One of the highlights of our winters usually is attending the Tall Ships America annual conference. Tall Ships America is a membership association of sailing ship operators, sail training and marine educational vessels, and interested individuals with an international membership. Over a period of three or four days each February, we attend informative sessions, meet up with friends and colleagues, meet new people, see what’s happening across the fleet, and take some new ideas and perspectives back to our own work. Session topics usually include new programs, regulatory changes around the world, professional development for crew, weather forecasting, safety measures, and much more. It is all very informative and renewing, and it’s always good to see what’s going on with other operations and learn things that might be outside our usual scope.
In 2021, the conference will be virtual instead of in-person, running every Thursday afternoon in February. Two of our Picton Castle shore crew, Maggie Ostler and Bronwen Livingston, have been involved in planning the conference this year and they’re both excited for it to begin tomorrow, Thursday February 4th. Maggie, who is co-chairing the conference committee with Captain Stefan Edick, says “the sessions offered this year have great variety and depth, there’s something that will interest and challenge everyone.”
This conference is designed for everyone who has an interest in sail training and tall ships to attend. There are sessions aimed at crew just starting their professional careers at sea, experienced captains, on-board educators, executive directors, event organizers, and more. Sessions will happen live but will be recorded so you can go back and re-watch later. There’s also a social event at the end of each conference day.
In addition to the four Thursday afternoons of the conference, for the first time this year there are two crew resource days, designed to help up and coming crew members advance their careers through mentorship and making connections within the industry. The crew resource days are included in the full conference fee, or crew can attend just these two days for only $10 USD.
It’s not too late to register! The fee for the full conference for Tall Ships America members is $100 USD. The full conference fee for crew, whether you’re a member or not, is $50 USD. There are still a few crew grants available, which cover the full cost of registration. Here’s the registration link: https://whova.com/portal/registration/tsaac_202102/