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Captain Beth Wingerd
USCG 50-ton Master
I have my brother David, a.k.a. Mac, to blame for my addiction. He gave me my first taste of sailing when I was a teenager. We'd cruise and race on the Bay with his wife and two toddlers. After a couple of college "tours of duty" at West Virginia University and the landlocked jobs that followed, I returned to Maryland 15 years later and got the sailing itch again. My ex and I spent 14 years sailing our 36-foot Cape Dory from one end of the Bay to the other, plus extended cruising to New England, Maine, and Long Island Sound. About seven years ago, I traded up to Sierra Charlie, a 41-foot Sceptre fondly referred to as Chuck. She's a bluewater performance cruiser, born and bred in Vancouver, British Columbia.
I've always considered sailing a participation sport, not a spectator affair. I'm the one who always volunteers to go forward when the winds suddenly pick up and someone needs to haul down the spinnaker. I do the winterizing, bottom-painting, and prop-greasing. The better care I give Chuck, the more time I have for sailing.
To finance my addiction, I have a day-job in high-tech. I've spent my career in computer networking, doing software engineering, product management, and marketing. I checked off the "Get Captain's license" item on my bucket-list this year. I got my 50-ton Master's license with endorsements for auxiliary sail and towing assistance. Now, someone will actually pay me to teach them how to sail or handle their boat. It doesn't get much better than that!