WSA-OC’s Inaugural AdventureSail® for girls was held in Dana Point on Sunday, August 11th. The girls from Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club were greeted by WSA-OC members at the Ocean Institute who led them on a full day of adventure. They were treated to a lively discussion about marine life hosted by esteemed OI volunteer Dr. Milt McMenamin. After viewing sea life being fed lunch, the group walked to the picnic area and were met by member Yazmin Salazar who talked to them about overcoming obstacles in life and working together as a team. They then moved to the knot tying station, which was hosted by USCG Auxiliary and WSA-OC members, Sue and Chuck Hutchings.

Participants at the WSA-OC Dana Point AdverntureSail

WSA-OC had a great group of girls at Dana Point’s 1st AdventureSail.


Everyone enjoyed a delicious BBQ prepared by the men who support WSA-OC. After lunch the girls received their boat assignments. The girls enjoyed a two-hour sail and returned to the picnic area energized, talkative and excited. Susie Campbell closed the day with a conversation about the Blue Heart of the Ocean and presented the girls with a blue heart necklace to remember the day.

It took a team of 35 + WSA-OC members and volunteers to make this day a memorable event for the girls. We salute ALL of you for stepping up, handling your part effortlessly, making the girls feel comfortable and in making this First Inaugural Event a seamless success.

Member comments after the event were very appreciative, supportive and thankful for including them in an opportunity to serve the local community. Many said this day was meaningful to them in so many ways.

Some comments from the girls were:

“I will always remember this day, I got to drive and go on top of a boat”— Alexandria

“We held on to the mast and thought we would fall off and the sharks would get us, but now I want a sailboat for Christmas” — Peggy Sue

“I felt scared to drive the boat, but now I feel so strong” — Aubri

Members who graciously donated their boats and time for the event were: Barbara Kelley, Lisa Cullinane, Susie Campbell, Lisa Doliva, Maureen Vild, Brenda Highley/Gabi Schwaiger-Skipper. We could not have done this without all of you!

By participating, girls become eligible for a free NWSA junior membership as well as Scholarships provided by NWSA, WSA-OC and Dana Point Youth Foundation.


St. Croix Yacht Club held a Girls’ Introduction to Sailing Day on May 4th. The event was sponsored by the Women’s Sailing Foundation and allowed the club to provide a free day of sailing to girls from all across the island between ages 9 to 12. Twelve girls participated.

It was a beautiful day for sailing in the Caribbean, with 10-15 kt breezes and sunshine. The girls arrived at 9am for check-in where they received the AdventureSail shirts as well as SCYC water bottles and dry bags. After a brief introduction of all the wonderful volunteers and safety rules of the club, the girls got to know each other a little better by playing a fun “human knot” icebreaker, then were fitted for lifejackets.he rest of the morning was spent sailing on two Rhodes 19s and two Optis. The girls split into three groups, with two groups of four girls sailing on the Rhodes with volunteer skippers Meg Deegan, Deborah Swanson and Lake Sanford. The other group of four girls were able to try out the Optis with our high school sailor volunteers and organizer SCYC Summer Waterfront Manager Kelley Severns. Each girl on the Rhodes got a chance to “drive” at the tiller as well as crew with the main sheet as they sailed around Teague Bay. Girls on the Optis were able to learn about wind direction, tiller steering and tacking during a land drill and then were able to try their hand at a capsize recovery and finally sail the Opti themselves with an instructor.  

A great lunch of pasta and salad was served from the SCYC Galley while the girls listened to the high school sailor volunteers, Elyssa Franklin, Ariana Schwartz and Alex Tonintalk about their experiences sailing and opportunities they have had to travel to regattas.

After lunch the girls rotated groups with those that sailed on the Rhodes in the mornings trying out the Optis in the afternoons and the morning Opti group getting the chance to sail on the Rhodes. We rounded out the day with a fun swim in the bay and a bounce on the club “bongo” water trampoline. Finally as parents and guardians arrived, each girl received a certificate of participation as well as a folder with information on the SCYC Summer programs and the NWSA junior membership and scholarship information. Overall the girls had a fun and safe day of sailing and most all reported that they loved it and wanted to sail more in the summer! It was a successful day of introducing young ladies of St. Croix to sailing!

Additionally two girls attending St. Croix’s first event received Learn to Youth Sailing Scholarships. What a great start.


AdventureSail Boston
Courageous Sailing Center

June 8, 2019 Charlestown, MA — Under blue skies and a good breeze, 20 pairs of big and little sisters from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston gathered at Courageous Sailing Center for a few hours of sailing in Rhodes 19s. There was a lot of traffic in Boston Harbor with ferries coming and going, sail and power boats eager to take advantage of the first good day of the summer. Most of the girls accepted the offer to steer the boat, while others were just as happy to enjoy the ocean.

At noon the boats returned to shore where burgers, chips, oranges and of course, chocolate chip cookies were waiting Eating outside under the sun was a real treat. A group photo was taken and then those who wished to stay learned some basic knots and their applications. The final treat of the day was a lesson in making a Sailor’s Bracelet.

We are grateful to Courageous Sailing Center for the use of the facility and the boats. We thank our ten skippers who came from various parts of the Boston area to share their love of sailing with the girls. Everyone left smiling.


AdventureSail® New Orleans – August 2019 Lake Pontchartrain New Orleans, LA

Written by Danielle C. Stacey

On a mid-August morning six lucky young ladies had the opportunity to experience the joys of sailing on Lake Pontchartrain as participants in AdventureSail® New Orleans 2019 sponsored by the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) in partnership with the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association (LPWSA).

The event serves as a excellent opportunity to introduce young girls to the sport of sailing. This year’s participants included troop members from the GirlScouts of Southeastern Louisiana. The New Orleans Yacht Club graciously hosted the event and several club members skippered their boats for the event, including Elliott Brett, who has previously participated in the event. “I feel driven to teach others to sail. The beauty of AdventureSail® is that it’s a fun way to reach an audience whose natural exposure wouldn’t have brought them into the sailing community,” said Brett. “I also recognize the importance of encouraging women to excel and lead in traditionally male-dominated activities such as sailing. AdventureSail®makes it easier, focusing on the young ladies as much as it focuses on the sailing.”

Participants began their day on the water with a group photo in their new AdventureSail® t-shirts donated by the NWSA.  Lifejackets provided by the New Orleans Coast Guard were distributed and a safety briefing was delivered by LPWSA member and boat owner, Ella McCulloch. The girls then met the volunteer skippers, their crew, and were welcomed to board their vessels for the day.  

Overall the conditions were excellent for an introductory sailing experience with light winds and skies of wispy white clouds. While aboard the girls learned about the different parts of a sailboat as well as how to harness the wind to move a sailboat across the water. The girls got to try their hand at different crew positions on the boat including trimming the main sail and taking the helm.  

Although the girls could have stayed on the water longer, they returned to their home port of the day for pizza graciously donated by Big Easy Notary and Auto Title followed by a presentation from guest speaker AlannaAustin, member of the Tulane University Sailing Team.  Ms. Austin shared personal stories of her introduction to sailing and explained how her experiences in the sport haveopened many doors for her thus far. “The most important thing is exposure,” said Austin. She encouraged the event’s participants to join their school sailing teams even if it meant being the only girl on the team. “Sailing needs a group of ladies to take the first step for the next generation. ”  After her presentation, Ms. Austin led the girls through a series of Jeopardy style questions for prizes donated by US Sailing.  As parents and guardians arrived to collect their now seasoned sailors, each girl received information on theNWSA junior membership and scholarship.  Without a doubt AdventureSail® New Orleans 2019 was a successful event and achieved the mission of introducing young girls to sailing!


Tumbleweed Sailing, Lake Pleasant, Phoenix, AZ

Although sailing is not at the top of the mind of most desert dwellers in Phoenix Arizona, there is a solid community of women sailors who sail primarily on Lake Pleasant and are eager to share the joys of the sport. A sailing outing was an unusual activity for the small group of girls from a greater Phoenix Boys & Girls Club in Mesa, AZ. The AdventureSail was scheduled on September 14, as far past the end of the summer as possible but just before the sailing season starts in earnest. Even then, it was necessary to get an early morning start to avoid the highest afternoon temperatures, which still were surpassing 100 degrees every day. The weather cooperated, with a nice breeze and partly cloudy skies which kept it ‘cooler’ (under 100 degrees) long into the morning.

Each child helped crew Carpe Diem, a Catalina 27: releasing sheets, trimming, hiking and taking the wheel. Cookies, grapes, cutie oranges and energy bars were a big hit, as was the refreshing dip the girls enjoyed before returning to the dock. Some of the girls began to learn their third language, ‘Sailish.’ They enjoyed guessing then learning about the meanings of ‘tattle tells’, port, starboard, etc. and discovering how they could use the advantage given by many of the blocks, winches and other helpful devices found on the sailboat.

Thanks to the generous offer of boats, food, lifejackets time and energy of all the adults involved especially Arizona Yacht Club rear commodore Debra Heisler for the use of Carpe Diem, Tumbleweed Sailing for lifejackets and back up boat, and Sea Scout leader Wendy Larson, who made, as one girl described them ‘the best’ cookies and helped make it fun.


A fun filled photo was taken the next day when the girls returned to the Alameda Community Sailing Center to see one of their fellow Collaborative kiddos participate in after-school sailing club.

AdventureSail Alameda Community Sailing Center, Alameda, CA

A group of 11 girls and three moms from the Alameda Point Collaborative gave sailing a try for the first time in mid-October. They were each paired with an instructor or veteran sail-camper then took to the San Francisco Bay on an FJ. The new sailors were quite timid, but everyone faced their fears and made it out on the water.

It was indeed an adventure!



Breakwater Yacht Club, South Hampton

Saturday, September 14 was a beautiful day for a sail — with sun, wind, and great skipper volunteers. 2019 was the 20th year for Val Cook and Charlene Kagel to coordinate AdventureSail with Breakwater Yacht Club and the town of South Hampton. Thank you! Breakwater Yacht Club coordinated an all-girls-win race. Every girl who participated won a trophy. The outcome was pleasing as shown in the post event photo — what a nice group. Three girls’ programs participated: Big Sister/Big Brother, The Butterfly Effect and I Tri (I try)!