Getting to know…

Capt. Jenny

Let’s get to know Capt. Jenny, one of our ASA sailing school instructors and, as we learned, a percussionist, singer, weaver and fiber artist, potter and sculptor…and more!

What did you do before you became a captain? I was a US Sail small boat certified Instructor and taught at TACS (Traverse Area Community Sailing), teaching kids how to sail for 8 summers.

What do you do in the winter? off season? I’m also a teacher and a reading specialist, so I’ve taught in public schools for 14 years but now have my own business as a teacher and tutor. I love teaching children during the school year and sailing with adults in the summer. It’s a wonderful balance.

What keeps you coming back every summer? It’s the water. I love studying what the water does, from buoyancy to wave action to the weather. And I love sharing this with others, so I just have to sail.

Where are you originally from? I’ve lived in Louisiana and Michigan, but I consider Traverse City my home.

Where did you learn to sail? I learned to sail at TACS, right on little Boardman River in Traverse City as a child. No one else in my family sails, but when my dad signed me up for camp here as a teen, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I hated it for about a week until I figured out I wasn’t going to die. Then it became more and more fascinating.

What is your most memorable day on the job? My favorite memory so far at GLSC was chartering with a family for a 2-day cruise. We sailed up to Power Island and then later to Omena. That evening, as I got up to keep watch, the stars were spectacular. What an amazing place to be on a clear night! But the morning was even better. I got up, opened the hatch above me in the V-berth, and I saw the most gorgeous pink sky of my life. Not a ripple on the whole open water. Not a sound. In a world that’s filled with so many distractions, a moment of beauty and quiet like this feeds the soul. I stood there and took that in for who knows how long and thanked God for such a beautiful world. 

Any good stories about students or charterers? Too many to count! I love seeing someone new to sailing start to get how it works and finally sit back and just enjoy the moment. That’s what we work for.

Tell us something quirky or unique about yourself. I have a crazy amount of interests. I’m a percussionist, singer, weaver and fiber artist, potter and sculptor, webmaster for a few websites, small business owner, nonprofit Vice President, photographer, serious traveler, birder, cartographer, hiker, biker, runner, swimmer, historic novel reader, writer of children’s stories, teacher, tea and cheese enthusiast, and I love spending time with my friends. I obviously have difficulty dividing my time between these passions!

Any advice for beginning sailors? Just get out on the water! It will make sense the more you sail, and you’ll love it even more when it does!