What are some of your favorite things about being part of AC?
I love how these immersive experiences working as a team in these boats and on the island while camping build upon our capacity to care. I love that there is an opportunity to meet crews from other countries during the Contest of Seamanship. I also love singing call and response songs with the crew while rowing. The feeling of total unity, being in sync with the rowers, and the joy of making music together is quite blissful.
How long have you been involved with AC?
I joined the Russian Atlantic Challenge crew during the international contest held in Rockland in 2002, and lived in Russia for six months the following year, spending the summer with the Russian Atlantic Challenge crew, navigating two of their Bantry Bay gigs 200 miles down the Volkhov and Neva Rivers and 25 miles across the Gulf of Finland to an old military fortress used as their sail-training base camp. The stimulation of learning Russian, the challenge of learning to tack the complex dipping-lug rigs, and the exhilaration of rowing with in perfect time with the other crewmembers, was all the convincing I would ever need to prove that getting people together in boats has the power to transcend cultural, political, and linguistic barriers—creating the basis for the development of trust, connection, and friendship.
I continued to teach sailing as a Watch Officer for Outward Bound, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and the Nova Scotia Sea School. When Sam Hallowell and Lance Lee joined forces in 2009 to create the Tremolino Educators Collaborative, I joined the group of 20 for a week on Greens Island to experiment with a collection of traditional boats, each with distinctive sailing rigs. In 2010, I again became involved with Atlantic Challenge, as one of the trainers for the U.S. team, and more recently in 2019 reformed Atlantic Challenge USA as a 501c3 non profit, and became the Executive Director of Atlantic Challenge USA.
Have you had any other sailing/rowing experience?
I grew up sailing small boats in Rockport, Maine, got my 100 ton captain's license in my early 20s, and since have led sailing trips for for Outward Bound, NOLS, the Nova Scotia Sea School, the Wooden Boat School, Morse Alpha Expeditions, the Viking boat POLARIS, and the 46' Aage Neilsen charter boat ELSKOV.
Where do you currently live?
What are some things you do in your professional life or study beyond AC?
I'm the Executive Director for Atlantic Challenge USA, so spend a lot of time planning the logistics to make these trips happen. I also occasionally write for WoodenBoat magazine. I began working with Lance Lee in 2012, initially by reorganizing his vast archive, the Technology Bank. While handling the images, reading interviews, and speaking frequently with Lance, I began to harvest excerpts from past essays, transcribe interviews, and select images of both building and campaigning the traditional boats built at the ’Shop. A book, yet to be published, which includes the story of starting the Apprenticeshop, and Atlantic Challenge,began coming together through that process.
What are some of your hobbies?
Learning new tunes on the mandolin, nordic skating, saunas, cold water dips, painting, and nålbinding (Viking age single needle knitting)
If you could wake up with a new skill tomorrow, what would it be?
Sing easily in harmony, and play the fiddle!
What animal do you feel a kinship with?
Dumplings of any sort.
Favorite song to sing while rowing?
Round Cape Horn