An excellent program that offers young children that face a spectrum of economic or health challenges to experience sailing. This offers not only the often totally new world of sailing, but the concept of working together to accomplish goals and the discipline required to reach goals in life. The concept is to present youth with the insight and potential stimulus to reach for high goals in life.
I am one of the all volunteer crew on the Pegasus, a classic 51' wooden sailboat based in Berkeley, CA. The Pegasus' main charter is to take inner city children-at-risk sailing on the San Francisco Bay. For many children it is their first time on the water and in a sailboat. Even after a thorough safety briefing some children are reluctant to board the boat or even cry once aboard but the trained crew ease their trepidations by showing them how they are tethered to the boat via their harnesses, letting them steer the boat and having them sit on the bowsprit taking in the wonders of the bay. I never tire of seeing the joy in the children's faces when they describe their favorite part of their voyage during the post cruise debriefing. Giving my time to the Pegasus project is always a fulfilling and fruitful experience.
I have been with this group for about 4 months, volunteering as crew. With each sail I learn more about the boat and test my skill as a sailor, working my way up the competency check list. The experienced crew are awesome instructors. Safety is primary for all aboard. The organization and mission is really great.
Taking students out on the Bay is so much fun! Many of them are disadvantaged, with limited resources for accessing the Bay, a major part of their environment, beyond the view from the shore. They learn about the wind, currents, ecology, and wildlife. Some of them are fearful, scared of new experiences. With the crew's support they manage to overcome the fear, learn how to prepare for the next adventure and grow to look forward to new challenges.
I have participated and volunteered for the Pegasus Project for 11 years before I became the Professional Captain that runs the Project. I have watched thousands of children come on board and have watched many of them undergo incredible transformations. We work with a lot of dis-advantaged youth. Often this is the first time they have ever been on a boat and ever been out on the water. IT is amazing to watch their eyes open wide as the boat starts to sail under wind power alone. The ear to ear grins as they ride out on the bow sprit as the water rushs past the bow. At the clearing at the end of the sail we often hear that this is the "most fun I have ever had!".
They kids get to learn about the SF Bay and its ecology, its diverse eco systems, tidal influences, wildlife and Marine mammals. They get to watch a group of adults work together as a team. They get to confront their fears and are given an opportunity to go beyond where they want to stop. It is life altering stuff! And it is given for free. The Pegasus Project has also raised over $10,000 dollars for other non-profits by donating Sails on Pegasus to be auctioned off. Great project!!
I became involved with Pegasus when I looked for volunteer opportunity that included my love of sailing and enjoyment of serving as a volunteer. Pegasus is such a beautifully maintained sailing vessel. The Captain and crew who serve on Pegasus to take kids sailing are dedicated to being the safest sailing vessel on the San Francisco Bay. I am so privileged to be able to volunteer on such a beautiful sailboat with such a dedicated crew sharing my love of sailing with youth who enjoy the rare opportunity to be out on the water. The smiles on their faces make it so worth my time and effort.
Pegasus Voyages is a great non-profit project to instill the joy of sailing as well as to instill the love and appreciation of Nature to adults and children. The project organizes sailing voyages for school children and at risk children to go on the yacht to learn sailing as well as sailing trips to different places in the Bay to learn about the environment and how to protect and preserve it.
Great organization. Sailing experiences provide personal growth opportunities for young and old alike!
The Pegasus Project has reignited my passion for sailing. I attended a fund raiser at the Berkeley Yacht Club and was inspired by Captain Rich’s slide presentation – images of all these kids having a blast on the bay. Every one of them wearing a PFD and obviously having a great time. I just had to know more and go see her for myself. Now I’m a new crew volunteer on Pegasus enjoying every moment on the beautiful ketch. I’m so excited about the hands on learning with great mentors and fellow crew. I especially love watching the kids faces as they succeed in completing their deck duties. This project brings soul nourishment to so many kids who would never otherwise have the opportunity. Such great people make this project work, volunteering their time and wanting more – I do.
Excellent program to get youth out sailing who probably would never have the chance otherwise. Pegasus is an amazing wooden boat with a real story to tell. She's well maintained and safety rules the operation. As Captain Richard says, "We're trying to have the safest boat on the planet." Volunteering is run extremely well via a website scheduling system and Capt'n Richard has groomed a large group of qualified individuals. He has especially sought out women to crew and they often end up outnumbering the men on voyages; a rare occurrence in the boating world.
From the moment I approached Pegasus and her crew, I was impressed by the professionalism of everyone involved. The boat itself is kept in magnificent condition, and the conduct of her captain was superb. At no moment did I have any question about safety or conduct. The journey onto the bay was a joy, and I believe the trips organized on Pegasus are a tremendous opportunity for youth to experience a major aspect (often overlooked) of where they live. Pegasus is a tremendous community resource.