“Promotion to the Ocean”

By: American Sailing Association, Social Media

It’s officially autumn, my friends, which makes this a perfectly natural migration time. The birds do it, the “snowbirds” do it, and now I’m going to do it too. With a knot of excitement in my stomach, it’s time to announce know that I’m moving on from the ASA Social Media office, but in a way I hope you all will appreciate: We’re embarking in three weeks on a nine-month cruise in the tropics. (Yipee!!!!)

We’re bringing in a new social media guru to connect with you all on a daily basis (he’s great, you’ll love him)–and I’ll still be sending in weekly dispatches from the high seas as ASA’s new “writer at large.” I am calling it my “promotion to the ocean!”

I truly hope, as snow blankets the northern latitudes, that you all will enjoy the armchair adventures provided by the ongoing narrative from S/V Velella. Perhaps it’ll inspire you to let go the bowlines yourself one of these days. Or perhaps you’ll just get a good chuckle out of it at my expense! Either way, I am emboldened by the knowledge that so many great sailors will be following along, and, like a virtual flotilla, your company in the form of comments and suggestions will help to keep us safe and sane.

The next couple of weeks will most certainly be insane, as we finalize the many remaining outfitting details and pack provisions in every which way. I’ve got screens to sew, tanks to sanitize, filters to fit, and a rig to go over every inch of with a cottonball. Our departure date is not set in stone (the weather will dictate which day we leave exactly), but let’s just say I might have to wear a Halloween costume for it.

And just so you know who’s who, let me introduce the boat and crew. This is Velella. She is a 35′ Young Sun (Westwind) cutter. I’ll give you a thorough tour later.

You may already recognize Prescott, my co-captain and mate-for-good (we just got engaged on the ASA Croatia flotilla):

And this is Nessie, our little sea monster. She’s been sailing since kittenhood, and she appears to think the engine noise is just a big purring thing. She is quite curious about the dolphins in Santa Monica Bay, and I can’t wait to see what she thinks of flying fish.

So you’ll be hearing more about Velella and company over the coming months. Our plan is to transit the Panama Canal and head up the East Coast (before next year’s hurricane season); however, I’m not promising anything because you know what they say about a calendar on a boat. We’ll play it by ear, because true to the name of our little ship, we’re “by-the wind sailors.”