NEWPORT, R.I., April 18, 2023 -- The National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) will offer its 2023 Annual National Women’s Sailing Conference at the Sail Newport Marine Education and Recreation Center, Saturday, June 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Newport, Rhode Island. The in-person event welcomes women sailors of all levels and ages, offering a range of workshops including the popular “Take the Helm” track, an introduction to sailing for women.
Programming will include a full day of classroom, dockside and on-water workshops taught by experienced female instructors from across the country. There are tracks for all levels plus additional courses to choose from. Sailors can learn the basics of boat electrical systems and sail trim, and practice navigation using either paper or electronic charts, overboard crew rescue, and more. Boats of various sizes will be available as floating classrooms.
An in-person pass to the event is $250 and includes breakfast and lunch, while a virtual attendance pass is $65. Both in-person and virtual attendees enjoy post-conference access to virtual panel discussions that include topics for cruisers, racers and do-it-yourselfers.
A highlight of the event is the announcement and presentation of the 2023 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award recipient, co-sponsored by NWSA and Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). This award recognizes an individual with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.
Primary event sponsors include BoatUS, Alexander/Ryan Marine Safety-Lalizas LifeSaving, and Dig Down Media. A scholarship fundraiser brunch will be held Sunday, June 4, in Newport, requiring advance tickets, but conference attendance is not required.
Register at nwsa.quvent.com. Send conference questions to email@example.com or call 985-247-8919. For information on NWSA membership, visit womensailing.org.
Although the official first day of summer isn’t until June, Memorial Day weekend feels like the ultimate summer kickoff. From boating, BBQs and re-opening of seasonal businesses, it’s also known to many boaters as the start of the season. Each year, we hope for sunshine and clear skies to honor such an important holiday.
If you’re not heading to the beach for Memorial Day, get outdoors and check out the following events featuring food and music festivals, tours of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, boat parades, shows, fundraisers and honorary celebrations that salute our military services.
Los Angeles, CA, May 24-27
New York, NY, May 24-30
Boston, MA, May 26-28, Location: Harvard Athletic Complex
Lakeville, CT, May 26-29, Location: Lime Rock Park
Wareham, MA, May 28, Location: Main Street
Stonington, CT, May 29, Location: U.S. Coast Guard Foundation Headquarters
Bar Harbor, ME, May 29, Location: Village Green
Chestertown Tea Party Festival
Chestertown, MD, May 26-28, Multiple locations throughout Chestertown such as Roy Kirby Stadium at Washington College, Wilmer Park, Heritage Village and stages throughout town.
Baltimore, MD, May 27-28, Location: Maryland Zoo
Timonium, MD, May 29, Location: Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens
Memorial Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony
Washington, DC, May 29, Location: Navy Memorial Plaza
Memorial Day Weekend Salute to Summer
Virginia Beach, VA, May 26-28, Location: 17th Street, 24th Street and 31st Street Parks, and the Heroes’ Walk displayed along the boardwalk
20th Annual Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic
Virginia Beach, VA, May 26-29, Location: 1st Street Jetty
Coastal Empire Run to Remember
Savannah, GA, May 26, Location: U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah
Palatka, FL, May 26-28, Location: Downtown Palatka’s waterfront
Fort Lauderdale, FL, May 27, Location: Las Olas Oceanside Park and along Las Olas Blvd. Classic Car Show located between Las Olas Blvd. and Seabreeze Blvd.
Air & Sea Show and U.S. Army SaluteFest
Miami, FL, May 27-28, Location: Miami Beach
Green Cove Springs, FL, May 29, Location: Spring Park
Boca Raton Memorial Day Celebrations
Boca Raton, FL, May 29, Location: Ceremony at Boca Raton Cemetery and concert at Mizner Park Amphitheater
Monterey, CA, May 25-28, Location: Monterey County Fairgrounds
San Diego, CA, May 26-29, Location: USS Midway Museum
Simi Valley, CA, May 27, Location: Rancho Santa Susana Community Park
Morro Bay, CA, May 27-29, Location: Morro Bay Park
Memorial Day Sunset Sail on Freda B
San Francisco, CA, May 28, Location: Sausalito Yacht Harbor, Slip 465
52nd Annual Northwest Folklife Festival
Seattle, WA, May 26-29, Location: Seattle Center
Brinnon, WA, May 27-28, Location: 251 Hjelvicks Road
This summer, witness a larger-than-life battleship make history in the Baltimore Harbor at the grand commissioning ceremony of the USS Carl M. Levin.
Coined with the nickname “Baltimore Destroyer,” the USS Carl M. Levin is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built with air and missile defense capability. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants that serve a vital role in global maritime security. Built to lead a surface fleet in military protection, the vessel boasts high firepower, quick reaction time and increased electronics for strategic defense.
This June, join the locals, Navy community and sailors to toast the ship with receptions and a celebratory commissioning day. The festivities kick off with “Tin Can Thursday” at McGarvey’s restaurant in downtown Annapolis, home of the Naval Academy. Be sure to head to the Baltimore Inner Harbor for the main events. The ship is set to arrive the week of June 19 and will make Pearl Harbor, HI, its homebase post-commission.
Stay tuned for updates at baltimoredestroyer2023.com
Gala & VIP Reception
Friday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Four Seasons Hotel, Inner Harbor
Dignitary & Crew Breakfast
Saturday, June 24 (morning; time TBD)
Official Commissioning Ceremony
Saturday June 24 (afternoon; time TBD)
Constructed in Sweden, the Vasa was launched on August 10, 1628, but unfortunately, it didn't sail very far before it capsized due to strong winds, taking on water through its open gun ports within a mile of its departure.
However, the hull of the Vasa has been remarkably preserved thanks to the use of the preservative agent, polyethylene glycol, since its excavation from the seafloor in 1961. This exceptional preservation has allowed researchers to access valuable information that would have otherwise been lost. Now, with the aid of DNA testing, researchers are gaining even more insight into the identities of those who perished when the Vasa sank.
By utilizing bones retrieved from the vessel, as well as those exhumed from their burial sites, the Vasa research team has successfully employed nuclear DNA testing to uncover evidence that women were present on the ship. Considering the rarity of women being aboard a ship at sea during the year 1628, this discovery is quite significant. Beginning with one woman in particular, the researchers are gradually uncovering more information about why she, as well as other women, were aboard the Vasa.
The research project on the Vasa and its enigmas is spearheaded by Fred Hocker, who serves as the director of the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. According to Hocker, the spine of the woman found on the ship appeared to exhibit signs of having undergone arduous physical labor. Although it is unclear why the woman, known only as G., was on board the Vasa, researchers have suggested that she may have been the wife of a sailor or possibly disguised herself as a man. Despite this lingering uncertainty, the researchers are committed to conducting further investigations to uncover the complete story of who was present on the Vasa.
For the full story visit The New York Times.
Plunging down 900 feet, Taam Ja, meaning "deep water" in Mayan, is a blue hole found off the Eastern Coast of Mexico. This discovery is the second largest of its kind, only surpassed by the Sansha Yongle "Dragon Hole" Blue Hole near China.
Taam Ja has near-vertical sides with an inclination of about 80 degrees, and its mouth is located a mere 15 feet below sea level. The hole's apex is almost perfectly circular, spanning an area of 150,000 square feet.
In the recent past, a fisherman named Jesus Artemio aided researchers from Campeche's El Colegio de la Frontera Sur and Mexico City's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Technologia in locating the blue hole. Subsequently, scientists employed scuba equipment, sonar technology, and water testing to survey Taam Ja and produce a comprehensive map of the hole. Their findings were published in the scientific journal Frontiers for Marine Science.
Blue holes offer a wealth of historical and environmental information about our planet, including insights into past, present, and future climate trends. Due to their low oxygen levels, these underwater sinkholes also provide a distinctive habitat for certain organisms, making them a unique ecosystem to study.
The majority of blue holes are thought to have emerged roughly 11,000 years ago during the conclusion of the ice age, owing to the presence of limestone within them. Since limestone is porous, it was easily penetrated by water. As a result, when the glaciers melted and seawater inundated these limestone caves, they became inundated and created enormous sinkholes.
They say that we don’t meet people by accident. I am not sure why I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Colin MacRae and the Parlay crew but they have certainly impacted my life in the best possible way.
I originally met Colin MacRae and Jamie Vandenbulk at the Newport International Boat Show, where they were promoting their YouTube channel Sailing Parlay Revival. I immediately recognized Colin being the fangirl of Bravo’s Below Deck that I am. I knew nothing about Parlay or that their YouTube channel even existed. I thought they were there promoting Below Deck. This is one of those moments where the hand-to-forehead emoji would be appropriate. To be fair, Colin was there with Daisy Kelliher (Chief Stew on Seasons 2-4). I guess I should have figured it out sooner considering they were donned head-to-toe in Parlay Revival gear, but I was too starstruck to notice at first.
If you don’t know the incredible story of Parlay, here are Cliff’s Notes: SV Parlay is a hurricane-damaged Lagoon 450 Catamaran that Colin bought in Tortola, BVI after Hurricane Irma. The insurance companies deemed the vessel a constructive total loss. Determined to fix her up, he and his friends hauled her out of the water and completely rebuilt the boat. They continue to fix her as they go, chronicling their journey on their YouTube channel, Sailing Parlay Revival, which releases a new episode each week.
Like me, most people initially recognize Colin from seasons 2-4 of Bravo’s Below Deck Sailing Yacht. He was chosen to be on the show because of his passion for sailing and his extensive work as a Chief Engineer on super yachts (and let’s be honest he is not terrible to look at either). Although he loves being on Below Deck and is grateful for the platform it has provided, his passion is not reality TV or being a Bravolebrity.
It is the incredible work that he and his friends have done on Parlay and his dream of circumnavigating the globe, which is about to become a reality. They are getting ready to embark on the first big leg of their trip, (and arguably the most important) crossing the Pacific Ocean. The biggest journey of their lives will begin shortly, as they have been working tirelessly to finish last-minute preparations for the crossing. The jobs never seem to end.
I have always felt that they talk about this passage nonchalantly, like “Oh no big deal, when we cross the Pacific…” Are you kidding me? It’s a HUGE deal. The mere size of the Pacific Ocean presents its own challenges. Let’s not forget that it covers a third of the entire world. Not to mention its intense currents, dangerous coral reefs, violent storms and other severe weather conditions, just to name a few. The trip itself is over 2,000 nm and will take about a month as they will depart from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and head to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. If they aren’t nervous, I will be nervous FOR them…x10. I hope that Poseidon treats them kindly.
Colin MacRae - Hailing from New Zealand, Colin has been a Chief Engineer on super yachts for 15+ years and is the owner and captain of Parlay.
Jamie Vandenbulk - The First Mate, Jamie is a staple on Parlay and Colin’s right hand. “You’d struggle to find a more hard-working dude than this guy,” Colin says of Jamie. All of his hard work and support were recognized when Colin renamed the boat a Jamie465 (rather than a Lagoon450) because he helped to extend the boat during its reconstruction.
Brittany Amodeo - Brittany is a self-described creative thinker and a professional wanderer. She originally came aboard to film and edit videos for their YouTube channel. She has since taken their videos to the next level by infusing her creative talent into their brand. Fans of the channel love Brittany and have come to expect her presence in videos and at events
Colleen Meehan - No stranger to sailing on Parlay, Colleen has been part of the PR crew 3 times. When she is not on Parlay she works as a bosun on superyachts and is excited to be going on this adventure with her friends.
David Shih - A fellow YouTuber, David became friends with the Parlay crew after following their channel and was inspired to buy his own hurricane-damaged Lagoon450 but needed Colin’s help to fix it up. You can read that amazing story in a recent article he wrote for Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine. For another great channel to follow, subscribe to David’s channel David Shih Sails.
Fillipo Gasparini - Also no stranger to Parlay, Fillipo was their former videographer. He works in the film industry and is happy to join the crew again to help Parlay cross the Pacific.
Katie Hawkins - A childhood friend of Colleen's, Katie is new to the sailing world having never sailed before, and decided to join as crew and embark on a journey of a lifetime.
Steven MaCloud- A huge fan and supporter of Parlay, Steven won a contest for Parlay patrons to cross the Pacific as part of the crew. No stranger to boating, he recently helped David Shih deliver his Lagoon 450 from Panama to Texas.
I am still not entirely sure why our paths crossed. Maybe it was to remind me to live life to the fullest. Maybe it was to satisfy my wanderlust or allow me to live vicariously through them. It is probably a little of all of those things. However, I have no doubt that one of the reasons was so that I could help share their incredible journey and hopefully inspire others the way they have inspired me.
I once asked Jamie how long he thought it would take to complete the trek around the globe. In his amazing Australian accent he said with a laugh, “I don’t know, Darling, it could take 5 years.” He was half kidding because the length of time really depends on so many factors including the weather, where they decide to stop, how long they stay, etc. But this first big passage across the Pacific will kick off the trip, and no matter how long it takes to complete the entire trip, it will be the journey of a lifetime.
To follow their adventure go to the Parlay Revival YouTube Channel!
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