McKala Bower is a trans woman who only started sailing a short while ago, but she’s got big ambitions to be the first trans and first openly gay person to circumnavigate solo. She’s always loved adventure and the outdoors and we talk about how at 25, a near-death experience in the mountains actually led her to coming out as trans. Now she’s tackling an adventure on the sea aboard her sailboat S/V Swirl, a San Juan 30, built in 1977. Learn more about McKayla at whoismckaylabower.com
In this second interview with Brady Trautman and Alex Blue of S/V Delos fame, we talk about their new Passport 42, Lintika - the largest boat in their Cruisers Academy fleet. The sail training school they’re running in Tahoe and Sausalito is going strong and we had a great time talking about their plans for Lintika, surviving a tsunami warning in San Francisco, and nearly striking it rich on whale poop.
Mark Hensley, knows sailing - he’s sailed his entire life. But he’s spent most of his time on the water at sea as captain of an oil tanker during a 20-year career with Arco Marine. He’s got plenty of stories from his time on the water and subsequent years teaching at the Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA.
Jim Antrim, often called the Wizard of El Sobrante, is a naval architect who apprenticed under Dick Carter, Britton Chance and Gary Mull. He’s designed record breaking multihull and monohull sailboats as well as popular production boats. He’s an expert in composite material engineering and has developed several computer programs used in performance analysis and prediction. I met him in his office to talk about many of his designs and how he got into naval architecture in the first place.
Matt Rutherford made a name for himself when he completed a solo, 309-day, non-stop, record-breaking trip around the Americas in a 27-foot Albin Vega. Today he’s focused on putting the finishing touches on a 72-foot, Brucer Roberts designed steel schooner that will be the flagship of his non-profit: Ocean Research Project. Matt and I talked about the 60-day research expedition he and Nikki Trenholm undertook from San Francisco to Japan in a 30-foot daysailer they built in about a month.
Cameron Albin is a marine and an Iraq war veteran who suffered a traumatic brain injury while on deployment. After being discharged from the military he found himself struggling, until he rediscovered sailing. Now, he’s started American Odysseus Sailing Foundation to help other veterans and first responders living with PTSD by taking them to sea. The organization is organizing an entry into the 2023 Ocean Globe Race with an all-veteran crew aboard a Swan 59.
Billy and Sierra Swezey are better known to their online fans as the couple behind Tula's Endless Summer. The two met at a surf shop in Florida when Billy sailed in on his small boat. Not too long afterwards both of them were living on the boat, with their dog Jetty, cruising the waters of Florida and beyond. Since then they've had a series of fixer up boats - and a camper - that they've gotten on the cheap and turned into seaworthy homes allowing them to explore further and further. Currently they're fixing up a DeFever motor yacht in Napa while waiting for their new Seawind catamaran to be constructed and delivered. They film their boat work and travels, sharing it on YouTube with over 150,000 subscribers. Their able to support themselves and their travel with the revenue that creates.
Tyler Walkey and Julie Sinusia fell in love with a ketch rigged Ingrid 38 in Monterey. Trouble was they needed to get it down to Los Angles within days of purchasing her because they had flights home to Japan they had to make. That’s where I came in. They posted online looking for experienced crew and I happened to have the time to join them for the few days it would take to sail down the coast. I recorded this interview with Tyler and Julia while we were at sea, underway between Monterey and LA.
When Lauren Sloss met Alex Kleeman in San Francisco, she was planning on moving to New York to study journalism. He was planning on sailing the world. They managed to do both of those things and stay together as a couple - eventually getting married and sailing far and wide together. As well as being a sailor, Lauren is a Journalist who recently wrote a wonderful article in the New York Times about a trip up to the Delta in which she explored the history and geography of the land and water.
Sonya David and Jack Patton met while sailing, and really haven’t stopped. They live together on their Passport 42, along with their cat Fathom, and together run Spirit Marine Services a business they started to do boat projects and maintenance for others. They have sailed extensively all around the Bay Area and plan to head off further afield in the near future. You can follow their adventures at TwoTheHorizon.com.