Clearwater Sets Sail!

By Tom O’Dowd, Onboard Education Specialist

After a long cold winter at Lynch’s Marina in Saugerties, the sloop transited to Beacon on Monday afternoon, picking up Education Department staff at Norrie Point along the way.  We were there to start our education station training with the legendary educators of Clearwater past and present—Dave Conover on “Fish,” Chris Bowser on “Eels,” Steve Stanne on “Water Quality” and HRECOS, Tom Lake on “First Peoples” of  the area, and Maija Niemisto on making the whole education sail come together.

It was a wild week, because the crew was thrown into the first real sail of the season,  hosting the Indian Point Power Sail: A Summit for Solutions.   John Hall,  musician, politician, and environmentalist, along with environmental, seismic, and nuclear experts, along with important figures in the movement for a greener energy future joined the sail. Executive Director, Jeff Rumpf, and Environmental Action Director, Manna Jo Green and many other Clearwater staff made this a great event, as did the sunny weather, the bald eagle sighting, and the excellent brainstorming by the guests onboard.

Later, Onboard Education training continued with fishing in Haverstraw Bay and a transit to the 79th Street Boat Basin.  We caught White Perch and the smallest Hogchoker I have ever seen at less than an inch long!.  All throughout this time , Captain Nick and the crew were amazing mentors to the all new hands.

On Friday, Clearwater had her first education sail. Maija led the way with a “Challenges for the Future” themed sail.  The students, alumnae, and faculty from the Jewish Theological Society were great guests and seemed to catch the Clearwater spirit, saying things like “We live right here in the city but never think about this river next to us,” and, “I never knew I was so into environmental science!”  Some even made the connection between environmental protection and their faith. Overall it was a great sail, although Bosun Jack and Second Mate Carlos hope next time the guests will haul even harder on the halyards!

It looks like it’s going to be a great year of sailing for Clearwater. The crew is full of great educators and the education staff is full of enthusiastic new sailors. The onboard crew and the office staff have begun to meld well,  and the first sails have gone great.

We hope to see you out on the River soon, too!

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