Origins of the Project
The Hunter Bay Boat Project was the brainchild of Ben Brouwer and his parents, Molly Bill and Steven Brouwer. It began with Ben's interest in sailing and rowing a small open boat from his home in the San Juan Islands to Alaska with a group of friends. Steven took the idea a step further and suggested that these friends and Ben build the craft first; to facilitate the idea Steven graciously provided his shop and expertise as a boat builder in exchange for manual labor on the family farm. In July 2005 construction began on the vessel with up to eight individuals working and living together throughout the summer. Construction continued through the winter when numbers dwindled to only two builders. Christened Tern, the boat was launched May 1, 2006. The voyage to Alaska and back began June 6 and ended when the boat returned safely and triumphantly to Lopez three months later. Tern proved seaworthy and tremendously capable on the long voyage and now owned by a group of 10 owners, she will certainly sail again. From the beginning this has been a collaborative effort that could not have succeeded without the support of the Lopez Island community and the generosity of the many people we met along the Inside Passage--many thanks to you all.
photo by Brian