top of page

A Message from Captain Randy Sonnier

IMG_0275.JPG

May 2024

The start of canoe season is nearly here. It's so exciting to think the canoes will be on the water in just 7 days!

It has been a busy off-season for the Pearl. She has been refit with a new wheelhouse which will ensure the crew is able to stay out of the elements if the weather turns bad. Our thanks goes to everyone on Vashon Island and beyond, who helped with supplies and construction.

 

We also continue to make adjustments inside so we are able to support pullers who need a moment or two off the water.

As always, All Nations Paddles Up plays a big role in our work. We are pleased to once again be supporting them as they welcome their new canoe "Strong Women of the Water" to tribal journeys. The canoe family has chosen to take on several small pulls to better accommodate members and their work schedules. A total of six events are planned, making it a busy summer.

We will also join with the Oliver Canoe Family mid-season as they connect with other canoes on the water in Washington. 

Wherever your canoe is pointed this summer, we wish you safe, wonderful travels. We hope to see you along the way.

Until then,

Randy

August 2023

Tribal Journeys 2023 Paddle to Muckleshoot has now ended. It has been amazing to reconnect with so many old friends and meet so many new ones along the way.

 

Without a doubt, the pandemic has left a lingering legacy that will take many years to erase but I was inspired at how we worked to mitigate any challenges to ensure the best journey and experience possible.

 

What an honour it has been to support the All Nations delegation this year. From our training day at Stz'uminus First Nation to the landing at Alki Beach, there is so much to be thankful for.

 

​To the crew of the Pearl - Skipper Sven, Mates Magnus and Luke, you each played a critical role in helping the canoes stay safe throughout their journey. The many little things you each did to welcome pullers aboard did not go unnoticed, and I appreciate your dedication to the cause and your willingness to go the extra distance to make sure things were done right.

 

​In September, we will once again point the Pearl north and head towards Port Hardy on Vancouver Island to provide support to Strong Women of the Water, our final trip this season. This is an amazing event in one of the most breathtaking areas of the coastal corridor. I hope you will join us.

 

​Until then,

 

​Randy

May 2023

It’s hard to believe as we leave Shell Beach on July 19th, I will begin my 15th year assisting ocean-going canoes on the annual Tribal Journeys pilgrimage. I had no idea that first summer the profound and continuing impact the canoes would have on my life, nor could I have imagine the good medicine I would receive.

 

Working alongside Sue Oliver of the Oliver Canoe Family, has been amazing. To watch our canoe family grow and evolve, and witness their strength and spirit as they honour their ancestors with sacred protocols and traditions.

 

When I was gifted the Pearl from Chuck Wagner and the Suquamish Warriors during COVID, I wondered how we could use this beautiful ship to support to the canoes. Shortly after, I joined with a small group of seasoned Tribal Journeys leaders, from both sides of the border, anxious to create an organization on a similar mission. All Nations Paddles Up will help The Pearl and her crew realize our vision and help ensure our canoes have the best support available.

 

I have been truly blessed by the amazing experiences and people I have met along the way. I have been welcomed by your families in times of great celebration and great sadness. You have provided your gift of friendship and love and have allowed me embrace this way of life year round. It is a privilege and honour I cherish.

 

On behalf of myself and the crew of the Pearl, we welcome you aboard and look forward to seeing you on the water.

 

bottom of page