Volunteers wanted for Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester

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The Skipjack Nathan is looking for more crew members for the upcoming sailing season.

CAMBRIDGE — The nonprofit Dorchester Skipjack Committee, the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester and her crew are looking for active volunteers for the 2016 sailing season. The DSC owns, preserves and operates the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester to promote mid-shore marine heritage and tourism by offering on-the-water experiences on an authentic Chesapeake Bay sailing vessel. The Nathan serves as an ambassador for the Eastern Shore and is a top regional tourist attraction.

On Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. there will be an information session at the Cambridge library. Complimentary refreshments will be served and prospective volunteers will have the opportunity to learn more about volunteering opportunities. Current volunteers and Captains will be on hand to answer any questions during the event.

It takes many different interests and skills to operate the Skipjack. Volunteers interested in sharing their love of the Chesapeake Bay and local history serve on board as docents, and those interested in sailing go through an extensive training program to serve as sail crew carrying passengers under the command of a Coast Guard licensed captain. Volunteers help maintain the wooden boat, register passengers, book charters and assist with the many administrative and marketing tasks that enable the Nathan to be underway 80 to 100 days during the sailing season. All volunteers undergo an extensive training program in their area of interest. No experience is necessary, but an enthusiasm for the Chesapeake, time to train and the willingness to actively help on the boat are essential.

The information session will offer plenty of information on the Nathan’s program and how it helps preserve the rich marine heritage, as well as offer a great chance to mix and mingle with current volunteers. New and returning sail crew members train together. To reach and maintain sail crew status, each volunteer must demonstrate the skills needed to sail a wooden boat using the technology of the 1890s, dredge for oysters, often while under sail, be knowledgeable of all emergency procedures, and know how to keep passengers safe and comfortable during their skipjack experience.

The Skipjack information session is Feb. 22 at 6 pm at the Cambridge Library, 303 Gay St. Light refreshments will be served. Advanced registration is needed by calling 410-228-7141 or e-mail info@skipjack-nathan.org.

For more information about the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester, please visit www.skipjack-nathan.org.

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