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    The Pegasus Project has taken thousands of kids onto the Bay for marine environment education aboard Pegasus since it was created in 1994 by the Nautilus Institute. In 2006, Pegasus Voyages was established to continue the Pegasus Project, with its partners. These include the Shorebird Nature Center, Berkeley Boosters, City of Berkeley, Berkeley YMCA, and Berkeley Yacht Club. The project operates a 51 foot Alden wooden ketch, the Pegasus, built in Kennebunkport Maine in 1971.

    Pegasus Project's mission is to enable youth to become productive members of a sustainable society through positive outdoor environmental education and by reinforcing life skills. The Pegasus Project has a vision, “No Child Left Ashore” realized by taking out one kid, one voyage at a time.
    Each year, as a thank you to the scores of volunteers who staff the Project and crew the voyages, the Pegasus sails in the annual Master Mariners Regatta.

    This year in light but sparkling conditions, Pegasus again finished the 15 nautical mile course of the 2012 Master Mariners Regatta. The day before, under Captain Paul Kassatkin’s watchful eye, the crew practiced at the dock, setting the whisker pole, and conducting multiple first and second reefing-and-shake-out drills. We pulled the log paddle wheel, checked it with a multimeter and found no output from it when spinning—so we knew we either had to guess our speed, or more likely, use the GPS for fine tuning our course over the ground. We practiced tacking techniques for "first pull, tailing and grinding," hanked on the staysail and practiced setting/dousing and ran sheet through deck fairlead to port cleat, checked ground tackle (windlass.)

    In the week leading up to the Regatta, the weather has been a little strange. It blew hard every day (15-25, gusts to 40+) until a front passed through on Friday before the Regatta, during our setup run at the dock, dropping a little rain here and some snow at Tahoe. Given that, we preset reef one and two in the main, set up everything except the "put away" gear and left her ready to race the next morning, with a much more knowledgeable crew.

    Crew arrived at 0800, and we were underway by 0930. Wind was light and, unlike most years, Pegasus arrived at the starting area, under power, around 1030 with crew dry and happy. The wind was forecast at 10-20 knots out of the SW in the afternoon, and the current would be flooding. We did several practice tacks up to the Gate resulting in a few crew adjustments and came to the decision, based on our own forecasting, to shake out both reefs in the main. Being semi-overpowered at the start was balanced by the light winds we saw at the end of the first leg and most of the way to the second mark (Blackaller buoy) on a flood.

    Our start was conservative, but good given some confusion of the position of the committee boat and the buoy (a topic of filed disputes among other vessel in other classes.) The first leg to "little Harding" went well, but the wind dropped off near the buoy and much of the way to the second mark, Blackaller buoy. After rounding Blackaller, the whisker pole was set nicely and we had a good run to Blossom Rock under mizzen main and jib riding the flood, doing 8.5+ knots over the bottom. Next mark was Southampton Shoal in very light wind. This where most of our "big boat" competition caught up with us, including Santana of Humphrey Bogart fame. From then on it was off to our next mark and then the finish.

    Conclusion: First, the crew did an excellent job and should be proud of themselves and Pegasus!!! What happened? We had a good "handicap" this year. But when we started, the wind was light on much of our first and second legs. By the time our bigger, faster competitors started, those areas had filled in (with wind) and our lead was nullified. Had the wind been consistent on our first two legs, as it was for our competition, Pegasus might well have won the Marconi 1 division, as we have twice before in 19 years. Next year, look out!

    The day after the Master Mariner’s raft up at Encinal Yacht Club, Pegasus sailed back to Berkeley. Imagine the crew’s surprise when the USS Nimitz turned out to greet Pegasus as we sailed toward Golden Gate Bridge. Pegasus is featured in an NBC video that was highlighted in the SF Chronicle the next day, looking good. Check it out on our Facebook page!

    Sailors and volunteers can reach us via the Contact page at
    Last edited by Photoboy; 05-31-2012 at 04:29 PM.

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