Cruising Club of America

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Us between CCA members Linda and Steve Dashew (left) and Scott and Mary Flanders, with PassageMaker Magazine founding editor Bill Parlatore at far left (Jeff Merrill photo).

We are honored and excited to be members of the Cruising Club of America (CCA). The CCA is a diverse community of roughly 1,300 accomplished ocean sailors who have a passion for the less traveled and more challenging routes and for widely sharing their knowledge, experiences, and best practices. The organization, celebrating its centennial this year, was founded in 1922 on the Bras d’Or Lake of Nova Scotia by a group of offshore sailors interested in promoting cruising and the development of cruising yachts. Membership is by invitation only with the support of at least five current members, and focuses on the sailing accomplishments of the individual as well as their desirability as shipmates.

It would be hard to find an organization whose emphasis and makeup more closely match our own, and we are very much looking forward to being involved with the CCA and meeting more of the membership. Over the years we’ve come to know several CCA members who embody the organization’s goals and ethos, particularly in generously giving their time in support of the cruising community and promoting safety at sea. Examples of some members that we know best are Don and Sharry Stabbert, Scott and Mary Flanders, Steve and Linda Dashew, Atle Moe and Kristina Thyrre, Milt and Judy Baker and Denis Umstot.

Don and Sharry Stabbert have cruised the world extensively in their 75ft Northern Marine STARR and in 2021 received the CCA’s prestigious Far Horizons award. They’ve covered over 100,000 miles with STARR, including a 4,000nm non-stop passage directly from Japan to Hawaii. Prior to starting our trip around the world, Don and Sharry met with us to hear about our planned route and made suggestions on destinations. Their advice improved our trip greatly, and we really enjoyed our several-month stay at the Waikiki Yacht Club that they arranged. We’ve crossed paths with them many times since, most notably in Sweden during the CCA Stockholm Archipelago Cruise. We would especially like to thank Don and Sharry for proposing us to the CCA and investing the time to shepherd our application through the acceptance process.

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Sharry and Don Stabbert (center and beside James) with other CCA members (L-R) Pat Montgomery, Mark Scott, and Roddy Hearne on board Dirona in Stockholm.

Scott and Mary Flanders circumnavigated on board their Nordhavn 46 Egret and extensively documented their experiences through their educational and inspiring online journal Voyage of Egret. They further contributed to the ocean-going cruising community through many published magazine articles and boat show presentations.

Steve and Linda Dashew are well-known in the cruising community as accomplished circumnavigators and designers of world-cruising yachts. Their boats are unusually innovative, and they’ve advanced yacht design across many dimensions. They also give generously to the community and are authors of many in-depth cruising references, including Surviving the Storm and Practical Seamanship. Consummate educators with a strong emphasis on safety at sea, their web site is a vast source of in-depth information.

Atle Moe and Kristina Thyrre crossed the Atlantic in their Nordhavn 57 Summer Star and spent several years cruising northern Europe. They returned to the US via the northern route, stopping in Iceland and Greenland. We met while we were in Bodø, Norway, and they have shared with us much advice and local knowledge of the entire Norwegian coastline that they know well from many years cruising in the area and Atle being born and raised there.

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In Bodø, Norway with Kristina Thyrre and Atle Moe.

Denis Umstot his late wife Mary traveled over 55,000 nautical miles in their 52-foot passagemaker TEKA III, including four Atlantic crossings. The couple is particularly well-known for their boating presentations and writing. Mary penned Voyaging to the Mediterranean Under Power and Denis co-authored the fourth edition of Robert Bebe’s classic Voyaging Under Power.

Milt Baker was a shore-side organizer for the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004, and with his wife Judy crossed the Atlantic three years later in their Nordhavn 47 Bluewater as lead organizer for MedBound 2007. Milt contributed greatly to many of the features we requested on our Nordhavn 52 Dirona, and was the founding moderator and long-time guiding hand of the Nordhavn Owner’s Group, an invaluable source of information and community.

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With CCA members Milt and Judy Baker (2nd from left and rightmost) at Southwest Harbor, Maine on board Nordhavn 68 Grace of Tides with owners Dee and Jerry Fraelic.

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9 comments on “Cruising Club of America
  1. Mario Dunayevich says:

    Doing Antarctica can be very interesting, you can start in the channels of Chilean Patagonia, then base in Ushuaia, cross to Antarctica, then Orcadas, Georgias and Malvinas Islands, and return through the east to Brazil and the Caribbean.
    I will follow you every inch of the way.

    • We’re short of time so we’ll be doing this adventure on the National Geographic Endurance. It’s a Polar Class 5 Category A ice class vessel so it’ll be able to get in close. And, with only 69 cabins, it’s a fairly small boat.

  2. Stewart says:

    Wonderful to read about being in the CCA James. You and Jennifer have greatly influenced the cruising community over the years, starting with your book on PNW cruising and then your voyages on Dirona.
    Can’t wait to find out where the next chapter in life takes you.

  3. John Schieffelin says:

    Can’t imagine two people more eligible for membership in the CCA than you. Fine organization.

    • We’ve really enjoyed the last decade around the world and we’ve enjoyed our last year doing land-based adventures in the Seattle area. For future adventures, we plan to cover some of the areas we missed. Earlier this year we did Switzerland which isn’t accessible by boat. Latter this year we’ll do a cruise in the Caribbean by cruise ship since our time there in Dirona was abbreviated by Jennifer’s broken collar bone needing surgery. And, over Christmas, we plan to do an Antarctica cruise. We really would have liked to have brought Dirona to Antarctica and probably should have so we’re making up for that gap this year on the National Geographic Endurance. It’s far larger than Dirona but is still a fairly small ship with only 69 cabins and it’s a Polar Class 5 vessel (Ice Class able to operate year around in first year ice with some old ice inclusions). It should be a fun!

  4. Don Stabbert says:

    You two are so gracious and all of us in the CCA are very fortunate to have you on board!

    Don & Sharry

    • Jennifer and I appreciate your advice before we set off on our around-the-world adventure. The trip was way better for it. We hope to see you and Sharry on our next visit to Hawaii. All the best!

  5. Al King says:

    Do you see yourselves getting another boat (Nordhavn?) and heading over the horizon?

    • Yes, absolutely. Last year I changed jobs and the new role is easier done in Seattle so we plan to spend 12 to 24 months here in Seattle but we do intend to return to boating. Lots more exploring to do.

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