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The Heeling Power of Sailing

There’s no doubt that sailors everywhere find that heeling can be healing. Casting off, catching the wind in your sails, focusing your attention on the here and now of sailing is a breath of fresh air in most sailors’ lives. The adventure of an afternoon sail on local waters or heading over the horizon helps transport you from whatever is challenging you to a better place.

Over the years we’ve written about many individuals and programs dedicated to using the healing power of sailing to transform the lives of people who face challenges beyond the day-to-day. There are many programs helping people fighting cancer, veterans facing PTSD, challenged by MS or disadvantaged youth facing difficult life circumstances.

The healing power of sailing is also applied to the planet. Numerous sailors heading across bays and oceans develop a powerful connection to the environment inspiring them to use their talents to heal the planet.

We dedicate this page to the people who deserve recognition for their work and to help provide awareness of the sailing programs they create to support people and the planet.

Healing People

Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors: Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS) seeks to make all aspects of sailing accessible.
To fulfill this mission, we offer weekly small boat sailing and keelboat sailing out of South Beach Marina, adjacent to Oracle Ball Park.
• Pier 40, The Embarcadero #16, San Francisco, CA 94107
Contact BAADS here.

Blindsail SF Bay: BlindSail SF Bay provides persons who are blind and visually impaired the opportunity to learn the fundamental skills of sailing and the basic principles of seamanship. The students learn to sail through the use of creative and adaptive methods in a hands-on, mainstream teaching environment. The objective is the same as for sighted sailors: to harness the power of the wind and to experience all the challenges and rewards of sailing.
• Treasure Island Sailing Center, 422 Clipper Cove Way, San Francisco, CA 94130
[email protected]

Bluewater Foundation: An all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to bringing the joys & challenges of sailing to San Francisco Bay Area under-served youths.
• 48 Gold Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 392-2018
[email protected]
Volunteer Contact Information only:
[email protected]

Cruisers Academy: A Northern California-based cruising and sailing school that is partnering with foundations that represent cancer survivors, recovering addicts, survivors of PTSD and much more. They are on a mission to spread the love of sailing to those who need it most! By donating, your generosity of paying it forward will allow us to do the same for others.         

Visit for more information or contact: [email protected]                                           

Pegasus Voyages: Pegasus is a classic yacht that takes adults and children onto San Francisco Bay. There they discover sailing and the marine wilderness that begins at the dock and extends out the Golden Gate all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
• 1554 Sonoma Ave., Albany, CA 94706-2444 USA
Peter Hayes, (510) 717-4439, [email protected]
Pegasus is berthed at Slip K128, K Dock, Berkeley Marina, 125 University Ave., Berkeley

Resilience Racing: Resilience Racing was founded to support cancer survivors in their recovery and offer an experience in teamwork and participation in competitive sailing. Research has shown that outdoor sports and adventure activities promote recovery and healing for cancer survivors and may improve physical and mental wellness. Outdoor activities, being part of a team sport, and competitive sailing have each been demonstrated to be effective tools in recovery for individuals who have undergone traumatic experiences. While charitable competitive sailing programs exist around the world to support recovery for groups such as veterans with PTSD, Resilience Racing is the first competitive sailing program specifically for cancer survivors. Resilience Racing is a 501(c)3 charitable and tax-exempt organization.
Contact Here.

Sail M.S.: A group of Captains, Professional Mariners, and Multiple Sclerosis Warriors who have made it their life’s purpose to empower those living with MS.
• Bodega Bay, CA, (707) 326-1384, [email protected]

Sea Valor: Our mission is to use sailing and other ocean activities to help improve the quality of life for those with physical or emotional wounds (PTSD), underprivileged youth, and local heroes.
• 2340 Powell Street #124 Emeryville, CA 94608
[email protected]
(202) 491-6000

Wooden Boats For Veterans: Founded in 2015, Wooden Boat for Veterans offers sail training to veterans, future veterans and their families on the water to provide physical, mental and emotional therapy for their injuries brought about by operational service. They provide three programs; sailing training, experiential sailing, and wooden boat preservation. Learning to sail and saving wooden boats are outlets for coping with PTSD, and traumatic injuries. Here, teamwork, community and camaraderie is rediscovered through our educational programs in sailing, racing, voyaging, restoring and preserving.
• 164 Robles Way, Suite 102
Vallejo CA 94591
[email protected]

Healing the Planet

Ocean Planet Explorers:Inspire stewardship of the sea through inquiry-based learning and assist research efforts aboard low-impact vessels created to help solve the challenges facing our Ocean Planet.

Ocean Voyages Institute: In 2009, Project Kaisei was launched to focus on major ocean clean-up and to raise awareness regarding the global problem of marine debris/ocean trash.
Mary Crowley, President
[email protected]
(415) 332-4681
Ocean Voyages Institute, 1709 Bridgeway, Sausalito CA 94965

The Ocean Cleanup: The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, is developing and scaling technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Our aim is to put ourselves out of business once the oceans are clean.
Contact Here.

Sailors for the Sea: Unites Boaters to Protect the Ocean. Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana is the world’s only ocean conservation organization that engages, educates and activates the sailing and boating community toward restoring ocean health.
• 449 Thames St. 300D, Newport, RI 02840
(401) 846-8900, Email here.

Trash Boat: Alameda Esstuary Clean Up: With a love for the natural world, Scott has made a commitment to remove 1 ton of debris from the bay and the Alameda channel. Leading by example and through motivating the community he believes we can truly make a difference to make our oceans cleaner.
• Oakland, CA, (650) 796-1116, [email protected]

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