WSA-OC The Whistle
May 2016
Chatting With The Commodore
Valerie Rhodes,   WSA-OC Commodore
I write this column as the tan and the spirit of mañana fades after an amazing 7-day sail in the Sea of Cortez last month. Earlier this year, I was approached at the Women's Sailing Convention (WSC) about serving as First Mate on a 41' catamaran as part of the 2nd Annual Women Who Sail Rendezvous. Unsure if I had the necessary experience to fill the role, I spoke with two different trusted friends who are licensed captains and got two very different responses. One essentially said, "no problem, all you have to do is watch over the galley and make sure passengers don't eat up all the food on the first day" and the other said, "no problem, you just need to be able to rescue the captain if she goes overboard." Yikes!

But the theme of the keynote speech at the WSC was when opportunity knocks, the answer should be, "Hell, Yes!" so that's what I said. It was the experience of a lifetime! My goal for 2016 has been to stretch my comfort zone, face fears and take on new challenges. The connections I've made in the sailing community over the past couple of years have offered many opportunities to do just that. Next month's WSA-OC general meeting will provide another nudge as we present a program about overcoming anxiety and making the leap into boat ownership.  I hope you all will join us and bring a friend along!

June General Meeting: I Want to Buy a Boat, I Think ...
Whether you're looking or thinking of buying a boat or you already own one, our June meeting is not to be missed.  WSA-OC member Lisa Cullinane will share valuable tips to help make your dream become a reality as well as provide useful information for current boat owners. 

Lisa will be discussing "Boat Buying Tips for the Novice & Experienced Sailor" during the WSA-OC June general meeting.  She will focus on local resources you can use for support to help take the guess work out of the boat buying process. In addition to her presentation, Lisa will have the Dana Point Marina Superintendent to assist her. 

As always, beer and wine will be available to purchase and light snacks will be available. We ask that eveyone donate $3-$5 for the snack fund, so we can continue to provide the snacky treats at each meeting. A big "Thank you!" to Wanda McCargar for supplying the monthly snacks. 

Tuesday, June 7th 
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Happy Half Hour
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. "Boat Buying Tips for the Novice & Experienced Sailor"
24707 Dana Drive 
Dana Point, CA 92629

Everyone is invited to attend and we encourage you to bring a friend who is interested in sailing. 

June On The Water Event:  Worldwide Summer SAILstice 
Join fellow members for a fun day sail to celebrate Summer Sailstice! The WSA-OC will officially be celebrating this worldwide event by hosting a day sail to Newport Beach for lunch at the Lighthouse Cafe

The cost of the event will be $25 per person, which secures your spot in the event. However, you will be responsible for covering the expense of your lunch. Once your event payment is received you will be emailed additional details regarding the trip, such as boat assignment, boat location, etc. 

As you know our on-the-water events have limited space available. If you are a boat owner and would like to participate, contact Rear Commodore, Gabi Schwaiger. This event is not limited to boat owners in Dana Point. It's available to any WSA-OC member/boat owner willing to sail to Newport Harbor. 

If you are unable to sail to Newport, but want to come for lunch feel free to join us at the Lighthouse Cafe. If you choose to do this, you MUST RSVP that you will be in attendance, so we can include you in our group reservation. 

Summer Sailstice was founded in February 2001 by John Arndt, as the global, annual celebration of sailing held on the weekend nearest the summer solstice.

***This event requires preregistraion as well as a current WSA-OC membership.***

May Meeting Recap
The featured topic of our  May general meeting was "Navigation for Local Cruising" presented by Bill McNeely. Bill has a lot of experience from of sailing all over the world. He wrote the book Cruising Catalina Island, starred in the DVD  Cast Off for Catalina and is a former US Sailing navigation instructor at Orange Coast College. 

Bill provided a lot of good, basic information starting with all boat owners/charterers should have the own handheld GPS, preferably one that floats, and learn how to use it. He does not advise relying only on your mobile phone, since mobile phone networks are terrestrial (relying on towers and antennas on land) and do not work in the middle of the ocean, or even between the mainland and Catalina Island. If there is no cell signal, no GPS signal either. Phone GPS apps rely on the freeway network and on the ocean you require latitude and longitude. However, the product Bad Elf bluetooth plugin products will work on your mobile phone without a wi-fi or a network connection. If you're having trouble with your GPS set it to "WGS1984," which stands for World Global Survey, and that should correct any location errors you may be experiencing.

GPS alone is not enough. You also need to have printed waterproof charts. Always plan your course by utilizing the most up-to-date chart(s). It's important to note that different scale charts contain different levels of detail, items and information and that all charts are never completely up-to-date. If your paper chart is not the most up-to-date you can view them online. NOAA provides an online chart viewer, for free (it's taxpayer supported). A nother great option for navigation is the Light List, which is generally the most up-to-date. 

This is brief recap of what Bill discussed. If you'd like to contact Bill you can reach him via his Cruising Catalina Island Facebook page

Saving the Blue Heart of the Earth


You've been hearing about the Ocean Awareness Challenge for a year. Well, the wait is finally over ... it's time to register! The three-day weekend is poised to be not only
Some of the OAC planning committee during September 2015's pilot/planning event.
informative, but fun.

Adult attendees will hear from four accomplished marine educators and biologists - Tony Budrovich, COO Catalina Conservancy; Dr. Wendy Marshall, Director of Education and Public Programs ExplorOcean; Dave Rudie, Founder Catalina Offshore Products and President California Fisheries and Seafood Institute; and Dr. Geoff Shester, California Campaign Director Oceana. 

Youth attendees will be provided their own schedule of educational activities provided by Mountain & Sea Educational Adventures staff. All participants will be afforded the opportunity to have a first-hand look at local marine protected areas (MPA's) through a variety of hands-on activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and marine touch tanks. A guided nature hike will also be available. 

And this is just the educational component of the weekend. Learn more about the OAC, additional  information can be found via the drop-down menu under the OAC tab.

Contact OAC  for additional information of how you can become involved. You can also visit the OAC Facebook page for a more interactive experience. 

Mark Your Calendar's Now! Upcoming WSA-OC Events*
WSA-OC has events* planned through the end of 2016. For more information, 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. 
May 20th - 22nd ~ ~ Catalina Full Moon Social Sail  SOLD OUT
June 18th ~ ~ Sailstice Day Social Sail (preregistration required)
July 5th ~ ~ No General Meeting
July 23rd ~ ~ Duffy Boat Scavenger Hunt (preregistration required)
August 2nd ~ ~ General Meeting "Travel"
September 6th ~ ~ No General Meeting
September 9th - 11th ~ ~ Ocean Awareness Challenge (preregistration required)
September 18th  ~ ~ OSeas: Long Beach Charity Race
October 14th - 16th ~ ~ OSeas: LEMWOD
October 15th ~ ~ Sail for the Visually Impaired w/ ALYC
November 12th ~ ~ Full Moon Night Social Sail (preregistration required)
December 6th ~ ~ Holiday Party (preregistration required)

Reminder: All of our activities and events, except our monthly general meetings or where stated otherwise, require you to be a WSA-OC member in good standing and also require paid in advance preregistration. That being said, if you're not a member we'd LOVE to have you. We have a lot of events planned through the end of 2016 and we hope you will  join us today so you won't miss out on the fun! 

*Subject to change

Race with the OSeas
Come Race With the OSeas

It's a busy time for the OSeas. Several practice dates and upcoming race opportunities are already scheduled. Many of our team practices will be aboard  Onde Amo for Thursday night Pop Tops and the Long Beach Harbor Series. The crew list for participants filled up almost overnight and email confirmations for your race dates will be forthcoming, for those of you who signed up.

Sea Gals have four sessions on the Catalina 37s beginning in May (see sidebar for more information and links). Mention you are an OSeas team member, and a boat will be coordinated for our practice. Don't forget there's always a fun dock party afterward.

How will the 2016 LEMWOD Team be identified?
  • You must attend practices;
  • Be physically able to participate in two days of strenuous windward/leeward races;
  • Participate in the Charity Regatta - September in Long Beach (consider it a 'dress rehearsal');
  • Ability to meet any financial obligations - more to come, but expected cost will be approximately $250 (boat charter, shirts, etc.).

For questions, information, or to help coordinate a training session, with the OSeas please email  Karen Pacella at .

Photo of the Month
Pole Dancer All Women Crew
The 2016 crew of Pole Dancer with the Carolyn Starr trophy, which is awarded to the 1st Place finisher in the All Women's Crew division in the  Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.
The crew left to right: Angela McDowell, Lesley MacDonald, Skipper Terri Manok, Denise Eldridge, Sharie Cronk Sneddon, Betsy Crowfoot, Beth Winton and Judy Rae Karlsen. Photo courtesy of Terri Manok.
Burgee Beat
Three WSA-OC members - Captain Patsee Ober and Captain Susie Campbell skippered two of the boats and Commodore Valerie Rhodes served as first mate on Patsee's boat - participated in the 2nd Annual Women Who Sail Rendezvous in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. It sure looks like they had a lovely time. 

Burgee Sea of Cortez April 2016. Photo by Valerie Rhodes
The WSA-OC burgee in the Sea of Cortez during the 2nd Annual Women Who Sail Rendezvous, April 2016. Photo courtesy of Valerie Rhodes.

Do you have your WSA-OC burgee? Do you have a trip planned? If so, we'd love to see photos of the WSA-OC burgee accompanying you in your travels, hopefully to exotic locales. Happy Travels ⛵️

Send photos with date and location details to
Catalina Full Moon 
Social Sail Weekend
This event is currently SOLD OUT. However, we are taking names to put on a wait list. 

Join fellow members for a fun full moon social sail weekend to the Isthmus at Catalina Island! We will depart on Friday, May 20th and return on Sunday, May 22nd, the full moon will happen on Saturday, May 21st. The weekend will consist of several planned (optional) events, such as: group dinner, happy hour, hike, barbeque and raft-up. 

This will be a wonderful way to utilize the "Navigation for Local Cruising" information learned at our May general meeting and an even better way to get to know fellow WSA-OC members!


Congratulations to Skipper and WSA-OC member, Terri Manok and her crew - Betsy Crowfoot, Denise Eldridge, Judy Rae Karlsen, Lesley MacDonald, Angela McDowell, Sharie Cronk Sneddon and Beth Winton - aboard Pole Dancer for taking first place in the all-women crew division of the 2016 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht race. 

Terri has competed in N2E almost 10 times as a crew member for another skipper. This is her first time entering the race as the skipper of her own boat and here's how she described the race: 

"We gybed to the finish in 20 knot winds and 5 - 6 foot seas, that were a washing machine. This was by far the fastest race I've competed in, our finish time was 5:08 a.m. Saturday morning, after a noon Friday start.  The boat speed was as high as 11 or 12 knots with an average speed, over the entire race, around 7 - 9 knots."

Pole Dancer, from above during the 2016 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. Photo courtesy of Terri Manok.

ALYC Summer Youth 
Sailing Program
Summer Youth Sailing

The American Legion Yacht Club in Newport Beach is offering sailing lessons to ALL children between the ages of eight and 18, who are able to swim. 

Beginning Sailing  
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Advanced Sailing 
1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

Classes will begin at the end of June. The cost is $125 for five sessions (Monday - Friday).

This & That
New Ship Store Swag Coming Soon!
I n the very near future you will be able to purchase WSA-OC logo visors in either pink or white. 
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: .

Training Opportunity
WSA-OC member Diane Berol is once again graciously inviting our members to take her sailing classes at no charge aboard Celtic Song. The following is her schedule for the month of May:

May 14th Advanced training
May 21st Overnight to Los Coronados

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 and participants are responsible for providing their own lunch. 
Sea Gals Sailing Events

Sea Gals, in Long Beach, a sister organization, has a perfect Sunday summertime opportunity for you aboard the Long Beach Sailing Association's Catalina 37 boats, which are what is raced during LEMWOD. 

No experience is necessary to participate in the Sea Gals events, just your desire! 

Register now for the summer Sea Gals sailing events. All WSA-OC members are eligible for a $10 discount off of the $50 event fee. 
Welcome Aboard
WSA-OC continues to grow, thanks to all of you for being WSA ambassadors.  Welcome to our newest member:
Vanessa Butler

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
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 P.O. Box 937 
Dana Point, CA 92629