January 7 Polar Dip Planned for Schooner-Bound RCS Sailor

High School student Elizabeth Sherfey joined the Rockland Community Sailing High School Team last fall and had a blast learning to sail and race on agile two-person dinghies. Inspired by this experience, this year she will take her sailing passion to another level. She’ll spend a semester at sea aboard the 131’ schooner Harvey Gamage, voyaging from the Caribbean to New England. But before Elizabeth goes tropical, she is coming down to The Apprenticeshop to take a dip in Rockland Harbor!

To help raise half of her tuition, Elizabeth organized a “Support-a-Sailor Polar Dip” fundraiser and contacted us when looking for a venue. What better place to hold it than with her sailing community at RCS? So, at 9:30 in the morning on January 7th Elizabeth and some 20 of her supporters will take a dip!

Because of Elizabeth’s enthusiasm, and because I see the positive impact youth sailing programs have on young people every day, I am joining Elizabeth and literally “jumping in” to show my support! People tell me they wouldn’t jump in the harbor in winter, but they’ll gladly pay to watch me do it, so I am encouraging everyone to come by the waterfront on Saturday!

Elizabeth is not the first Rockland Community Sailor to participate in a semester at sea program. In the past, RCS sailors Sam Moskowitz, Maya Fe Holzhauer, and Ryan Shay also completed schooner semesters. This year, Elizabeth is one of only 25 people nationwide accepted into Ocean Classroom’s 17-week high school program. She will learn to sail by standing watch, handling sails, navigating, and participating in many other shipboard duties. While underway, she’ll hit the books — studying maritime science, math, literature, and history. She’ll also explore firsthand the different cultures and countries of the Caribbean before sailing back to New England.

Elizabeth’s “Support-a-Sailor Polar Dip” includes a bonfire, music, Hole in the Wall bagels, coffee, cocoa, baked goods, and cool t-shirts for sale. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. for the 9:30 dip. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. The public is welcomed to attend. For information: [email protected] or join the “Support-a-Sailor Polar Dip” event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/254227611308113/

What an exhilarating way to start 2012 – hope to see you there!
KC Heyniger
RCS Programs Director
The Apprenticeshop