WSA-OC The Whistle
January 2017
Chatting With The Commodore
Risa Scott,
WSA-OC Commodore
I am so excited to get this new year going!  It is going to be EPIC!  The WSA-OC Board and Committee Chairs have been working hard to put together a great year of fun, education, and community service, both on and off-the-water! 
At our January meeting, we spent some time getting to know a little about those in attendance and there were many surprises!  I thought I would just share a little about myself.  I spent the first 20+ years of my life in Wyoming and Montana.  I was a 'land lubber' and the only real connection with water in my early days, was as a swim instructor and lifeguard. 
After college, I had a beau who was also a General Contractor.  He and two of his contractor buddies decided the best way to get away from sawdust and sub-contractors, was to build a boat and 'sail away.' The three of them had previous sailing experience and obviously, construction skills.  I joined them to build a 42' ketch sailboat in an airport hangar in Wyoming.  The locals thought we were crazy, but I considered myself a modern day 'Noah.'  I thought it would be a difficult project, with grueling manual labor, but with the modern conveniences of power tools, it was great fun (except for the fiber glassing part L )! 
I had planned on sailing this boat with my beau and the other two gents, but an important lesson I learned, is that 42 boat-feet of space gets pretty small in a hurry if you don't get along with someone.  When it came time to set sail, I decided with my inexperience and the questionable integrity of one of the other sailors, I would stay behind.  I had also just watched the Barbra Streisand movie Yentl, and the closing scene was shot from a helicopter while she was on this very large ship sailing away.  As the camera panned out, she became a very small speck in a very large ocean.  I couldn't help but thinking that 42' would be even smaller. 
Back then, if someone had told me that I would learn to sail and embark on my own sailing adventures, I would have laughed heartily.  And yet, about nine years ago, I met Stephen Ashley, who introduced me to the sailing/racing world.  I was fearless and loved the open water and the thrill of racing.  I learned to race before I learned to sail!  Since that time, I have also had a knee replacement and dislocated my shoulder.  I have learned that I don't heal as quickly as I used to...  I also have become less 'fearless' and more cautious.  Maybe not bad traits, but I kind of miss the 'throw caution to the wind' days ... 
I guess by sharing my story, I wanted to let you know, that you don't have to be born on or near the water to learn how to appreciate and enjoy it.  Even a former 'land lubber' like myself, can be taught 'new tricks' and get out on the water for enjoyment and/or competitive sailing!
This year, WSA-OC will have many opportunities to get out on the water and I hope you take advantage of them.  Also, get to know your fellow members and network with them to learn, socialize and get out on the water!

A Little Something New for 2017
Happy New Year! A new year means change, whether it's an addition of a number onto the year or a resolution, change is generally afoot and this year WSA-OC has a change in leadership. For the first time, since our reboot in 2015, we have a new commodore. 

Risa acknowledging Valerie for all she has done on behalf of WSA-OC over the past two years. 
The meeting began with outgoing Commodore, Valerie Rhodes, calling the meeting to order. She got right down to business by officially swearing in and installing the WSA-OC 2017 Board of Directors. This years board: Commodore, Risa Scott; Vice Commodore, Melanie Green; Rear Commodore, Karen Pacella; Secretary, Brenda Highley; Treasurer, Wayne Wallace; Membership, Cheryl Case; Directors, Kathleen Brown and Gabi Schwaiger; and Junior Staff Commodore, Valerie Rhodes. 

Valerie, Kathleen, and Melanie admiring her Vice Commodore flag. 
In the spirit of advancing our club to the next level, Risa took the helm, so to speak, and presented officer flags and stars to Melanie and Karen denoting their new positions and silver stars to  Valerie indicating her new position. The BoD also presented Valerie with flowers, a photo plaque and a WSA-OC logo jacket as a token of appreciation for her service to the club. Everyone was then treated to champagne and gourmet cupcakes as we toasted the old, the new and the yet to come. 

Terri Manok provided follow-up information and a brief presentation about the 2017 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. Newport Ocean Sailing Association has approved an All-Women Crew Non-Spinnaker Cruising Class that will have a perpetual trophy awarded to the winner, which Terri has graciously provided NOSA. This is a perfect opportunity for those of you to "try out" a long distance race without a spinnaker and check N2E off of your bucket list. 

The final aspect of the meeting was playing a group ice breaker, "Two Truths & a Lie." Everyone had to write down just that, two truths and one lie about themselves and everyone had to guess the lie. We had a lot of fun and got to know each other a little better. We also learned that some people are better liars than others. Sadly, though, we didn't learn anything really juicy ... maybe next time? 

Sign Up Now for Our Whale of a Social Sail
Please join us for a fun day on the water, where we will be on the lookout for  Pacific gray whales and other marine life. Each year, thousands of these gentle giants pass right offshore as they head south to the calving lagoons of Baja Mexico and then later, return North to their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea.

Our first social sail of the year: Whale of a Social Sail will be held at Dana Point Harbor on Saturday, February 25th, noon - 4:00 p.m. We are still in need of boats! Let us know if you'd like to share yours with us. Hopefully we will experience a repeat of last years whale sail, which included hours (literally) of whale watching and perfect weather. 

This photo was captured during last year's Whale of a Social Sail. Let's hope for a repeat! Photo: Jennifer Johns 

Current membership and pre-registration is required to attend and  $25 will secure your spot in the event. Once your payment is received you will be emailed additional details regarding the trip, such as boat assignment, boat location, etc

Email Gabi Schwaiger with any questions or if you would like to donate your boat for the event.

Spring Sailing: Getting Your Boat in Ship Shape
With our March meeting being just two weeks before the First Day of Spring, we have the perfect topic -  Spring Sailing: Getting Your Boat in Ship Shape  -  to ensure you and your boat are ready. Regardless of whether or not you own a boat this meeting is not to be missed as safety is of paramount importance to every sailor/boater. 

WSA-OC members Sue and Chuck Hutchings - who are also United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Examiners - will be our guest speakers for the evening. T hey will:
  • Show you how to to have your vessel ready for a safety check and why it's important;
  • Share the many benefits that the USCGA offers the public and;
  • Review current safety regulations to help ensure we are following safe marine and boating practices on the water.

Tuesday, March 7th
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Happy Half Hour
7:00 - 7:45 p.m. New Business & Announcements
7:45 - 9:00 p.m. Spring Sailing: Getting Your Boat in Ship Shape 
24707 Dana Drive
Dana Point, 92629
Your Giving Spirit Was Strong
Our newest endeavor/partnership has been with Laura's House and boy, has it been a success! During the holiday season, we asked you to bring toys and/or gifts to our December Holiday party, for the women and children receiving services from Laura's House. Not only did you step up, you stepped up big time! 

As you can imagine, being in a shelter is tough at any time of the year, but Christmastime is especially difficult; everything is in limbo: finances, living situation, physical/emotional status, etc.  Thanks to all of you, you helped ease all of these burdens. 

"This year, we had five families in the shelter that we were able to help  with the donations from the WSA. We were able to lay out the gifts and have  the moms choose what they wanted to be able to give each of their children and  held a little wrap party just before the holiday so they could get all the  gifts under the tree in time. Due to the efforts of your members, we had  more than enough toys and were able to have each kid have presents that  were from their mom, from the shelter, and from "Santa."  Thank you so much for helping us celebrate the holidays and make sure that  each of our kids had a great Christmas!"
~ Jennifer Tai, Shelter Administrator
Again, thank you for contributing and making the lives of these five families at Laura's House a little happier and brighter during a dark time in their lives. 

 OSeas Race Team
Questions? Email us at
It's that time of year again, race season is starting back up. The OSeas had their first practice of the year on Sunday, January 8th.  The day out brought a lot of fun, a good practice and dolphins! I'd like to give a big THANK YOU to Terri Manok for arranging such a fabulous training program in 2017.

Are you looking to get involved in Newport to Ensenada, but have always felt a little intimidated? If so, 2017 might be your year to participate. Again, thanks to Terri's Newport Ocean Sailing Association proposal - to get more women to participate in N2E - NOSA created a new race category: All-Women Crew Non-Spinnaker Cruising Class.  Terri, thank you for being such an advocate for women on the water!

Still not sure you're ready to tackle N2E? Why don't you attend one of these free seminars offered by NOSA at a yacht club near you. They cover topics such as: safety regulations, boat prep, managing your crew, weather and so much more. 

Do you need crew? Please contact Karen Pacella at We'd love to get more 'water time' for all the WSA-OC ladies. 

~ Karen 

Ocean Awareness Challenge Final Wrap Up
One of the WSA-OC's biggest accomplishments in 2016 was the development and launch of the Ocean Awareness Challenge event. Over 100 attendees enjoyed a three-day event last September at Catalina Island's Emerald Bay. The goals of the event were to raise awareness of issues facing the ocean and to raise funds to send students from underserved communities to the Mountain and Sea Educational Adventures marine science camp.

We are proud to announce that both goals were met and exceeded expectations! With that being said, we are even more proud to announce that the OAC raised funds to send 62 sixth-grade students, from Washington STEAM Magnet Academy in Pasadena, Ca to an MSA marine science camp March 12-15, 2017.

The overwhelming success of the 2016 OAC event was due to an amazing team of volunteers, donors and supporters. In order to build upon the initial success of the OAC it will be spun off, from the WSA-OC, as its own organization dedicated exclusively to ocean awareness events to allow it to grow and pursue its mission and objectives most effectively.  I f you would like to be a part of the 2017/2018 OAC planning committee contact them through their new up-and-running website or their Facebook page

Mark Your Calendars Now! Upcoming 2017 WSA-OC Events*
WSA-OC events* have been tentatively planned for all of 2017. More details will be added as planning continues and as the events get closer. For more information, view our  All Events page on the website where you will be able to read more detail about each upcoming event, as well as additional events that aren't listed below. As each event gets closer, more details will also be provided via the various WSA-OC online outlets. Questions? Email us at events@wsaoc
February 4th ~ ~ Women's Sailing Convention **
February 7th ~ ~ No General Meeting
February 25th ~ ~ Whale of a Social Sail - pre-registration required
March 7th ~ ~ General Meeting: Spring Sailing: Getting Your Boat in Ship Shape
April 4th ~ ~ General Meeting Earth Day/Sail Green and Clean
April 22nd ~ ~ Duffy Boat Progressive
May 2nd ~ ~ General Meeting
June 6th ~ ~ General Meeting
June 24th ~ ~ Summer Sailstice Social Sail
July 3rd ~ ~ 1st Start Transpac Social Sail
July 4th ~ ~ No General Meeting - Happy Independence Day!
August 1st ~ ~ General Meeting
August 26th ~ ~ WSA Regatta
September 5th ~ ~ General Meeting
September 17th ~ ~ Charity Regatta - OSeas
September 22nd - 24th ~ ~ WSA-OC Catalina Weekend
October 3rd ~ ~ No General Meeting
October 7th ~ ~ Sail for the Blind & Visually Impaired
October 13th - 15th ~ ~ LEMWOD - OSeas
November 4th ~ ~ Full Moon Social Sail
November 7th ~ ~ General Meeting
December 5th ~ ~ WSA-OC Holiday Party

*Subject to change
**Affiliate event

Photo of the Month

Doug Green and Philanthropy Chairperson, Dee Carroll trying to lift the HUGE bag of donated toys and other gifts for the women and children in residence at Laura's House during this past December. Photo: Tracy Gallucci
It's Not Too Late to Join or Renew Your 2017 WSA-OC Membership!

Hopefully you have renewed your membership or joined WSA-OC for 2017 already. Don't worry if you haven't, you can still renew* or join at any time.

If you do not wish to purchase your membership online, you may also mail a check to: 
P.O. Box 937
Dana Point, CA 92629 

*Renewing members MUST have been a member for the  previous year (2016), otherwise you are considered a new member.
Welcome Aboard
WSA-OC is continuing to grow with new members every month! Thanks to all of you for being  WSA-OC ambassadors. Welcome to our newest members:
Patti Day
Jacqueline Vo

Happy Sailing!
Holiday Party Photos
Unfortunately, we did not receive  the Holiday Party photos, back from the photographer, in time for the December newsletter. However,  we have them now and they're real and they're spectacular! 

We posted them on Facebook, but if you missed them or don't have Facebook here they are .
Feel free to tag yourself and/or your friends. We apologize if we missed you. 
Women's Sailing Convention
Sign Up Now!

In lieu of our February meeting, most of us will be attending the Women's Sailing Convention as either presenters or attendees. There is still time to register, but hurry as time is running out and this annual event sells out every year. 
Registration fees include on-the-water and land based instruction, program materials and three wonderful meals!

As in previous years, the event will be held at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport Beach on Saturday, February 4, 2017.
Captain Berol's 
Sailing Classes
Training Opportunity

WSA-OC member, Captain Diane Berol, is once again graciously inviting our members to take her sailing classes, at no charge, aboard her 40' Pacific Seacraft  Celtic Song.   The following is her schedule through March.

11th Docking
15th Basic
22nd Maintenance
25th MOB

1st Anchoring
4th Basic
8th Docking
15th Reefing
18th & 19th Overnight to the Coronado Islands

Requirements for participation: 
  • Text book: Sailing Fundamentals, by Gary Jobson
  • Sailing gloves
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Bring your own lunch
All classes will be held from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

If you want to participate or would like more information, 
RSVP to Diane. Enrollment will be first come, first served.
This & That
Boats Needed!

We need boats and skippers for all of our 2017 on-the-water events. Email us at if you would like to donate your boat for one or all of our events. 
North U
Race Seminar Opportunities

As many of you are aware, there are changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing that became effective January 1, 2017. Here are some links to seminars, you can attend, in our area: 

Rules & Tactics Seminar - LIYC

Ship Store Update

Laura McCaleb has volunteered to oversee the Ship Store. Thank you Laura! More information will be forthcoming regarding new logo merchandise and opportunities to have items you currently own branded with the WSA-OC logo. In the meantime,  email us if there is a specific item you'd like to have in the store. 


Have you recently received a sailing award or trophy? Did you get a new boat? Do you have a sailing or marine photo? If you said "yes" to any of these questions, let us know. Don't be shy! Email us at: .
Two Amazing Offers From Aventura
Once again,  Aventura Sailing Association is offering WSA-OC members an exclusive Aventura membership offer, but act fast as this offer expires at the end of the month. They are offering our members a savings of at least $100 and a maximum savings of $400, depending upon experience. This offer is too good to pass up, so sign up now!

Aventura is also hosting a Comedy Night on Saturday, February 18th at 7:00 p.m. and is inviting WSA-OC members to attend. The cost is only $20.

Quick Links
2017 WSA-OC
Board of Directors

Risa Scott

Vice Commodore
Melanie Green

Rear Commodore
Karen Pacella

Wayne Wallace

Brenda Highley

Membership Director
Cheryl Case

Kathleen Brown
Gabi Schwaiger

Jr. Staff Commodore
Valerie Rhodes

Newsletter Editor
Tracy Gallucci

Mission Statement
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 P.O. Box 937 
Dana Point, CA 92629