Congratulations and thank you to all the AdventureSail hosts, skippers, supported and volunteers.
Outdoor in-person activities for young people were complicated or even cancelled this summer due to the COVID 19 Delta variant. Yet where conditions allowed, AdventureSail hosts were able to take girls sailing with the advantage of being in a breeze on the water to enjoy some much needed recreation and escape.
Several AdventureSail hosts stayed with their traditional dates already set on their calendars for 2021. Several new hosts shoved off with excited girls on August 14, the new official AdventureSail Day. Some events, where there is fine winter sailing, will sail later in 2021. In spite of obstacles, the efforts and collaboration of NWSA, US Sailing and Tall Ships America allowed more girls to experience the fun and adventure of sailing in 2021 than in 2019.
Note Saturday, August 13 as AdventureSail Day 2022. Commit to become a host now. Start outreach now to introduce underserved girls to sailing and form relationships. Sailing STEM presentations over the coming months at girl–serving organizations, will not only introduce girls to cool science, but also familiarize them with your sailing club. Then next summer girls who may never otherwise get the chance can experience sailing.
Here are some recaps of a few of this season’s successful AdventureSails.
Racine Yacht Club, Racine, WI, on July 10, 2021
Racine Yacht Club had a small group of girls attend — they had the sail on the calendar for early July. The smaller than normal group enabled individualized experiences and taking the girls sailing on small boats. The day began with learning stations about navigation, knot tying, boat parts, the mechanical advantage of pulleys and wind.
Girls made their personal anemometers before going sailing. They sailed aboard the Escape Rumba, an Opti, 420, and the Precision. The girls received AdventureSail T-shirts left over from previous years, along with purple day bags.
A great time was had by all! The girls enjoyed it so much they signed up for Racine Yacht Club’s two week, girls only sailing class, sponsored by the American Association of University Women-Racine. It was held the last week in July and first week in August.
Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA, on July 10, 2021
AdventureSail co-chairs, Pat Dieselman and Joan Thayer, were on the fence for most of the week prior to the event as tropical storm Elsa moved up the Eastern seaboard putting the 23rd year of this AdventureSail in question. Fortunately, the storm blew through Friday leaving a good day Saturday. The winds were from the south about eight knots and a flat sea. The Courageous staff and NWSA volunteers pumped out the ten boats earlier that morning. Fourteen pairs of Big and Little Sisters came for adventure. All eager to try sailing.
Jen Bodde from Courageous enthusiastically welcomed the girls. After a short primer on sailing, she tossed out some situations to ponder while sailing in Rhodes 19. There was a lot of action on Boston Harbor: Tug boats pushing and guiding a container ship — which sounded several blasts, a water taxi, ferries, sail and motor boats. Everyone had a good time practicing sail trim and tacking/jibing to stay well clear of any confrontation.
The girls learned some maritime rules of the road as well as understanding wind, parts of the boat and general sailing terms. A new language for sure.
As the group arrived ashore, Pat and the shore team had lunch ready. After lunch the girls had a session with knots. They used their knowledge to tie the ropes together and do a little jump roping. Big smiles were evident all around. As the Big and Little Sisters headed home, volunteers distributed day packs and the goodies from local sponsors and donors, particularly Marblehead Bank.
NWSA is grateful to Jen and Courageous Sailing Center for providing the facilities and her personal time, Pat and Joan as co-chairs, and the 14 other volunteers who shared their experience and enjoyment of sailing with the girls and their Big Sisters.
Mattituck Yacht Club, Mattituck, NY, on August 7, 2021 — AdventureSail with Butterfly Effect Project
The wind was light, the sun was out, and five Sunfish were pre-rigged and ready to go. So many people came together to make this joyful event happen. Our local Peconic Baykeeper started the day with an ecology lesson, and how to help preserve our local bays for the future.
Four instructors traveled in from Brooklyn and the Bronx to take girls out on the individual boats. Despite having undergone hand surgery just days before, Dawn Riley drove over from Oakcliff in Oyster Bay to tell her story and inspire us all with her advice on sailing and life.
After a quick lesson on how to tell wind direction, girls volunteered to climb aboard a Sunfish in shallow water, capsize on purpose, and practice righting the boat. Once this was accomplished, each was whisked aboard a Sunfish with an instructor, for their first private sailing lesson on the water. Girls not on the first shift of sailing rode with Dawn and a local instructor in the chase boat. In no time, girls were taking tillers in hand and maneuvering the boats, and those in the chase boat even transferred to sailboats offshore.
As sometimes happens out on the water, things go wrong. One boat’s rudder fell off due to a faulty spring. The sail was dropped, and the chase boat swooped in to take the faulty item to shore and have it swapped for a functional one.
Everyone had a chance to sail, capsize, and play on the Maui Matt. Lunch awaited ashore, and the day wound down. Tia Fulford, founder of the Butterfly Effect Project, said she felt the girls were always New Yorkers, but with this experience on the water they were coming into their own as true Long Islanders as well. We look forward to seeing where this introduction to sailing takes the girls!
Sail Newport, Newport, RI, on August 14, 2021 — AdventureSail Day
Wow! What an amazing day Saturday, August 14 was for this new host. Sail Newport hosted 20 sailors on five J/22 boats starting at 9:00 AM. A quick storm came in so they brought the sailors ashore. Everyone had a great time, although they did get a little wet from the rain. After boats were docked, they opened up the classroom space for participants to draw out their experience.
Healthy snacks and drinks were provided along with transportation to and from the Pell School.
The Kingston Sailing Club, Kingston, NY, on August 14, 2021 — AdventureSail Day
The Kingston Sailing Club partnered with Mentor Me of Ulster County and The Sailing School at the Hudson River Maritime Museum to offer a day of inspiration, introduction to the Kingston waterfront, exposure to the basics of sailing, and an invitation to middle school girls to practice rising to life’s challenges through positive interactions in the world of sailing.
Kingston Sailing Club’s AdventureSail day began with an hour of introductions, practice in tying basic knots, and a “chalk talk” on the parts of a sailboat and the basics of sailing, all presented by professional sailing instructors who volunteered their time to teach the girls and their chaperones.
Then eight volunteer Kingston Sailing Club (KSC) skippers and eight volunteer KSC crew members each took out one adult mentor and two girls for four hours of sailing on the Hudson River aboard their sailboats. Lunch was generously donated by the local Bruderhof Communities and was eaten picnic style on the boats.
Participants and their mentors got to experience riding on sailboats, setting the sails, trimming the sails, steering the boats, and some even went for a brief swim! For most of the mentors and girls, the day was a first sailing experience. After some initial nerves, the girls and their mentors participated in every aspect of sailing the boats. Giggles, laughter, and cheers could be heard echoing across the River as the crews enjoyed the mighty Hudson.
After sailing, everyone gathered back on shore at the Hudson River Maritime Museum boat school, took photos, talked about future sailing plans and celebrated with an ice cream cake.
Each of the girls took home a backpack, filled with snacks provided by Mother Earth Storehouse in Kingston, a water bottle, a notebook and pencil, and a Riverport Women’s Sailing Conference tee shirt donated by Kingston Sailing Club members. Most importantly, each girl got a card with information about the Sailing School at the Hudson River Maritime Museum and an invitation to apply for a scholarship to participate in its Youth Sailing Program in 2022.
Alameda Community Sailing Center, Alameda, CA, on September 5, 2021
On a sunny Sunday 19 enthusiastic and brave Girl Scouts joined volunteers at Alameda Community Sailing Center to experience sailing for the first time. After a quick ice breaker game, the girls learned the basics of rigging. They had a snack, geared up, then cruised around in a protected cove on the San Francisco Bay. The participants crewed on FJs and RS Fevas skippered by Alameda Community Sailing Center veteran sailors. The girls also took turns riding in the safety boat.
With sunshine, a light breeze, and a lot of smiley sailors, Alameda Community Sailing Center couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day on the Bay. Watch the fun video commemorating their day.
Collectively let’s set the attainable goal to take 500 (or more) girls sailing in 2022. Hopefully the pandemic will not be a factor. With NWSA, US Sailing, Tall Ships America and the many women’s sailing groups across the country small fleets of fun will make AdventureSail Day 2022 bigger and better than ever.
The February 2021 NWSA President’s Member of the Month is Sara Vey Ortiz. Sara is a new NWSA member. She volunteered to be a panelist for the February 12th Girls + Coaches panel. As a matter of fact, speaking with Sara to welcome her to NWSA engendered the idea for the panel.
Spring 2020 Sara used the Team Trials cancelation due to the pandemic to advance from the Opti to the 29er. Her goal is to win 29er Youth Worlds and to sail in college.
Attagirl Sara. You were a fantastic pannelist on Feburay 12th!
Commodore of the Island Yacht Club, Melissa Grudin is the NWSA President’s Member of the Month for January, 2021.
Close to age 50, Melissa found herself behind the wheel of a sailboat and thought, “Where’s the wind coming from?” She hasn’t stopped asking since! She’s helped organize Island Yacht Club’s, Women’s Sailing Seminar (just held it’s 28th annual, first virtual seminar this past November) since then for women asking the same question! At age 60 she became IYC’s Commodore. Fast forward a few years, she’s Commodore again!
Commodore Grudin and her husband Jeff are owners of Kismet, a 48′ Sun Odyssey Jeanneau. Together they cruise around the San Francisco Bay, enjoying time out on the water, the beauty of the area and time with sailing friends and family.
Melissa aspires to see more women on the water, more women in leadership positions and more women carrying on the sailing legacy she has been promoting for over ten years!
NWSA President’s Member of the Month for December 2020 is Janna Cawrse Esarey. Janna is a sailor, author, and the book curator for the Women Who Sail newsletter. Janna’s first book, The Motion of the Ocean, is about how she sailed across the Pacific on her honeymoon and is still married. She’s working on a new memoir called MATE about how navigating modern parenthood is more perilous than sailing the Arctic.
In 2018, she and her husband and their two tween daughters attempted to sail through the Northwest Passage, an icy route newly open due to climate change. Janna and her family did not make it through the Northwest Passage, but Janna will gladly tell your organization what happened (via zoom) when you make a donation to AdventureSail. In May, Janna wowed the NWSA She Sailor Sea Story audience with her recounting of the Artic adventure during the LOOK UP episode.
Janna is currently a school bus driver on an island outside Seattle but, during the pandemic, is delivering meals rather than students; she likes being told she’s “essential.” Learn more at Saildogbark.com.