Mary ConnaughtonMary began sailing after taking one of our courses and is now an instructor here at our school.

She tells us about her adventures on the seas and the things she love about sailing:




1. How did you first get into sailing?

I took ASA 101 at a lake near my home in Oklahoma and bought my first boat six weeks later. During my first visit to the boat store I bought magazines about sailing and learned that people traveled to exotic places on their own little boats.

I thought it to be the perfect life and vowed to do the same once my son graduated from high school. Several years later, I did just that and set out in my own little boat with my young daughter. We cruised for nine wonderful years.



2. Have you had any disaster scenarios, failures, or simple problems in your sailing career that have given you a valuable lesson as a result?

So many! One of the things I love about sailing is that there is always something new to learn. One big lesson I learned happened during my first solo overnight passage.

I’d been sailing for about 3 hours enjoying clear blue skies and gentle wind and seas. It was a picture perfect day. My fears of being out of sight of land were dissipating, so I decided to go down below and make breakfast. Just as I reached the companionway I happened to look over my shoulder.

Much to my surprise a menacing storm complete with a huge waterspout was about a mile behind me. Thankfully it passed astern, but on that day I learned a valuable lesson… always look behind the boat not just ahead! 




3. If there’s one thing you can tell new sailors when they are just introduced to the sport, what would you tell them?

Start small. Go out on a day with little wind and no waves and get used to the boat. Next time go with a little breeze and 1 foot waves. Then more wind and two foot seas… and so forth. Build your experience and confidence gradually.




4. Outside of sailing, what is something that you love to do; something that makes you feel alive?

I love to travel and meet new people!




About Mary Connaughton

Mary began sailing after taking one of our courses and is now an instructor here at our school. She loves meeting new people, being on the water nearly every day, and seeing her students with big grins as they learn to tack and pick up the MOB, or grab a mooring on the first try.


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