WSA-OC The Whistle
January 2016
Chatting With The Commodore
Valerie Rhodes, 
 WSA-OC Commodore
Please indulge me this month in taking up a bit more space to say thanks. Thanks to Gail Hine for traveling from Murrieta to conduct our first official installation as a WSA-OC board (we sped right past that formality in 2015). She told the membership that they had, "given us an impossible job without their help and support." And boy have our members come through for us in the past year! I took some time in our January meeting to thank all the members who made our 2015 so phenomenally successful but would like to repeat that thanks here for those who couldn't make it to our meeting.

Thank you to our outgoing board including Gabi Schwaiger who organized our on-the-water events, Kathleen Brown who designed our new logo and created our new website, Wayne Wallace who managed our finances, Brenda Highley, who maintained our minutes and our ship store, Shannon Harshman, who handled all membership duties and Bonnie Gibson who coordinated the Sail for the Visually Impaired.   Read More
January Meeting Recap
The January general meeting picked up right where our last general meeting, which was in November, left off ... with El Niño and rain. Thanks to all of you who sailed down the drenched roadways to join us. Considering the inclement weather, there was a nice turnout to hear and participate in a full agenda. 
The  meeting began with an election, via acclimation, of Risa Scott to the position of WSA-OC Membership  Director. Shannon Harshman - the previous holder of this position and elected to serve for 2016 - chose to resign, as she had scheduling conflicts. Risa was elected unanimously and will serve, with the rest of the Board, for 2016. 
Board of Directors
The 2016 WSA-OC Board of Directors (left to right)
Kathleen Brown, Wayne Wallace, Gabi Schwaiger, Gail Hine (installed officers), Valerie Rhodes, Brenda Highley and Melanie Green. Missing from photo, Karen Pacella and Risa Scott. Photo credit, Tracy Gallucci
Gail Hine, a WORSA founding member and SCYA Staff Commodore conducted the swearing in, officially installing the 2016 WSA-OC Board of Directors.  The 2016 Board members are: Commodore, Valerie Rhodes; Vice Commodore, Kathleen Brown; Rear Commodore, Gabi Schwaiger; Treasurer, Wayne Wallace; Secretary Brenda Highley; Membership Director, Risa Scott; Director (Racing), Karen Pacella and Director (Programs), Melanie Green. Read More
First Event of 2016
Ask and you shall receive. You asked for 
more social events and that's WSA-OC is
giving you ... a Social Sail. The Social Sail will take place on Saturday, February 27th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Join fellow WSA-OC members for a d ay on the water. Come out and make some new friends aboard a member owned sailboat whilst we sail around Dana Point, which is one of the best spots in  the Nation, for whale watching. And it also just happens to be migration season. 

The cost is $25 and includes a light lunch. Pre-registration is required. First come, first served as the boats fill up quickly.  Hope to see you out there!

2016 Programming In The Works
What fantastic meeting programs and speakers we had in 2015! We covered a wide variety of interesting subjects and we are excited to continute the trend in 2016.

Thank you for everyone's creative suggestions and input during the January meeting. It's truly valuable to know what topics are important, so we can plan for a well rounded year of programming. While we are still in the planning stages for this year's meetings, some topics that appear on the top of everyone's list include: 
  • Navigation and radio equipment; 
  • Boat maintence and Coast Guard checks;
  • Safety at sea and medical emergencies; and 
  • Sail making. 
We wish to include more networking and social opportunites during the meetings as well. Our goal for 2016 is to share a series of speakers and presentors that will interest all levels of sailing experience. Looking forward to seeing you all at a meeting soon!

Your Program Planners,
Melanie Green and Sue Hutchings

Upcoming WSA-OC Events
WSA-OC has several events* planned through early 2016. Of course you can always view our All Events page on the website, where you will be able to read more detail about each event as well as additional events that aren't listed below. As each event gets closer more details will be provided via the various WSA-OC online outlets. 
January 24th ~ ~ OSeas Team Practice
February 1st ~ ~ There will be NO General Meeting
February 6th ~ ~ Women's Sailing Convention
February 27th ~ ~ Social Sail
March 1st ~ ~ General Meeting
April 5th ~ ~ General Meeting

*Subject to change

Fun & Philanthropy
The first practice of the year is officially scheduled for January 24th at 11:30 a.m. and pre-registration is required. To help offset costs, we will be practicing aboard WSA-OC members Risa Scott & Stephen Ashley's boat  Mille Onde II, as opposed to the Catalina 37's. Stephen will, once again, be our coach. The OSeas plan to hold practices monthly.

The road to LEMWOD 2016 will encompass several racing opportunities, that will help build skills and team cohesiveness,  the first being the Mayor's Cup. This is a match race and allows for a maximum of eight racers. We will utilize our first practice(s) to determine the crew and crew positions for this race. 

To pre-register for the practice or to request more information in sailing with the OSeas email Karen Pacella at .
The Ocean Awareness Challenge originated in early 2015 by a group of women sailors, from WSA-OC, who are passionate about protecting the ocean and all of the species and organisms within it. 

Trash, acidification, plastics and over-fishing are only a few of the huge problems that are effecting our oceans and our planet. The women have been inspired to help improve the situation and launched the OAC to "Help Save the Blue Heart of the Earth."

In addition to trying to improve the environment through education, the OAC will be raising funds to send underprivileged youth to the Mountain & Sea Adventures camp.  

For more information or to volunteer, contact Susie Campbell at

Photo of the Month
2016 Membership
Renew or Join
You can now renew your WSA-OC membership or join WSA-OC for 2016 online. The 2016 rates are:

Membership renewal $60.00

New members $75.00

There will be NO February general meeting. 

In lieu of the meeting we will have two opportunities to get together; the Women's Sailing Convention (see below) and a Social Sail. Additional information regarding the Social Sail will be forthcoming via email and the Facebook page.   
Women's Sailing Convention
Register online for the 27th Annual Women's Sailing Convention. The convention will take place on Saturday, February 6th at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport Beach. 

Registration is priced at $215 through January 28th. It will then increase to $230, so register sooner rather than later. The registration fee includes workshops, breakfast, lunch, dinner, souvenirs and handouts. Prepaid-registrations are required as space is limited.

All of the information you need can be found here or follow them on Facebook. Hope to see you there. 
This & That
Thank You
The Board and committee members will be meeting later this month to plan out the 2016 Calendar of Events. Again, THANK YOU for all of your fantastic suggestions at the January meeting. 


Sail Training
As covered in the November edition of The Whistle  , member Diane Berol is continuing to offer free sail/crew training to WSA-OC members. She has two sessions scheduled for this month:

January 23rd - Man Overboard Drills
January 31st - Docking Skills

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
Bring your own lunch

RSVP to Diane at to secure your spot and to receive additional information. 
Sail Training, Diane Berol
WSA-OC members aboard Celtic Song on December 19th for a sail/crew training session. Left to right: Lisa Pegan, Jean Moran, Jan Guyette, Jackie Fisk and Diane Berol. Photo courtesy of Diane Berol


WSA-OC Website
In case you missed it, here is the link to the Holiday Party photos and 2015 recap video.

Be Safe
The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways recently released the document  El Niño Preparedness Recommendations for Boaters. This is a good resource that covers a lot of basic information and provides pertinent links. 

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

Cheryl Beck, Catharine Cooper, Diana McCullough, Maureen Schroeder and Dave & Tami Stancil

Happy Sailing!

Quick Links
Board of Directors

Valerie Rhodes

Vice Commodore
Kathleen Brown

Rear Commodore
Gabi Schwaiger

Wayne Wallace

Brenda Highley

Membership Director
Risa Scott

Director (Racing)
Karen Pacella

Director (Programs)
Melanie Green

Newsletter Editor
Tracy Gallucci

Mission Statement
Stay Connected

 P.O. Box 937 
Dana Point, CA 92629