This is an announcement that I will be co-skippering an all-female offshore sailing course in the Bahamas, from January 18-24, with Meg Reilly, the skipper of s/v Hermes (OceanRacers.net).
We are calling this course WOW (Women’s Offshore Week) and we have 6 slots to offer women who want to challenge themselves to reach another level of sailing by learning about offshore sailing on a racing yacht with a crew of badass women and two badass female skippers!
And, you get to do it while sailing 500 NM offshore in the beautiful blue waters of the Bahamas. How fun does that sound?
So, what do you have planned for January 2020? Come join me and Meg in the Bahamas!
About the journey
The journey begins in Nassau, where will we take a North-easterly route to clear the reef islands and take the deep ocean path. Navigating through the Bahamian islands, we will head south-east towards our destination with an opportunity to stop in some spots in paradise along the way.
Where will we stop? We will let the wind decide! We could be facing some trade-winds that get stronger along the way, or we might end up battling a few wind holes that can sit on top of the Turks and Caicos. It’s a constant battle between continental US and Atlantic Ocean pressure isolines to see where the wind blows.
Either way, expect to have active nights dodging squalls while the days are spent honing your sailing and passage-making skills. Depending on conditions, this passage should be completed within 4-6 days. Hermes will arrive at the lovely Blue Haven Marina in Turks & Caicos for the crew to enjoy a little slice of paradise before returning home.
This offshore training passage is designed to be an active blue-water sailing experience in which crew will cover up to 500 NM on their journey between islands. Crew will be actively involved in navigation, weather, sail plans and life onboard as the team works on getting the best performance out of the boat and the crew. These journeys are well-suited for those looking to gain offshore sailing experience and learn more about offshore passage-making and living aboard a working boat.
About the boat
Hermes is a Pogo 12.50, a French racer / cruiser, designed to sail fast and travel lightly, but with some unusual-to-racing-yacht luxuries like a full galley. She’s the perfect boat for an offshore journey like this, which I can attest to because I’ve sailed with Meg on Hermes from the Bahamas to Cuba and Jamaica, around the islands of Antigua, and from Annapolis, MD to Atlantic City, NJ.
About the co-skippers
Meg Reilly — Meg is the Skipper / Co-owner of s/v Hermes, with over 70,000 NM of offshore sailing under her belt.
If you were a fan of my YouTube Channel, Chase the Story, you will remember Meg from the Atlantic crossing we did together on s/v Cheeky Monkey. She and I met as crew on s/v Henri Lloyd on the ’13-’14 Clipper Round the World Race. So, we have a LOT of hours at sea together in gnarly conditions.
Tasha (me) – I am a USCG Licensed Captain (Master Near Coastal, up to 50 tons) and certified US Sailing Instructor, who has sailed halfway around the world twice, and has spent over 800 days at sea.
I am teaming up with badass women on boats to offer a friendlier learning environment for sailors and wannabe sailors who want to broaden their skills and experience the exciting challenges of offshore passage-making.
Why only women?
For some time now, I’ve been thinking about my background in education and wondering what I should do with my skills now.
While the last two years have found me rooted on terra firma, in the beautiful mountains of Lake Tahoe, I’ve thought long and hard about how much I miss my life on the ocean. And how much I love sharing the joys of sailing with people who love to challenge themselves.
I’ve also thought long and hard about why so many women don’t love sailing.
I get it – my own journey sailing around the world was cut short by divorce. So, believe me when I say, “I GET IT.” For women, sailing often comes with being dragged, pushed or coerced onto a boat by an overly enthusiastic partner…and even when we do get on board willingly, we never signed up for being shouted at, or being demoted from equal partner status to mere subordinate or galley slave.
Not that this is the experience of every women who steps foot on a boat, but from the many messages in my email Inbox, it is an extremely common experience.
I’ve often thought that if women had a kinder, more supportive and empowering entry into the male-dominated world of boats, eventually it would become less male-dominated. Because there would just be more women on boats. And more women sailing their own boats, skippering boats, and generally just doing what men do out there on boats…just doing it in our own way. And without anyone telling us we can’t, or we’re not doing it right, or that we’re biologically inferior (a recent explanation offered to me by a male editor of a well-known sailing magazine for why there are so few women in the sailing industry.)
And that, my friends, is a goal worthy of getting my captain’s license for. Especially since the statistics on USCG-qualified female captains working on boats is 3%. Which is marginally lower than the stats on qualified female helicopter pilots in the U.S., which is up to 8%, thanks to the military’s efforts to train more women.
So, who wants to help me raise those numbers and get more women learning to sail and taking charge of boats?
If you are a female, or you know a female who’s interested in taking on the challenge of an offshore sailing journey while learning from two experienced female captains, join our crew!
Leave a comment below, if you have any questions. To apply for the course, go to Ocean Racer’s booking page here: http://oceanracers.net/project/wow
In Related News…
It’s been a long time since I dusted off this blog and wrote about sailing…
And it’s not because I haven’t been sailing.
But as the brands that I built, Turf to Surf (blog) and Chase the Story (YouTube Channel), were being held for ransom in my divorce settlement, I had to pay my ex-husband to keep them. Which I did. Begrudgingly.
So, as of now, I have my blog and my YouTube Channel back. Also, I’m now officially divorced. Cue the confetti!
And now that I have my brands back, I am slowly working my way back to the sailing community that I feel so at home in.
Which leads me to my next announcement – sailors, I will be at the Annapolis Boat Show this year from October 10-14!
Buy your tickets here, if you haven’t already! https://www.annapolisboatshows.com/united-states-sailboat-show/
I will be hanging out on the docks with Meg and Morgen of Ocean Racers, so come find their booth and say hi!
And, also in related news, I am officially available for hire! Whether that be for boat deliveries, coaching new boat owners in operating their floating home, or helping sailors get where they want to go. I’ll be available at the Annapolis Boat Show to discuss any and all sailing jobs, so come find me!