If you are a part of the ASA sailor network, you probably already know about Sailors for the Sea. If you are new here, it’s my honor to introduce you to the single best resource for ocean-friendly sailing there is.
No sailor’s education is complete without an understanding of our impact on the oceans. On land, we consider our effect on the ocean in the abstract. But when we’re sailing, the ocean is directly impacted by the choices we make.
Sailors for the Sea provides important ocean conservation education to sailors and young people all over the world. They set up the first and only sustainability certification for regattas that has provided tools to over 2,000 regattas and a half-million sailors. They distribute ocean education lesson plans for kids, and provide tools for boaters to properly use and care for their vessels with respect for the environment with their Green Boating Guide.
I’ll admit that I’m a bit obsessed with this guide. I read through it and thought, Wow, they thought of everything. It’s so visual, fact-checked, and simply stated. Every boat should have a copy. I caught up with Sailors for the Sea to learn more about the Green Boating Guide and what the crew is up to.
ASA understands and accepts the responsibility that it is inherent in every sailor to be the caretaker for the oceans they journey on and the bodies of water that they so often claim as their backyard.
“We enjoy the ocean and the sailing lifestyle, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we are protecting these environments not only for our enjoyment but for future generations as well.” Lenny Shabes, founder of ASA explains.
ASA has brought on Marine Conservationist, Lauren Coiro, to help with advocacy and education when it comes to how sailors interact with the environment that they call home. Sailors take from the world’s oceans. They pull from the tides and the weather and the environment. The sea and the sky is family and is familiar. To that end, ASA is working diligently to make sure to help spread the message about environmental responsibility and advocacy. Continue reading →
Ayme Sinclair is just an ordinary sailor, but at the same time she is anything but. Like many of us, she races with her team on Wednesday nights, then heads back to the club to have a couple of cocktails and some laughs. Some nights they do pretty well, some nights just okay, but it’s always a good time.
The most distinct difference between Ayme’s team and the rest of the fleet is her crew is made up of sailors of different races and genders while most of the fleet is not. There is no animosity, there’s no bigotry, but this is emblematic of clubs across the country and beyond. Continue reading →
Here is the second installment of our interview with the youngest sailor to sail around the world alone, Laura Dekker. In this part Laura speaks of her undying love for sailing, a fame that won’t go away and a future that involves educating young people, informed by this incredible experience…
In the years between 2008 and 2010 the sailing world and beyond saw a wave of very young sailors embarking upon monstrous undertakings that would give pause to the most seasoned mariners. California sailor Zac Sunderland circled the globe alone in his Islander 36 becoming the first person under 18 to accomplish the journey. His sister Abby attempted to be the youngest unassisted non-stop but dismasted in the Indian Ocean. Months later, Aussie Jessica Watson became the holder of that honor and in August of 2009 British sailor Mike Perham would circle the globe and become the youngest solo round-the-world sailor. All of these young adventurers were between 16 and 17 and their actions stirred enormous controversy, but when in that same year 14-year old Laura Dekker from the Netherlands announced that she planned on sailing around the world alone in her 38’ Jeanneau ketch, Guppy, people lost their minds.
Stella Diamant works for The Ocean Cleanup. She is currently in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch sailing on a Gunboat 66 called Extreme H2O collecting plastic pollution samples as part of the Mega Expedition that she helped put together.
I was raised in Brussels, Belgium and attended an international school. I have always been environmentally conscious and even as a young person I would give speeches in my classes about climate change etc. I have always enjoyed wide open spaces and nature, and spent a good part of my childhood riding horses and climbing trees.
Young Boyan Slat made a splash when he announced a year and a half ago he had a plan to rid the oceans of plastic pollution. After a recently published feasibility study Slat feels confident he can make a giant difference with his organization The Ocean Cleanup in cleaning the oceans. Now he’s looking for sailors to pitch in and help by sailing their boats in the Mega Expedition – a voyage from Hawaii to the mainland that will help understand the amount of plastics that are out there. Participating sailors will be paid for their efforts and they will get the satisfaction of helping with this global problem. Here is the second part of ASA’s exclusive interview with this 20-year-old Dutch engineer (read the first part here).
ASA: Does sailing/sailors play a part in the Ocean Cleanup?
Slat: For sure. The majority of the expeditions we’re doing we use sailboats. We use a boat called the Sea Dragon, which is a 72-foot [steel] vessel that was designed for [the Global Challenge Race], a race around the South Pole and we just finished an expedition using the tall ship Wyldeswan – a Dutch vessel. In general I think it would be a fair observation, if you look at the whole team we have, out of the 12 people we have as staff, all of them are either a diver or a sailor. Sailors have also been a great base of support for the project so far.
ASA: Is it because of the low cost, low carbon footprint and range that you use sailboats?
Slat: There’s certainly a cost benefit. What we [try to] do with these expeditions is to piggyback on existing cruises. The ones we organize ourselves are sailboats – it’s a cost effective and sustainable way to travel. So yeah, we have positive experience with using sailing vessels. Continue reading →