Sailing For Shore
Shale Shore loves every moment of sailing — even when she’s trying with all her might to keep a boat upright, her abs are screaming and water is spraying in her face.
“Your heart is beating and you’re just giggling; you can’t stop giggling because it’s so much fun,” she says with enthusiasm when describing the athleticism of her favorite ocean sport.
Her joyful sailing experience, however, is different every time. She also delights in drifting on a keelboat in the middle of a channel at night when the only light emanates from the moon and stars, and a phosphorescent glow emits from the side of the vessel.
“And it’s quiet. We just don’t get quiet in our lives. It’s the most relaxing thing you’ve ever experienced. Everything just slows down and you can hear the water lapping up against the side of the hull,” she says.
These are just some of the many reasons Shore serves as executive director of Kauai Sailing Association. She wants everyone to experience the same joy.
“We’re just trying to get everyone sailing; that’s our goal,” she says.
The nonprofit consists entirely of volunteers (except Shore, who only recently started receiving paychecks) and offers lessons through Nawiliwili Yacht Club, where sailors also are invited to become members.
Shore has been affiliated with the program for three years, and is committed to getting people out on the water by teaching them about sailing and marine safety. She instructs adult classes Saturdays, for people who may vary in abilities from beginner to advanced. Students start by learning on toppers, then progress to lasers and, finally, 420s. While Shore enjoys getting everyone out on a boat, it’s her keiki classes she especially takes pleasure in teaching.
“It’s just magical,” says Shore, who has experience coaching team sports.
Keiki learn the technical aspects of sailing, like how to set up a sail and haul anchor.
“So they’re in control of their own destiny. And you just see their faces; they are so proud of themselves and what they’ve done,” she says. “I’ve never seen any other sport like that. I think it’s important.”
Classes also consist of sailing games and learning about environmental factors such as the wind — and it “tricks” kids into being athletic.
“It’s a sneaky way of working in fitness,” admits Shore.
The activity builds confidence and encourages teamwork as well, teaching kids how to solve problems as a group. The kids’ club meets Sundays during the school year, and a weeklong camp is offered during the summer. This summer, 41 students attended summer camp.
Marine biology classes also are offered during the summer and focus on ocean environment. Keiki learn about sea creatures large and small, and conduct various experiments, such as water sampling to test pH and salinity.
“I think it’s really interesting what can live in the varying environments,” says Shore.
The marine biology and chemistry major says her favorite ocean organism is phytoplankton.
“Reason being? Because 50-85 percent of the world’s oxygen comes from these amazing little creatures. Pretty neat,” says Shore, who is originally from Vancouver Island, Canada.
Shore’s passion for all things ocean is quite obvious.
“I think I always wanted to be a mermaid growing up,” she jokes.
Yet her affection for boats did not set in until 2006, when she sailed to Hawaii on a “pirate ship” (a 134-foot brigantine boat) with Sea Education Association. Through the undergraduate study abroad sea program, she learned how to navigate the ocean and its environment.
“I knew I needed to sail, and I knew I would love it,” she says.
She promptly taught herself how to sail alone and wished she’d had a program like Kauai Sailing Association to assist her, as she admits it got “scary” being a novice at sea by herself.
Though being out at sea still can be challenging for her, Shore, who moved to the island in 2008 and returns to Canada three months of the year to teach at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, loves how the ocean makes her feel and appreciates all the gifts it has to offer.
“It’s fun, but you have to respect it,” she says.
Kauai Sailing Association currently is holding a fundraising raffle. Anyone who purchases a $20 ticket (two tickets for $30 and 10 tickets for $100) is eligible to win a $600 grand prize of seven nights of dining on the island at various restaurants, including Tortilla Republic and Oasis. The selected runner-up will receive $200 to enjoy dinner at Roy’s Poipu Bar and Grill and BarAcuda. Tickets may be purchased at Jim Saylor Jewelry and Feral Pig. Proceeds will go toward the organization’s youth scholarship fund and programs. Visit kauaisailing.org for more information.