Jesse Ross Lee sounded upbeat as he discussed his potential future involvement in sailing ministry. Lee, who has served in Youth With A Mission for more than a decade, had just completed the School of Navigation and Seamanship at Port YWAM Kona. Looking back over his three months of training, Lee says he is now equipped with new skills that he didn’t anticipate he would develop.
“It was better than what I was hoping for. I feel like everything we learned was really broad — which is cool,” said Lee, 31, who serves with YWAM Newcastle, Australia. “I didn’t learn just one thing. I feel like I’m walking away with a lot of skills and the ability to do things that I couldn’t do before in regard to ships and boats and everything that goes along with sailing.”
Lee, who is originally from Minnesota, said his favorite aspect of the school — which was led by Capt. Ann Ford — was the time on the water.
“It was great going out once each week and also getting to do a couple of overnight sails, even though some of the trips weren’t part of the school curriculum,” Lee said. “Capt. Ann was able to give us those opportunities outside of the school on ships and made time for that, which is really cool.”
During the school, students boarded a plane to Honolulu, then sailed for about two days to return to Kailua-Kona, on a boat that was loaned to the school. They also learned how to plot a course, adjust a sail, basic nautical vocabulary, how to deploy a life raft, and took SCUBA lessons.
Charlotte Ebio said because of the navigation school she feels more confident to look after the well-being of future crew and outreach volunteers aboard her boat, the m/v AMAZING GRACE.
“The safety training week which Dan Connor taught was truly invaluable. It has equipped me with tools to help keep our teams safe while aboard,” said Ebio who, along with her husband, Zeus, is partnering with the new YWAM Ships Mazatlan base. “I really recommend this program to a person seeking to attain basic navigation and seamanship training.”
Alexandre Juvet of Switzerland, who also completed the fall navigation school, said the program is good for anyone with aspirations of doing sailing ministry.
“You might not know how you’re going to make it happen because you don’t own a ship and sailing is expensive, but at least you can build a network of people who want to be on a boat,” said Juvet, 37, who has served with YWAM since 2007. “If you want to go somewhere to get more training, to get practice, to get input from knowledgeable sailors before pioneering something, Port YWAM is a great place.”