WSA-OC The Whistle
October 2015
Chatting With The Commodore
Valerie Rhodes, 
 WSA-OC Commodore
It's hard to believe we're staring down the end of the calendar year and already looking at electing our 2016 WSA-OC Board.  While we've come a long way this year and our membership numbers are strong, our goal is to build a team of volunteers within our membership to carry the energy and enthusiasm generated this year into the coming years. To reach that goal, we are seeking out members who want to connect with other women (and men) within WSA by getting more involved in a number of ways. 
Have ideas on what would make an interesting presentation? Join our Program Committee.  Have thoughts on new on-the-water activities our members would enjoy? Help out our Events Team.  Are you a fan of social media or have a flair for communications? We'd welcome your help with our communications efforts!  Do you live or sail in Newport? We're looking to better serve our members who live in and around Newport Beach in 2016 and would love your help!  

We will be holding our annual election for our seven board positions at our 11/3 general meeting. You can refer to our bylaws for a brief description of the board positions. You may nominate yourself or any other current WSA-OC member by October 25th via   If a board position isn't a good fit, shoot us an email with your ideas and interests for the coming year and let us know if we can find you a home on one of our many committees we'll be forming in the coming weeks. Thanks to those of you who have played such an ENORMOUS role in making this year as amazing as it has been!  Happy Sailing!
November Meeting
Our November general meeting is a very important one you won't want to miss. Not only will we be conducting the WSA-OC election of officers* for 2016, we will have Alex Tardy, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist Manager from NOAA-National Weather Service San Diego, discussing how to prepare for the predicted El Niño and it's impacts on coastal California. Alex will also share information about the weather services NOAA provides to boaters and will bring handouts for participants. 

Alex Tardy at his Rancho Bernardo office in October 2013. Photo by Susan Murphy / KPBS 
Alex is in charge of working with a variety of public and private partners to ensure that weather and hazard information and education is received in the most efficient ways to save lives and property. He has worked for the National Weather Service for 22 years. 

The meeting will take place on:
Tuesday, November 3rd
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
24707 Dana Drive 
Dana Point 92629

*Must be a WSA-OC member in good standing and attend meeting to vote.  
Let's Go Shopping
You've been asking and now it's here, just in time for the 2015 Holiday Season ... WSA-OC logo merchandise! We're starting small, but hope to add additional items, in the near future.  

The items currently available: women's and men's white "Polo" style shirts for $35 and baseball hats in both pink and white for $17. All items will be available beginning Tuesday, November 3rd at our general meeting and online. 
Racing 101: Training Regatta
Two spots remain available for our upcoming Racing 101:Training Regatta due to the original date being rescheduled because of rain. The new event date is Sunday, October 25th. Contact Wayne Wallace if you are interested in participating. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. The regatta committee felt it was better to postpone for safety reasons. In addition to safety issues, since this was a regatta meant for beginning racers, the participants may not have had the appropriate foul weather gear, or foulies, as they're know colloquially. 
Since there is no regatta to recap, lets review the basic items, not including your clothing or personal toiletry items, recommended to have in your racing bag (these items are not required for our Racing 101:Training Regatta). In no particular order: 
  • Sailing Gloves
  • Foul Weather Gear
  • Knee Pads
  • Personal Floatation Device (PFD)*
    • Offshore Inflatable with Harness
    • ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Safety Tether
  • Whistle(s)
  • Knife
  • Headlamp with Red Lens
  • Flashlight
  • Waterproof light/strobe for PFD
  • Waterproof Watch (that can be read at night)
  • Polarized sunglasses (several pair, with different lenses depending on conditions)
  • Beanie/Knit Hat/Touque
  • Hat
  • Hat Keeper
  • Sunglasses Keeper
  • Necessary Medications
  • Sunscreen
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping Bag & Pillow
  • Refillable Water Bottle
A small sample of race gear: tether, gloves, knee pads, pfd with harness, hat with hat keeper, earplugs and sunglasses with keeper.
*Actually, this is probably the most important item(s) to have. Yes, they can be pricey. However, you can't put a price on your life. If you are going to be racing in rough weather or at night most captains require that you have both an offshore pfd and a tether so you can clip-on to the jacklines. 

Like anything this is just a guideline. You certainly don't have to go out and purchase these items all at once. Ask around, see if anyone can loan you some gear. Also, check with your captain as they may have specific mandatory items.  Lastly, be safe and sail fast! 

Twenty-Five Years ... And Counting
Twenty-five years ago WSA-OC (formerly WORSA) members Bonnie Gibson and Bobbie Reed took a small group of blind and visually impaired people sailing. The rest, as they say, is history.  Over the years the event has grown from a few people to a few hundred and the need for a partner. The American Legion Yacht Club has been that partner for many, many years. 
Since this has become such a large event volunteers are still needed, it's not too late to help out at this year's Sail for the Visually Impaired. If you'd like to volunteer your boat and act as skipper, contact Tony Melum. If you don't have a boat, but want to volunteer, on a boat or land, contact Shell Saurer
Bonnie Gibson, speaking at the 2014 SVI event. Photo courtesy of ALYC.
WSA-OC is very proud of our history with this event and plan to participate for years to come. This longstanding event is celebrating it's Silver Anniversary and hopefully another 25 years! Here's the photo gallery from the 2014 event. 

Upcoming Events
WSA-OC has several events* planned through the end of 2015 and early 2016. Of course you can always look at our online Calendar of Events. As each event gets closer more details will be provided via the various WSA-OC online outlets. 
October 16th - 18th ~ ~  LEMWOD Challenge
October 17th  ~ ~ Sail for the Visually Impaired
October 25th ~ ~ RESCHEDULED Racing 101: Training Regatta pre-registration required
November 3rd  ~ ~ General Meeting; Election of Officers
December 1st ~ ~ Holiday Party at Aventura
January 5th ~ ~ General Meeting
February 1st ~ ~ General Meeting (tentative)
February 6th ~ ~ Women's Sailing Convention

*Subject to change

One Stop Sailing
Aventura Sailing Association is a great partner with WSA-OC, particularly for our members looking for additional instruction and more time on the water via boat charters. Aventura generously offers special WSA-OC member discounts from time to time and invites our members to participate in their member events. Aventura offers something for everyone; social events (see links below), sailing classes, social/women sails and much more.  

Photo of the Month
A moray eel, in an aquarium, at the Mountain & Sea Adventures camp. 
Now You Know
Thank you to Laura Hoesli for   designing the new WSA-OSeas race team logo and staying true to the well-known three pink sails brand that the WSA-OC is known for; whilst adding some nautical whimsy.

The WSA-OSeas will be competing in the LEMWOD Regatta this weekend. Good luck ladies!
OAC Update 
The planning committee for WSA-OC's Ocean Awareness Challenge held their pilot event September 11-13, at the Mountain & Sea Adventure Camp (MSA) on Catalina Island. Volunteers met to experience the MSA camp including snorkeling, aquarium touch tanks, hiking, and all of the amenities that the camp offers. Saturday night featured a presentation by marine biologist Norm Cole. 
The OAC Planning Committee and friends at the MSA camp at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. 
The OAC committee is now busy planning for the September 2016 inaugural event. It's all about "Saving the Blue Heart of the Earth!" If you would like to help out, please contact or Susie Campbell. For more information about the 2016 event, visit our web page by clicking here
WSA-OC Website
Be sure to view our website from time-to-time. Webmaster Kathleen Brown is continually adding new content. 
Do you have some news you'd like to have featured in The Whistle? Don't be shy. Let us know by sending an email to Don't forget to include a photo, they help to tell the story. 

Ship Flag Swag
Our burgee flying on one of the Long Beach Sailing Foundation's Catalina 37's.  

Wave that flag, wave it wide and high. Make sure you have your boat looking sharp by flying our redesigned burgee during races, regattas and raft-ups. Get your burgee here 

2016 Membership
You can now renew your WSA-OC membership or join WSA-OC for 2016. The pricing tiers are as follows:

~ Early Bird Special ~  
$50.00 - Existing members can renew for 2016 for only $50 if paid by December 31, 2015

$60.00 - Existing members who renew after the December 31st deadline.

$75.00 - 2016 Membership rate for new members
Let's Party!
Click photo to enlarge
Since we're always out on the water or attending informational meetings, we've decided to have a holiday party in lieu of our regular December meeting. We'll have more information available soon and you'll be able to purchase tickets online. Guests are welcome to attend. 

You can look forward to:
  • Music
  • Dancing
  • Food
  • Raffle Prizes
More information will be forthcoming via: email, Facebook and the newsletter. Hope to see you there!
Ahoy Matey
We Want You!

Time is running out to join WSA-OC for the 2015 calendar year. However, you can still join for the half-off price of $25. Not only will you receive a  magnetized name tag, membership card and car logo cling, you will be able to vote for the election of officers (at the November meeting) and have the opportunity to attend the WSA-OC Holiday Party.
Sign up electronically here or mail a check to: PO  Box  937, Dana Point, CA 92629.

Welcome Aboard
WSA-OC continues to grow, thanks to all of you for being WSA ambassadors. 
Welcome to our newest members:

Susan Carle, Barbara Kelley, Angela McDowell, Maria Isabel Rojas Rojas and Leaine Simmer.

Happy Sailing!

Sharing Is Caring
WSA-OC is about sailing, of course, but it's also about sharing experiences and building relationships. One of the best ways to do that is by sharing your photos with our members. 

A great way to tell a story is by sharing photos with the membership, including a brief caption explaining what is happening in the photo. Everyone see things differently and has different experiences. This is a perfect way to bring us all together. Send your photos to

Quick Links
Board of Directors
Board of Directors

Valerie Rhodes

Vice Commodore
Gabi Schwaiger

Wayne Wallace

Brenda Highley

Membership Director
Shannon Harshman

Kathleen Brown

Bonnie Gibson
Newsletter Editor
Tracy Gallucci

Mission Statement
Stay Connected

 P.O. Box 937 
Dana Point, CA 92629