US Sailing Instructor
On Board Since May 2010
OCSC: What drew you to working at OCSC?
DW: I was catching up with an old friend (Bruce Powell) and when he mentioned he was an instructor at OCSC I mentioned my interest in teaching sailing. He responded with such a glowing description of how much he loved both his job and the OCSC environment that I knew I should dig into it. Once I did and as I got to see the good spirits and deep commitment of management and staff, I knew it was the place for me to get serious about my second career.
OCSC: What is your sailing background?
DW: My first love and ever-present activity is racing my small boat (Mercury – an 18’ keel sloop designed in the 1930’s) but over the 45 years since I first went family cruising on Chesapeake Bay I’ve packed in a substantial amount of SF Bay racing and ocean racing and deliveries in boats of all sizes. Lately I’ve had the chance to race to Hawaii (in the ‘90’s, which qualifies as “lately” in my book) and race to, cruise and deliver boats back from Mexico.
OCSC: Why do you sail?
DW: That sounds like a simple question but as I ponder the possible answers I realize none of them get all the way there. Because of the visceral pleasure I get simply being on the water? The glory of trimming a boat to her efficient best and feeling her respond to the subtlest changes? The never-ending intellectual and mechanical challenges and rewards of balancing wind, sea, hull and sail? The excitement of competition and the pleasure of beating the other guy (if you do!)? The terrific people you meet and friends you make? The places you go that only boaters go to? Because, unlike anything else I’ve ever done, I never tire of it? Take all of these, add a few more and you’re getting there.
OCSC: Why do you sail?
DW: Especially lately, traveling. My wife and I did a road trip last fall through the Southwest National Parks with a rented pop-up trailer and had a gas. Then in the winter we got down to Mexico for a good long stay where we did some sailing with a friend and took Spanish lessons in a favorite colonial town. I managed some Sierra skiing before and after the Mexico trip and we’ll get some hiking in there this summer as a piggy-back on a great regatta we go to every year. At home I spend a fair amount of time reading, mostly nonfiction, and we do enjoy our Netflix.
OCSC: What are some of your favorite sailing related books?
DW: All 23 of Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey/Maturin series - a brilliantly written and completely absorbing recreation of a world now past.