In the month of March, we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary by gathering great sailing photos from our members and fans! If you’ve got a great sailing photo from the last 30 years, we want to see it. Submissions are open through March 30th, and shortly thereafter we’ll begin selecting winners!
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
-Best Action Sailing Photo
-Best Photo Depicting the ASA Logo
-Best Sailing Lifestyle Photo
If you’ve got a great sailing photo that doesn’t fit one of those categories, submit it anyway! You never know, we might make a special category just for you!
You can enter your photos by posting them on our Facebook timeline , sending them via Twitter, or by email. Please include a brief description of the photo when you submit it. At the end of March winners will be decided by a combination of popular vote and editorial panel. Now, let’s see what you’ve got!
September is here and while it’s still high summer at ASA’s headquarters in Marina del Rey, CA, in many places the sailing season is winding down. But that doesn’t mean the good times have to come to an end–and you don’t have to stop living the sailing lifestyle. Here are some cool items to keep you in tune with the world of sailing.
For those who have an interest in the intense, fast, and wild world of America’s Cup racing, it’s easier than ever to keep track of the AC34 World Series. Racing action from Plymouth, England from Sept. 10-18 will be streaming live on the America’s Cup World Series.
Continuing the “Voyaging with Velella” series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, her fiance Prescott, and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics.
He’s driving me completely nuts.
We’ve had a lovely “early honeymoon” this week, sinking into the solitude with each other (after a month of guests aboard) and exploring some of the most remote anchorages we’ve yet seen. As the sole boat in an enormous reef-fringed anchorage on an uninhabited island, you can hike up the cliff in the nude if you feel like it! There’s nobody for miles but the scuttling crabs and soaring hawks. Yesterday I laid in bed for almost the entire day reading a book, which is a rare treat even when you’re on perma-vacation like we are now. We cook food, read to each other, play chess and cribbage, swim, sleep, you get the picture. It’s been beautiful, and all the more savory because we’ll be leaving Mexico in less than two weeks.
As our wedding date approaches and our sailing trip comes to a (temporary) end, we’ve been congratulating ourselves on the wisdom of heading “off the grid” during our engagement. We spent the last six months working really hard together, overcoming fears, facing a huge range of problems, and enjoying many spectacularly gratifying moments as well. Lots of “quality time.” Our guests (fellow cruisers and landlubbers alike) often remark that if you can get along with each other on a 35′ boat for this long, you’re well equipped for marriage.
If marriage is eternal tolerance, then yes, I would think we’re well equipped. I mean, I can’t imagine a point in my life where I will ever be MORE annoyed with this man on a daily basis. I’m so sick of hearing, “Can I squeeze past you?” (about 12 times per day), that I’ve started to just say, “No more squeezing past! If I’m occupying our 1-foot-square galley, you can’t ‘squeeze in’ too!” There’s no room in our bedroom for both of us to get dressed at the same time! Now that I sat down to write you need something out of the quarter berth beneath me?! I’m sure he’s just as annoyed with me because, after all, we only have 35 feet, and that’s mighty little for two to share. But for the most part, we suppress these annoyances because, well, we chose to live in a tiny house.
Compounding the small space arrangements is the fact that absolutely everything we do is a decision to be made, which amounts to about 65 decisions we make TOGETHER per day: do we tack upwind to get to the cooler anchorage North of us or head around the corner to the South for a more comfortable sail? Should we reef the main now? Should we fly the staysail with that? How about trimming in, easing off, closing that thru-hull valve, anchoring in three fathoms or five, and oh I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the things we decide on together. Naturally, both being well-educated and stubborn, we have a few differences of opinion on our forced and frequent collaborations. Just a few.
Having such confined space to cohabitate (and make so VERY many decisions within) is a struggle-I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t. We all need space to live. But while everybody else may have larger homes than ours, and rooms they can retreat to for peace and quiet and space from one another, nobody has the kind of backyard we have. It’s full of dolphins.
We have the whole navigable world to stretch out in-and it’s always a million-dollar view. You are all cordially invited to visit as guests to our expansive, skylight-lit spare room. It’s easy to get started learning to sail: Just click here.
ASA regularly makes the rounds of the nation’s premier boat shows. Recently you may have encountered us in Annapolis or St. Petersburg, where we’ve had booths staffed with folks from ASA headquarters, volunteer instructors enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of the sailing lifestyle, and a wealth of materials available about our schools and sailing opportunities.
Boat shows are places where sailors gather to geek out over the latest boat designs and cool gadgets, yes, but also a good spot for prospective boat owners or those just learning to sail to go for more information. So if you’ve been pondering taking the plunge into the world of sailing, which can be overwhelming for a newcomer, a boat show is a great place to catch up with us. ASA’s mission is to make this lifestyle available and accessible to everyone and to make sure sailors trained by an ASA school have confidence and knowledge out on the water.
With that in mind, here are some upcoming shows where you can find us:
Continuing the “Voyaging with Velella” series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, Prescott and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics.
Have a sailing or cruising question you’d like to ask Meghan? Send them here or leave a comment.
It’s no secret that cruising may be fun, but it’s not all play. The tropics have an easy time ravaging all your hard work: peeling varnishes, blackening oils, and fading canvases; not to mention keeping your metals coated in a fine film of salt and sprouting a five-o’clock algae shadow almost overnight on the hull. Basic tasks like laundry are a day-long event, beginning with gathering all possible fabrics into a body-bag-sized sack, hefting it over the lifelines and down into the rocking dinghy, rowing into the choppy wind, surfing to shore, and taking turns carrying the beast through the hot streets to the nearest Lavanderia, which is usually not too near at all.
Grocery shopping involves trips to multiple stores, a heavy dinghy-row back through the surf, and a ritual of washing every bit of the new food while still in the dinghy, using chlorinated water (a bleach and saltwater mixture), and then patting it all dry, before reorganizing the fridge in order to find space for it all. We spend at least 70% of our time engaged in these daily “chores” that maintain our lives.
Does it sound like I’m complaining? Because I’m not really. Before we left, I imagined cruising as a Utopian state where things were always clean and food sort of appeared with cold beers on the side. (I know that sounds ridiculous, but how often do your daydreams really involve the grittier stuff?) But reality is relentless, and an excellent teacher; after two months of cruising in the tropics, I have grasped that life IS—on a boat or elsewhere—simply the work of living. Choosing to live on a boat is just choosing a different line of work, in a way. Whereas on shore, my life’s work was spent in an office, maintaining the car, and on a never-ending to-do list, on the boat, our life is much the same, just with different things on the list. Such as “catch fish for dinner.”
After spending over a week lounging in the Barra de Navidad lagoon for the holidays, Velella had a significant amount of green-black growth on the underside of the hull. With my trusty Marina del Rey dive service being several hundred miles away now, we decided it was time for us to dive and clean the hull ourselves. So here we are, moored alongside the stunning Moorish-inspired architecture of the Las Hadas resort in Manzanillo, jet skis surrounding us—and we are probably the only ones here swimming with sponges in hand.
We swam along either side of the waterline, gently wiping away the algae to reveal the bright blue bottom paint, flicking off the tiny beginnings of barnacles, and sponging clear the dried salt splotches from the white gelcoat. It felt intimate somehow to run my hands over every inch of my boat’s hull—it reminded me of the feeling of brushing a horse: meticulously restoring her prideful sheen with a loving hand. Dare I say, the boat work has become FUN. When we were done washing Velella, we washed our own hair and did a couple somersaults in the water before rinsing off with hot fresh water on deck.
Any boater has heard the expression, “Cruising is doing boat work in exotic locations.” It’s often said ruefully, knowingly, and with a bit of warning to would-be cruisers. And that’s absolutely right—that is essentially what we’re doing in these exotic locations—a constant regiment of light boat work. But I have to admit, it’s a great place to work, and the benefits package is pretty awesome.
Here’s where the intrepid crew of Velella is right now – probably doing their chores.