Baja California boasts all-female I-team

Posted by: Merran Smith on 11/30/11 5:37 AM

Heading out on the last ration, I went to see two semester groups making their way down the Sea of Cortez in Baja California Sur. Two of the groups switched on Nov. 10 from either sea kayaking to sailing or sailing to sea kayaking. Each took on four new instructors and, in particular, FSB 2 welcomed one of the few all-female instructor teams in NOLS Mexico's history, which was comprised of dynamic instructors Cass Coleman, Claire Marian, Sally McAdam and Jessie McGreehan.

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All four are all smiles and completely in their element as I ask them how they are doing. NOLS Instructor Sally McAdam says they are setting the standards high for the last leg of the semester course but are doing so with a softer approach, which includes a lot of music. Both Sally and Claire are learning the mandolin and Cass and Jessie are already quite accomplished guitarists, so evening music circles have become a splendid way of ending each great day on the water.

Two of the semester students who had to be evacuated temporally are now back in the field and fully recovered, having brought new energy back to the group. I chatted with one of them, Jacob O'Brien, to find how he likes his new instructor team. He said, “they are all so solid and complement each other incredibly well.”

NOLS student Caroline Johns mentioned they must choose a mentor soon, (who they will specifically look up to for guidance and report to on their personal development throughout the sailing experience) but that she has absolutely no idea who to pick, because they are all so awesome!

It's great to see such a fluid instructor team and after seeing a few courses traipsing back through the NOLS branch, I just know that hearing FSB 2's stories and seeing them again is going to be memorable.