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Annual Summer Party @ PMYC

WSA members and a guest are welcome to join WSASMB for our Annual Summer Party and BBQ on Tuesday, July 11 starting at 6:00 p.m. This year’s event will be held at Pacific Mariners Yacht Club at 13915 Panay Way, Marina del Rey.
There will be lots of food fun and festivities including games and prizes.
Please RSVP by Monday, July 10 by emailing rsvp@wsasmb.org.

June Meeting Speaker – “Ash”

June’s meeting speaker is our own Elbert “Ash” Ashbaugh. Ash has taught sailing professionally for over 25 years in Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and the South Pacific as well as the United States. He is currently managing the education and school programs for a worldwide sailing education company.
Ash’s presentation will take a fun look at sailing history and what it has meant to “learn to sail.” It will include a quick view of the current international social and economic trends effecting sailing and sailing education. There will also be demonstrations of the latest media/classroom tools, on-line modules and social sailing applications, and the latest integration of education and game theories. Are you playing? Or learning? Or both?

May Meeting Speaker – Margie Woods

Margie Woods will be speaking at our May General Meeting. In 2016, Margie was the only woman on the Single-handed Transpac which she accomplished aboard her Catalina 34 Haunani. She will share about her emotional and physical experience, along with her ten months of preparation and planning prior to the race. Although she had sailed her whole life and was an experienced single-hander, she had no offshore or overnight sailing experience. Her father, who had taught her to sail, had done many crossings, but Margie had not accompanied him, so the Transpac seemed like a great way to finally make the crossing, having the support of the other sailors and race organizers.

Margie is planning to do the race again in 2018 and is recruiting other women to join her with the hope of having a record number of women participate in the race. Afterwards, she plans to make a documentary feature about these women and the woman who came before them, and explore why there aren’t more women taking part in these sailing challenges. She will also share what she has learned about boat prep, maintenance and rigging through the process.

Be sure to join us for what promises to be a fun, informative and challenging presentation.

April Meeting Speaker – Captain Tom Griffin

Our speaker for April is Captain Tom Griffin, owner of Pacific Northwest Boating School, will share with us the beauty of cruising/bare boat chartering in the Pacific Northwest, specifically North Puget Sound and the San Juan islands.
Tom boated in Southern California for 35 years but when he and his wife took their first bare boat charter in 2003 they were amazed at the how entirely different it was from Southern California cruising. After a few more charter cruises, they moved permanently to Anacortes, WA. Now they want to pass on to us what to know and what is different about boating in “The Samish Sea”, as Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca were designated in 2010.
Tom’s will provide the guidance, recommended planning and suggested cruising routes for a safe, fun and diverse boating experience. Of note, we will discover just how close and accessible these beautiful islands are from the mainland. We will also learn about a variety of other available activities while anchoring in inlets, exploring marine state parks or staying at island marinas. Most importantly, Tom will point out some of the key differences a skipper from Southern California must be aware of when boating the San Juan islands.

March Meeting – Marina del Rey Historical Society

Who doesn’t like historical photos of the place from which we all sail? That’s Marina del Rey, of course. For the March meeting our friends from the Marina del Rey Historical Society will talk about the rich history of the harbor and bring us up to date on all the happenings of the Society. We will hear from not one, not two but three representatives of this awesome group. Willie Hjorth will introduce Rikki Barker who will walk us through how MdR got started. Howard Wenger will also be there to answer questions. The best part will be that everyone who attends the March meeting will get a free book of great old photos of MdR—A Photographic Collection, 1998.

February Meeting Speaker – Jeannea Jordan WSASMB Cruise Chair

Our February speaker will be none other than Jeannea Jordan, our beloved Cruise Chair. Perhaps you were wondering what amazing cruises WSA sponsored in 2016. We have just the ticket for you. With pictures and amazing stories that only she can tell properly, Jeannea will share the highlights from our 2016 cruises. Better yet, she will tell us about the cruises for 2017. It’s February and the cruising season is already upon us. Use this entertaining presentation to plan your cruising calendars for the coming year.

January Meeting Speaker – Stacy Waite

Sailor Beware—It’s Just a Three-Hour Tour!

Our January speaker will kick off the year with a presentation focused on safety while on sailing trips. Whether it is a day sail (the infamous “three-hour tour”) or a weeklong cruise, WSA member Stacy Waite will provide tips on how to stay safe. Besides the opportunities for sailing excursions with WSA, our members take advantage of opportunities to sail with Meetup groups, friends and others who they may not know so well. She will relate her recent personal experience with a day sail that was supposed to last about three hours out of Channel Islands Harbor that turned into a 15+ hour nightmare that ended up involving both the Coast Guard and Vessel Assist. Stacy will go over the many components to a safe sailing trip including personal safety gear that you should always bring with you.

Stacy Waite has bicoastal sailing experience that includes both racing and cruising. She is currently the crew chief on a 40’ Tartan and a 55’ Beneteau sailing out of MDR. Stacy is also a Master Scuba Diver with more than 800 dives around the world.

Holiday Boat Parade

boatparadefloat-2015Come one, come all! The annual Marina del Rey boat parade is Saturday, December 10.

Please help us create another award winning float by signing up to help decorate and ride on the float. This year’s theme is “An Animated Holiday”. No special skills are required, just a willingness to laugh, paint, wire tie and have fun with your fellow WSA members and friends. Sign up for one or all of the following by emailing our Vice Commodore Jana Davis at vicecommodore@wsasmb.org. Please indicate which days you want to participate.

Saturday, December 3 from 9:00 am till ? – Decorating at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club

Saturday, December 10 from 9:00 am till 5:00 p.m. – Boat decorating (location to be announced)

Saturday, December 10 from 5:00 p.m. till the end of the parade – Ride on the boat, dance, wave, sing and more. There will be limited space, so priority goes to those who have helped decorate.

Saturday, December 10 after the parade – Tear down decorations and clean up the boat and lift a glass to our victory!

Creative design ideas are welcome!

Epilogue, November 11, 2016

Dear Friends—All wonderful things eventually come to an end. Each member of the crew wrote the following segments. From these, we hope that you get a flavor of how much this trip meant to us.

Avghi

What an amazing adventure!  The 3am-6am watches were my favorites. The stars were so close it felt like you could reach out and touch them. Melody and I were on the same watch, and on our first night we saw 7 shooting stars.  As Harmony parts the water with her strong bow, from the cockpit you can see the phosphorescence dancing along-side the boat. So beautiful. Towards the end of the journey, we saw sea turtles, dolphins, flying fish and some kind of fish jumping like a dolphin, but we could not figure out what it was.

I liked to lay on the bow of the boat in the daytime and reach down to touch the waves with my hand. We had one dolphin play at the bow for a while. I was lying there watching him, and he was so close I could almost touch him. He turned and looked up at me. It was a very sweet moment.

Harmony was majestic. She would slice through the ocean and part the seas. She held up very well and needed only a few fixes along the way even though she did take a beating the first two days out.

I would sail anywhere with this crackpot crew, the “Drunken Kitty Cat Pirate” Melody and trusty Captain, “Admiral” Jeannea our very organized purser, “Michael” Mike, Barbara was our Chief Boatswains Mate in charge of food and stores, and “Monkey” was me.

We are 3 hours out from crossing the finish line, it’s a bitter sweet moment…

Barbara—To be added later.

Jeannea

This was not your Grandmother’s trip! But here I am anyway, and I have been delighted to be on board. After the sendoff party in San Diego, we dashed for the start line along with 150 other boats, fog horns blaring. It was incredible to experience.  Our first 2 days out at 50 plus miles from land with gale force winds and large following seas we hand-steered over 56 hours. Truly awesome! We have watched sea turtles paddling by, dolphins and 2 whale spouts along with dozens of boats sailing south. The Grand Poohbah who organizes this amazing race every year gets kudos for communicating with the fleet and offering valuable information about out different ports of call.

Our meals have been yummy and plentiful thanks to our “A-number-one” provisioner, Barbara. Avghi has been trying to teach me spinnaker and gennaker handling but I refused to learn. I stand sedately at the helm and steer while she and Melody jump up and down on the foredeck making them fly. Beautiful to see the kite flying.

Our lone male crew Mike, came equipped with an infrared scope (FLIR). You cannot fathom how comforting it was to me to have him sitting on the bow able to see crab pots etc. as we entered harbors and dropped anchor in the very, very dark.

Harmony has performed beautifully thanks to the rigorous outfitting and countless hours of preparation that our Skipper Melody put into maintaining and upgrading the boat and her systems and has steered the ship and her crew safely and happily for 750 nautical miles. Huzzah!!!!

Michael

As the Scribe for this trip, dear Reader, you have already heard plenty of my observations. But I have to say something about this crew. As the lone guy on the crew, men and women at the Ha Ha parties would sidle up to me and ask, “What’s it like?” My answer was always the same. It was fantastic. I now feel like I have four more sisters in my close family. All of these amazing women know more about sailing than I do, I have learned a tremendous amount from them and I will always be grateful. We have jokingly been talking about sailing down to the Panama Canal and into the Gulf of Mexico. No joke. Call me. I would drop everything and join them.

Melody

Fini! The Baja Ha Ha portion of this great adventure has ended. Our final leg came to the perfect conclusion with a fast sail past Cabo Falso, a tuna fish sandwich, and lots of laughter (and photos of course by my best mate Barbara-oh and she made the tuna salad too).

This was a bucket list trip for me. I could not have achieved this dream without the incredible support of my crew. They tolerated me, cared for me, and even obeyed me when the situation called for it. I could not have done this without every one of them. Each brought a special talent, knowledge, willingness, and maybe a little craziness to round out our merry band. I have deep respect and eternal affection for Jeannea, Avghi, Mike, and a lifelong bond with Barbara that will bring me fond memories of this trip for years to come.

As I reflect on that special thing that brought all of us together to take on this challenge, I’d be remiss if I did not recognize the Women’s Sailing Association’s role in enabling and empowering us to try something outside our usual comfort zones. The Ha Ha fleet is lucky to have among its members several WSA members who have spread humor, help, and expertise across many boats along these many miles. In addition to the Harmony crew we had Jules Miller, Skip Korsgaard, Hans Kosten, Jen Huszcza, Diane Hubner, a long ago member named Margret and our newest member Greg Himes.   We are all a hearty (smelly) bunch…safe and sound in Cabo and stronger because of the friendships we’ve made along the way and our collective desire to empower women through sailing.

Next stop…margaritas.

Day #11, November 10, 2016

Dear Friends—The conditions in the morning were a repeat of the moderate wind and waves of last night. We motored most of the way until we approached the Cape. We had a great three-hour sail close hauled for the first time on the trip. We rounded Cabo Falso at 1300 and entered Cabo San Lucas Harbor about 1345 hours. We went immediately to our pre-assigned slip, N2, which is near the fuel dock. However, that was full so we did a raft up with Wind Horse hosted by Dennis and Vicki. It was a very tight fit and Skipper Melody did a perfect job of fitting us in. Done and done at 1400 hours. We cheated death again!!!

Next order of business was for the Skipper to take all of our passports and other paperwork to an agent and get us cleared into port. Known as the ”paper cha cha,” it is better to leave this to the professionals and pay a few bucks. Mike did it himself in 2003 and deeply regretted it. Confusing, complicated, lines, uncertainty, frustration. Choose a root canal over this process.

We cleaned up the boat and got ready for the party at Squid Roe. Showers never felt so good. Mike is leaving the boat and moving to a hotel. Mike and Avghi are flying out on Saturday and Melody and Barbara on Sunday. Jeannea is staying on the boat until Melody returns during Thanksgiving week to move it up to La Paz.

The party at Squid Roe was a blast. Much drinking of cervezas and margaritas and lots of dancing and whooping and ‘hollerin.

It will be hard to break up this great team. The next update will explore how we all fit together in a space 40 feet long and 13.5 feet wide.

Captain Melody, Barbara, Mike, Avghi and Jeannea