Sailing with Celtic Song…
My backstory: I am ASA 104 certified, have sailed for about 10 years (mostly day sailing) and I belong to a sailing club so, I charter. I am finally at the point in my life where I have time to seek out more opportunities to advance my sailing skills. I had been checking out the website for Celtic Song's training program and I'll admit I was a little intimidated. I had printed out some information from the website and decided that this was something I not only wanted to do, but needed to do! Within a few days I received an email that there was one spot available…to do a night crossing. It was meant to be, I manifested it…whatever, it was mine! I began talking to the owner and Captain of Celtic Song, Diane, who didn't know me, my sailing skills or abilities, but she agreed I could join her and two other women (Jean and Sharon). After WSA-OC cancelled the event I was heartbroken, but soon discovered that Diane wasn't cancelling and we were still going! Fast forward to departure…I was greeted with a hug and a personality that just sets your mind at ease, that's how I met Diane Berol.
I mentioned I checked out the website, but it did not prepare me for the beauty that I saw upon arrival. She was outfitted with more electronics than I knew what to do with (and would soon begin to learn), she was “labeled,” everything had a “home” and/or instructions. I loved her immediately! My goal that weekend, to be a sponge. Diane, Jean and Sharon, all had various experience and knowledge and were more than willing to share it with me. Diane was instructional, wanting to make sure that we understood not only what we were doing, but why. We would make a plan, assign roles, implement and then review the pros and cons. We were not the only one being critiqued, Diane would critique herself and make comments on what she could have done differently. I loved that! I could go on and on about all the fabulous things we did and experienced over the long weekend together or you can check out my FB…four women, sailing from San Diego to Catalina, a 78nm night crossing with a small craft advisory. Just me and three strangers that have forever touched my heart. Can't wait for our next adventure! Shelly Smigel
Diane Berol is an ocean adventurer and the captain of Celtic Song based in San Diego, CA.