by April Bell
October 20, 2014 — The Blue Water Foundation has identified two issues of late − a lack of diversity in certified captains and crew, and a desire to be a more diverse organization, better reflecting the youths they serve. Blue Water would love to recruit and retain more volunteers from various diverse communities: women, people of color and individuals of varying sexual orientations. If this is you, please sign up!
In their most recent step in taking action toward expanding their diversity of certified sailors, Board Member and volunteer First Captain Bill Mania has set up an all women certification sailing day on Blue Water boat, the Benjamin Walters, a Hans Christian 43, sailing out of the Berkeley Marina on Sunday, October 26, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bill Mania says, “We need more women crew and mentors for the Gleaming Ocean program plus BWF needs more women who are actively involved in all of our programs. By the end of this training sail, those women who are already close to certification can be certified and those who are new to the Foundation will be well on their way to being certified as crew.” Capt. Mania further went on to explain, “we plan to spend the entire day on the water. We’ll learn sailing terminology, sail and boat handling, a few knots and maybe even some navigation. At the same time, this group of women will be helping us to improve our programs to recruit a more diverse group of volunteers.”
Certified Blue Water Foundation First Captains Travis DeWater and Ken Janke have led multiple certification training sail days over the past few years, including live Man Over Board training drills, creating a stronger volunteer base for the growing programs Blue Water provides.
The Blue Water Foundation was founded as an all-volunteer, nonprofit corporation dedicated to bringing the joys of sailing to San Francisco Bay Area inner city and at risk youth. In 1992 a group of sailors wanted to introduce San Francisco Bay Area young people to the joys of sailing. Using volunteers’ boats, these sailors began to take small groups of middle school students sailing on San Francisco Bay. The response from students was so enthusiastic that soon, the informal excursions became regularly scheduled trips. Now, through more than a handful of programs over 10,000 young people have discovered the art of sailing, experienced success through teamwork and have had fun while exploring a maritime alternative to drugs, alcohol, and gangs.
To donate or learn more, visit them on the web at http://BlueWaterFoundation.org
photos and video by: April Bell