Start Sailing Now: Congratulations SSN Sailors Who Logged 100 Days

These 'Start Sailing Now' Sailors Logged 100 Days on the Water!

Congratulations to Meagan Bryant, Mark Kahles, and Joseph Porcelli, three sailors we’ve profiled on SpinSheet’s Start Sailing Now page, who were also welcomed into the ranks of the 2019 SpinSheet Century Club

Meagan Bryant (L) with fellow SpinSheet Centurions Michael Jewell and Julianne Fettus.

Meagan Bryant, a 20-year U.S. Army veteran, was first introduced to sailing in her mid-30s, in Southern California. “Being on the water feels like home and where I feel most connected. I met and crewed with some of the most incredible people while sailing in 2019. I want to acknowledge US Patriot Sailing for providing my initial racing opportunities and introductions to the sailing community, Valhalla Sailing Project for providing additional crew introductions and inviting me to be involved with their program, and Warrior Sailing Program for continuing to provide broad reaching opportunities.” In 2019 Bryant completed her first ocean race (Annapolis to Newport), started racing log canoes, and bought a powerboat. Way to go Meagan!

Jospeh Porcelli (L) with fellow sailors at the SpinSheet Century Club party.

Joseph Porcelli began sailing in 2016 after a chance encounter with a neighbor who invited him to go for a sail. Joseph loved it so much that he purchased a 27-foot Pearson almost immediately. “For me, sailing is about learning, slowing down, and taking calculated risks. There is so much to learn, and I take in every opportunity I can to get out on the water. Last December I went on my first overnight down the Bay. Given that the temps were cold and it was my first trip, I was scared, but after consulting my mentor and other friends I trust, I went for it, had a blast and learned a ton. I was also careful not to exaggerate my level of skills, so they knew they could count on me for certain operations and not others.” That’s good advice for all new sailors. Most skippers enjoy sharing sailing with newbies that are forthcoming about their skill level. Congratulations, Joseph.

Mark Kahles volunteers regularly to help others learn to sail.

Mark Kahles marked a milestone birthday by learning to sail shortly after moving from Ohio to Norfolk, VA. Since then he’s found that volunteering on sailboats is a great way to gain time on the water. “I try to sail a couple of times a week, most often as a mentor to new sailors or folks working to pass Sail Nauticus’s captain’s tests. I am also a sailing instructor at the Sail Nauticus Youth Sailing Academy, which provides Norfolk school students the opportunity to learn to sail and develop leadership skills and confidence. My wife Ava and I get additional time on the water by volunteering aboard the Schooner Virginia.” In February 2019, Mark and Ava bought a 29-foot cutter-rigged Island Packet and spent three weeks bringing it up the Intracoastal Waterway from Hilton Head Island to Norfolk. Congratulations Mark!

Team SpinSheet is looking to profile more Chesapeake Bay sailors who took up the sport as adults. Please send us potential candidates’ names and contact information.