Patrick Rynne from Waterlust is one of our favorite people, in no small part because of his righteous pursuit of all things water.
waterlustOver the past few years I’ve noticed an interesting trend among sailing clubs, organizations and businesses: a general struggle to attract the next generation, i.e millennials. Why is this so? Sailing, at least from my perspective has an identity crisis in America. Professional sailing here is essentially subsidized by the very rich, making it almost equal parts entertainment as it is actual sport. Many yacht clubs (not all!), exude a sense of exclusiveness and self-importance that is quite frankly, stupid.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly, sailing can feel like it’s reserved for the elite, even though it absolutely is not. And oddly enough for some sailors in those aforementioned clubs, that last stigma somehow makes their experience on the water even more gratifying. Is it all that surprising that twenty-somethings, strapped with student loans and a propensity for seeking activities that maximize their fun/cost ratio, generally avoid this community? It shouldn’t be….

Enough with the bad, what about the good? Last year we took our first trip to Port Townsend Washington to make a film about the inaugural Race to Alaska. You may have seen the film and our write-ups here on SA. In summary, it was epic. Folks from all walks of life competing in a seriously hardcore event that didn’t take itself too seriously. They competed in home built boats, borrowed boats, restored boats, discarded boats, and just plain regular boats. The event felt inclusive, celebratory, and real. From the skippers meeting to the finish line, it was dripping with the heart and soul of sailing that makes the sport so very special. I left Washington last summer inspired and excited.
This year we decided to pass on filming the R2AK again and instead are embarking on a journey of our own that is inspired by that experience. Today we arrived in Annapolis to rediscover what it is we love so much about sailing. Our goal, to build two small wooden boats and sail (and paddle) them down the intracoastal waterway from Norfolk to our home port in Miami. To help us on this 1,000+ mile journey is the amazing team at Chesapeake Light Craft, a company that makes getting on the water accessible, exciting and affordable. With them, we’ve designed two custom craft that are specially designed for an epic nearshore adventure, now we just need to build them, paint them, and sail them home without sinking them.
Follow the adventure on your Waterlust social media habit of choice like facebookinstagram, or twitter. Watch our building progress live each day over the next few weeks via the workshop webcam, and stay tuned for our biggest film of the year, edited and presented one chapter at a time from the road as the experience happens. Send us your questions, comments, cheers of encouragement, and hilarious quips of disbelief. We want to hear it all!
We think sailing should be a fun, crazy adventure that all can enjoy…we hope you do too!