Sail training is clearly a passion of mine, and for a restored and fully.
operational historic ship like Elissa, it has become her lifeblood.
As so many stewards of museum ships have fo und, there is a d rive to learn the skills of the past and to connect them with the modern world in a meaningful way.
In the past, while working in sailing ships, I have often joked with visitors that sailing ships were the space sh ips of their era.
I meant it to be thought-provoking and humorous, but I truly meant it.
I asked her if she would like to climb aloft at the dock, and she promptly proceeded to suit up to make the climb.
Aloft on the top platform, as we looked around the harbor,
I began to give the usual talk about sail training-how valuable I thought it was and how it push ed and challenged people.
MARK SCIBINICO: It’s easy to make an impression when you have a captive audience, and it was good fun to entertain the idea of runn ing a training program for astronauts.
Fast fo rward to a year later: I received a phone call from Christina Koch, a member of the 21″ NASA astronaut class.
NASA Flight Director Mary Lawrence-walked down the Texas Seaport Museum dock for two weeks of sail training.
We designed the course as an intensive program based on Elissa’s existing sail training program.
The three partici- pated in a week of classroom and hands-on instruction, followed
by a week onboard the ship, where they trained and sailed alongside our crew.
We work with sail trainees year round, but for me this particular experience was truly a joy.
MARK SCIBINICO: It was challenging and rewarding, and I know our trainees took away life lessons and go t a dose of wh at sail training can bring to a person’s everyday life.
The experience was good for Elissa’s program as well.
and will help us reshape how we teach and connect with folks going forward.
It’s the balance of self-reliance and teamwork that sells me on sailing every time I go out to sea.
The adage of”ship, shipmate, self” always rings true to me, and is the core of all the skills we teach.
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