In June 20th’s Women Offshore Podcast episode, Christine talks with Call of the Sea captains Rebecca Johnson and Heather Richard, sharing their passion and experience of sailing and how they got to be where they are today. They share about working with the Call of the Sea, which is an educational non-profit that connects people to the sea and maritime traditions. They aim to increase coastal access and empower people of all backgrounds through experiential and environmental education on the water.
Rebecca started sailing on tall ships as a volunteer on the Barque Elissa while going to college at Texas Maritime Academy. After graduating, she spent three years sailing on the schooner Mary Day out of Camden, Maine. In 2016 she began sailing as a mate on the Sailing School Vessels Corwith Cramer and Robert C Seamans. In 2020 Rebecca started working as chief mate on the newly certified vessel Matthew Turner and had the exciting task of figuring out how to sail a brand new vessel with a hybrid propulsion system and creating many of the procedures that are now used to operate it. Rebecca began sailing as Captain on Matthew Turner in 2021.
Heather Richard is a US Coast Guard licensed (100-ton) captain for hire on San Francisco Bay. Heather has been sailing since the age of 4. She raced competitively on the Boston University sailing team while earning a BFA in sculpture, and worked on charter boats and in community boating programs in Boston. She also worked for the US Navy in Japan, Sail Carribean Voyages, OCSC, Modern Sailing School, Tall Ship Matthew Turner, and the Saint Francis Yacht Club, coaching young sailors. She currently lives aboard with her three children in a maritime co-op. In the off-season, she can be found in her floating art studio and is active in her community, volunteering with youth programs and bringing waterfront access to underserved populations.