The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) presents “Central Coast Ocean Adventures & the Tall Ship Mystic Whaler” on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 7 pm. This in-person lecture by Christine Healy and Michael Sheehy, of Central Coast Ocean Adventures (CCOA), will share the story of the tall ship Mystic Whaler, her voyage from Connecticut to California and the plans for her future. Cost is free for SBMM’s Navigator Circle Members, $10 for all other members, and $20 for members of the public. There will also be a pre-lecture reception for members only from 6:15-6:45pm. Register at: https://sbmm.org/santa-barbara-event/ and become a member at https://sbmm.org/membership/
Ready the dock lines!
The 110-foot, two-masted tall ship Mystic Whaler and its parent nonprofit, Central Coast Ocean Adventures (CCOA), plan to deliver uniquely immersive ocean-based educational experiences to Santa Barbara. Peek into the history of Mystic Whaler and share in the voyage that brought this steel-hulled representation of a 19th-century merchant schooner from Connecticut to California. See why this majestic ship with its 3000 square feet of sail is the perfect medium for teaching CCOA’s educational philosophy: To adventure is to discover and learn from the unfamiliar. Preview how adventure-inspired learning is explored through sailing and the sea onboard Mystic Whaler and is central to CCOA’s programs that develop and strengthen STEM academic comprehension, nautical skills, and social/emotional learning. Discover CCOA’s commitment to making engaging experiential education and the Santa Barbara Channel more accessible to the communities of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Christine Healy, Captain of the Mystic Whaler
The sailing bug bit Christine as a teenager in Annapolis, MD, where she learned the basics of sailing racing with her brother aboard his 26-foot sloop, Wolpertinger. She paid attention, quickly becoming a useful crew member. At the age of 19, she bought her first boat, Esmeralda and took weekend trips all over the Chesapeake Bay. While living onboard, she was offered her first long boat delivery, from Annapolis to St. Vincent, via Bermuda. In Christine’s words, “It was my first time truly out at sea, and I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. Needless to say, it all worked out, and my career as a professional sailor began.”
After several deliveries, she began her first job aboard the schooners Woodwind and Woodwind 2, which was the beginning of her traditional boat career. With that experience, she moved onto larger ships, Pride of Baltimore 2, Amistad, Clipper City, Liberty, and many others. At the age of 23, she sat for her first captain’s license: 100-ton master with sail endorsement. In 2008 she moved to California and worked on the Lynx, which sailed up and down the West Coast, then out to Hawaii as an exhibition class in the Transpack 2009. She has been working on the West Coast, based out of San Diego since.
Her experience has varied throughout her career, from deliveries, charters, research, and private yachts to sail training and educational vessels. About her work, Christine says, “The challenges that change every day keep it interesting. The ocean and sailing have the power to challenge students to push themselves and inspire their imagination. To teach and share maritime history, the structure of life at sea, the beauty of our oceans, and the life within is a passion and privilege.”
Michael Sheehy, Director of Development and Programming, CCOA
Michael’s love for the ocean is at the heart of his diverse professional experience, including marine science instruction and research, environmental conservation advocacy, nonprofit program directing, and nonprofit strategic development. At the age of 7, Michael’s main outlet to the outdoors was through learning to sail with his dad, with missteps being the best teacher. Michael fell in love with the ocean and has made a life of learning from it and sharing it with others.
Michael studied the ocean and its wildlife as a working scuba diver for NOAA and a research associate at the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He lectured at UCSB in marine biology and taught marine science for Northeastern University’s Three Seas Program in Jamaica and aboard the tall ship Westward for Sea Education Association. Michael led marine science research in the Caribbean for UCSB and marine conservation advocacy as director of marine programs for the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. He went on to support marine conservation as executive director of the Code Blue Foundation and was an independent consultant to business and nonprofit organizations on strategy and development.
Before joining CCOA, Michael increased opportunities for youth to access the coast and oceans as director of development aboard the tall ships Irving Johnson, Exy Johnson, and American Pride for Los Angeles Maritime Institute and Children’s Maritime Institute in San Pedro and Long Beach, California, respectively. Michael holds a master’s in marine ecology and evolutionary biology from UCSB, an MBA from Pepperdine University, and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Executive Program. Michael sits on the Steering Team for the LA STEM Collective, a network of more than 40 entities committed to equitable access of STEM informal education for youth in the Los Angeles area. Michael loves snorkeling, surfing, sailing, and any chance to get salty and sandy with his family.