Downtown Norfolk has started sailing this summer! On June 12, Sail Nauticus, a community sailing center on the downtown Norfolk waterfront, had its grand opening and officially added bright sails to the Elizabeth River landscape. The center was created with the aim of not only making sailing more accessible to the Hampton Roads community, but also enabling youth, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, develop academic and leadership skills through sailing and maritime sciences. Sail Nauticus is comprised of several different components – SailQuest summer camps, Sail Nauticus Academy, sailing lessons for adults, and privately captained “Sail About” experiences.
SailQuest, which kicked off on June 17, is a series of week-long, hands-on summer camps for children aged 10 – 14 which include water and shore-based activities. This year the staff, all experienced sailing teachers, includes three European instructors, one from Germany and two from Ireland. For these international young people, this isn’t just their first visit to Norfolk, it’s their first time in America! When asked how she ended up at Nauticus, Daniela Gollatz, who began sailing in Germany on the Baltic Coast, calls it “Destiny. I was volunteering at a marine museum where my supervisor heard about my interest in sailing and introduced me to someone who was connected to sailing, who introduced me to someone else, and then one thing led to another and at the end of a long chain of events I was lucky enough to find out about this job.”