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And five years later…

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 22, 2011

This week marks the five year anniversary of working here at the American Sail Training Association.  A little known fact is that I had never actually seen a tall ship before I was hired on as the Race Assistant (pre-Coordinator). I grew up sailing on Narragansett Bay but had never actually spent summers at home, choosing instead to go to sleep away camp when I was younger, working there during high school,  and then staying out in Colorado when I was in college. So, I was hired and didn’t actually see my first, real live tall ship until the Parade of Sail into Cleveland in 2006. I remember being on the stern of the William Mather and watching US Brig Niagara fire off her cannons when I realized, “Wait, this is my job?! I’ll be working with these ships?” and I haven’t looked back since.  You can read about that summer here. Over the last five years (eep!) I have been lucky enough to meet and become friends with inspiring people from all over the world who work on tall ships and love what they do. It’s been a wild ride. Here are some highlights:

First up, naturally, my transatlantic voyage on the Bounty.  Read about it here and here. It was an amazing experience.

A recent sail on the Eagle. Sail with the Coast Guard to Philadelphia? Ok! Read about it here.

Working with amazing interns who constantly surprise me with their adventurous spirit, sense of humor and hard work. Over the past five years I’ve have 13 interns and I want to hire them all back every summer. You guys rock!

Travel to some of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I’m looking at you, Vancouver Island. Read about our 2008 Race Team adventures here

It’s not all about the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®, I also have discovered the surprising fun of conferences, especially conferences with sailors. If you haven’t been to one of our conferences, you are sorely missing out. Yes, it’s like a reunion, but more importantly, it is informative, timely and educational (with a late night tea party thrown in for fun). Read about the past two conferences here and here.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe it has been five years and this list could go on forever (to see what I have left out, check out the archives!) . It has been the crews, captains, owners, volunteers and port organizers along the way who have made the entire experience so positive. The tall ship community is small but welcoming and it has been such a pleasure to be caught up in it. Here at the ASTA HQ, we are a tight knit crew who genuinely enjoy working with each other and, even after being in the office all week, spend a Friday night out together. Hugs all around. 

Granted, it’s not all rainbows, sparkles and unicorns but what makes the good outweigh the not-so-good is the feeling of satisfaction I get from knowing that what we are doing is a great thing- putting people on tall ships, and bringing the tall ships to them. To allow a person to break out of their comfort zone by going sailing, to reconnect with history when the ships come into port, and to realize the importance of maintaining our oceans and Great Lakes so everyone can have the same opportunity,  these are the things that our members strive for everyday. It’s a good feeling and it’s been an adventure and a half. Here’s to many more – Fair Winds!

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2 Responses to “And five years later…”

  1. Congrats Erin on your 5 year anniversary. I surely understand your passion & excitement. These ships are marvelous. Life is good 🙂 Wishing you many more years of happiness with ASTA. Thanks for all you do.

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