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The Seawolf: How One Boat Helped Two Bainbridge Island Teens Grow Up

Courtesy of Colin McDaniel
Colin sailing the Thistle Dew, a wooden dinghy he built and launched in 2004.

This story originally aired on December 10, 2016. 

Colin McDaniel grew up on the water. He was raised on Bainbridge Island. In the summer, Colin and his best friend Adam loved exploring the island’s coast. Adam’s father had a fleet of unloved dinghies.

“They all had those drain holes under the water line and no drain hole plugs to be found anywhere," says McDaniel. "But that didn't stop us from shoving green fir cones into the drain holes and pushing our boats into the gray water and going out for adventures anyway.”

Today, McDaniel is a teacher at Federal Way High School. However, back on Bainbridge, he wasn’t fond of school. He and Adam weren’t popular or good at sports. Those early teen years were an awkward and insecure time for both of them. But that all changed with one magical boat: the Seawolf. 

McDaniel recounts how he and his friend discovered this special sailboat and what it meant to their adolescence.

This story originally aired on Dec. 10, 2016

Sound Effect producer Allie Ferguson has been making radio for nearly 5 years. She got her start at KUOW and has since traveled the country working for national news shows including WNYC's The Takeaway and NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Allie won a 2016 Gracie Award, which celebrates women in media, for her work at KUOW. She enjoys telling surprising stories about passionate people.