AdventureSail® 2018


Fun at the Courageous Sailing Center

Saturday, June 9th, was a lovely day to be on the water and a perfect one for the AdventureSail® event on Boston Harbor. Courageous Sailing Center hosted the event.

The girls ages 9 to 12 came from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Twenty pairs of big and little sisters arrived with their big sisters to kick off the summer. Some volunteers were as timid as the little sisters at first. However, that issue disappeared after a few minutes of safety rules from Hannah of the Courageous staff. “Keep your butt on the bench when the boat changes direction,” drilled Hannah.

Ashley, also of Courageous, helped fit the lifejackets on the girls. Then two pairs of big and little sisters joined their skipper and headed to the dock below where the Rhodes 19s waited patiently for their cargo. Everyone pitched in to rig the boats and soon drifted quietly from the dock, one by one.

Meanwhile, the shore team of Pat Dieselman, co-chair; Jen Chaisson, Reen Duffy were clearing the decks for the grill. Being on the water makes one hungry and thirsty. After lunch there was a quick review of boat parts and a word search game for the newly learned words and then it was on to the basic knots, lead by Susannah Winder and Susan Epstein. It did not take the girls long to figure out that tying some of their lines together would produce a jump rope! Not only did the girls leave with smiles on their faces, but also with a T-shirt, a Frisbee, a coloring book provided by the Foundation.

For all, it was a great way to start the summer. Many of the girls live only a few blocks from water, but have never been to the water’s edge, much less get on a boat.

Other volunteers included Colleen Charles, Irene Choi, Danielle Feerst, Samantha Muto, and Kathy Ryan. We are grateful to the ongoing financial support from Boston Private. Other in-kind supporters were New England Ropes, the Beverly-Marblehead Sail & Power Squadron and the Jennifer L. Gerrish Foundation.

Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans, LA 

Girls from Scout troupes in the New Orleans area gathered at the New Orleans Yacht Club on Lake Pontchartrain on a beautiful Saturday morning in mid-August. Most of the girls were “newbies.” A few had never been to Lake Pontchartrain in spite of the fact it is a dominate feature in their city. Some of the girls participating had sailed in an AdventureSail® three previous times. Organizers literally watched these girls out grow the child-sized lifejackets! A few special girls attending this year were already solid sailors from the NOYC high school sailing program. They offered help as crew. Rachel, who attended previous AdventureSails, first as a participant, then as crew, skippered a 36’ boat for the first time — with the owner and a group of excited girls as part of her crew.

Six boats were at the ready, five sailed with girls in the typical light wind of a southern summer day. All girls took the helm. They tacked and jibed. A few flew an A sail before making it back to the docks prior to a mid-day deluge.

As rain continued, all enjoyed pizza courtesy of the Girl Scouts in the dry comfort of New Orleans Yacht Club. Then they heard from Amye Sinclair, crew member from team Sweet Caroline, who was featured on CNN’s Great Big Story and actively promotes sailing (internationally) among women of color.

Ms. Sinclair later suggested the young sailors participating in an AdventureSail be offered junior memberships in NWSA. (Great idea!) The NWSA board adopted her suggestion, and the Association has accepted the first junior member application — from enthusiastic 16 year-old Sarah.

Breakwater Yacht Club hosts 21st annual AdventureSail

September 15th was a perfect sailing day — warm and sunny with winds at 12/15 mph — and a great turnout with I-Tri, Butterfly Project, Breakwater Yacht Club and South Hampton sailing community. Women’s Sailing Foundation and Breakwater Yacht Club hosted their 21st annual AdventureSail; the first was summer 1997.


There were 25 participant girls and 15 adult chaperones on six boats with skippers and crew. The girls, from two local programs — The Butterfly Effect Project and I-Tri Long Island, spent over an hour racing around buoys on Long Island Sound. Each child was awarded a memento of the sail. Photos were taken and a delicious lunch was served.

Much thanks to all the skippers and crew and to Charlene Kagel, David Betts of BYC and Val Cook, WSF.