazing summer happen. One week after my return from Canada, my father, John, introduced me to one of his good friends, Norman DeVall who invited me to sail San Francisco Bay with him. Norman introduced me to his long-time friend, Mary Crowley, of Ocean Voyages Institute and co-founder of Project Kaisei. Mary said if I was willing to help make the Kaisei ready for sail in two weeks time that I might be able to earn my way aboard the month-long voyage. There was just no way I was going to let this opportunity slip by.

Since we have sailed, I have been learning a new lifestyle and the sad reality of marine debris in our ocean, and I get to do all this with in the middle of the north Pacific on a brigantine with a crew of brilliant and humorous people.

I already know that when I get back I will be a different person. Not only more independent and outgoing, but I will have had the privilege to have seen first hand what humanity has done and continues to do to our beautiful ocean and its inhabitants. With the knowledge I have gained I hope to share it with those who have no clue about the situation.

I would like to thank Norman DeVall for introducing me to Mary Crowley, and thank Mary for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime. Above all, I thank my parents for working so hard to make it all possible.




One response

29 08 2009
Shannon Morris

Ryan, your family is very proud of you. This is your start to let others know about the huge plastic problem. Help others learn about this problem so something can be done.

We love you and your determination.

Great Job Project Kaisei

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