Field Report: Team Seas the Day

June 16, 2022
By Lynnette Oostmeyer, Field Reporter

Team Seas the Day is all about family. The only team competing this year from Oregon, they have decades of combined experience sailing. They are an all family team featuring Brian Satterwhite (Captain Funcle), his son Chris Satterwhite (Chief Engineer) and daughter Lynsi Moon (Chef/Quartermaster), along with their cousin Melissa McKernan (Medic Mel). They have all spent most of their lives on the water. Brian even spent a four year stint in the Coast Guard. The kids all basically grew up on sailboats, and their family photo albums are full of tips to places like the San Juan Islands.

There are two big differences between the kids and their connection to sailing, and that’s gender and experience. Lynsi and Melissa say that they took sailing for granted growing up, whereas Brian was really taught the ropes and leaned into it. “I grew up sailing but always took it for granted,” Lynsi said. “I knew how to contribute a bit, knew some basics, but realized that this is part of my childhood I want to carry over now.” Over the years there had been many all-guy sailing trips in the family, so Lynsi and Melissa have pushed themselves to learn how to run a boat since they heard about the race in 2015. “I realized that this is an opportunity to really learn in a way I didn’t allow myself to when I was younger,” Lynsi said. “It’s empowering once you really know what’s going on and understand the boat.”

During the first leg of the race, the Proving Grounds, the team and their skills were certainly tested under pressure. In the harsh weather three of their battens came out, the main sail was torn to shreds, and the furling line for their jib snapped in half. Brian and Lynsi got water in their dry suits and got cold really fast, so they had to go down below to warm up. But being down below made them sea sick, so Melissa and Chris did most of the sailing. 

During their time in Victoria, the team has made all the necessary repairs to the boat, and stockpiled some sea sickness patches for the next leg of the race. While still in Portland prepping the boat, Chris said that he heard a quote he felt would encapsulate the race: “It’ll punish you everyday, but you’ll just keep coming back to it.” Seems like he was right.

Lynnette Oostmeyer, field reporter
Lynnette is a freelance visual journalist based in northwestern Oregon, who focuses on documentary photography and short documentary filmmaking.

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