This February I will be teaching two Women’s Sailing courses with Abaco Sailing, the American Sailing Association school division of Cruise Abaco. Dates are February 7-13 & February 22-28th. For more information please visit http://www.CruiseAbaco.com.
One of my greatest passions as a female captain and educator is teaching other women how to sail; it is my goal to instill the skills that build confidence on boats in different environments and circumstances. I like to use visual and hands on methods for instruction, first demonstrating the proper method and then practicing until the person feels comfortable doing it on their own, with it ultimately becoming second nature. During a week long sailing course I like to set challenging yet obtainable daily goals for each individual focusing on their strengths and finding fun ways to build on the tasks that are harder to grasp. Throughout the course we will be sailing north and south on the Sea of Abaco, taking advantage of the diverse surroundings and beautiful waters. We will focus on competent boat handling skills, sail trim, navigation, anchoring, docking and so much more. I promise that during this ASA course you will feel empowered, educated, relaxed and inspired to continue sailing and sharing it with those you love
For me, sailing started when I was a few years old, cruising aboard my parents 34′ sailboat between the Chesapeake Bay and the Bahamas. I grew up in a marine towing and salvage company in Maryland and got involved with competitive dinghy and big boat sailing. I graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2008 and moved that fall to the Bahamas were I was a live aboard cruiser and captaining charters and teaching ASA classes for Cruise Abaco. In 2012 I sailed my 41′ Morgan ketch down to the Caribbean and returned to the Bahamas a year later continuing to my passion of teaching sailing, deliveries, charters and life on the water. For a full list of my credentials, please visit my resume page.
Leaving Maryland for the past 6 years has given me a much deeper appreciation for the State. When I come home to visit, I try to soak in all of the small details that I took for grated while growing up here. The smell of freshly cut grass, watermen baiting their trot lines, my Mom’s gardens, pizza from Rusticana’s and kayaking with my best friend all make up the part of the wonderful essence that makes Maryland home. Here are a few pics from the last few days.
I haven’t written in a while, so please bare with me. I want to know where all the compassion has gone….why do humans feel so entitled to constantly take from the world, while giving so little back. And I mean this on many levels, but I want to specifically relate this to the Ocean and what I have been witnessing everyday as I live on the water. I am seeing people spearing in national parks, taking lobster out of season, spearing any fish they can and injuring many in the hunt. I am not a born Bahamian but my respect for these waters and the fisheries is deeply rooted. Someone told me, “it’s just their mentality…” So is this a new world mentality? An entitled mentality? An American mentality? An accepted mentality? We need to heighten our awareness and consciousness about the living world around us. We are so fortunate to have an ocean that still has swimming creatures, but we should never take this for granted. As I watched a family spearing on a reef, I guarded the big, old groupers in the perimeter, scaring them away into the distance to keep them safe. I’ve taken shots at fish in the past, missed and seen them swim under a rock, hiding and injured. It is the worst feeling.
I have learned many lessons that I try to practice when I’m out fishing, conching or spearfishing. 1)Only take what you are going to eat. Please do not kill all of the other beautiful fish that are easy targets. Most of the time if they are an easy shot, they aren’t meant to be eaten. 2) Do not go after the BIGGEST fish you see. Take the middle size fish, it will have better meat and you will be saving the older, breeding fish. 3) Research what you can take, what is off limits, how many….. Study pictures of the fish before you start spearing away…. Don’t spear and then claim that you didn’t know what it was. Be accountable for your actions. 3)stay out of the National Parks, this should be common sense but people still do it. Study your charts and find out where the park boundaries are. 4) Don’t take small conch, you won’t get enough meat from them and you’re killing the future conch population. 5) if you don’t have a good shot, don’t take it. Wait for the fish to circle back and then try. Try to shoot the fish in the head to limit bleeding and to end it’s suffering. I know you’re probably saying, Oh Sarah, you’re so soft, they are just fish……. But please people, if we continue to rape and pillage the reefs, eventually there will be no more fish. #fishsustainably #conserve #onlytakewhatyouneed #savetheinnocentpufferfish #haveaheart #motherearth #cycleoflife
On an adventure yesterday in the sea of Abaco with our friends, we found the remains of a sperm (possibly humpback) whale washed ashore. A month ago, Adam saw the whale when it was still afloat in the water with 5 big tiger sharks pulling away at the decomposing blubber. The Tigers were so engorged they were rolling on their bellies, lazily eating and relaxing. Our friend Attila hopped into the blubber, oily sheen water with the last parts of the whale and recovered these bones that we could see through the water from the boat. Rotting blubber is a putrid smell but worth it after you see how big these bones are!!
I am so thrilled to be doing another women’s sailing class in the Abacos, held at the Hope Town Sailing Club. I have 2 great students in the beginner class. Today they learned the different points of sail, how to find the wind and practiced rigging and de rigging. Class was cut short due to a looming and approaching storm that has been sitting on the horizon for most of the day. We still had a good hour or so to learn the boat and I am so thankful to have 2 smart and eager to learn students. Thank you Andrea and Josephine!!
Currently underway aboard Emilianna with my two crew, Todd and Roger, both fellow captains from Chapmans School of Seamanship. We’re making 23 knots at 17.5 gallons per hour. We’ll stop in west end to refuel before crossing the Gulf Stream. Life is good. We are listening to Stevie S., a Classic Bahamian artist.