Captain Zachary Jasnoff
USCG 25-ton Master
As a second generation American, I have always loved the sea stories my grandfather told be about his time spent on the Black Sea. We have always had a seafaring tradition in our family and growing up we have been on the water in mainly off the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey. As I turned toward my college years (1980s!), I enrolled in American University’s MBA program and moved to the Washington DC area. Immediately, I fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay – so strikingly different from the “down the shore” culture of New Jersey.
My first boat was a small 19-ft. runabout, but it was enough to allow for exploration of all the Chesapeake has to offer. The small towns, the people, the culture, and the great seafood “hooked” me for life. As my career had me in many places, I always kept a fond spot in my heart for the Chesapeake. In 2010, I had the opportunity to settle in the Maryland area for good upon meeting my second wife, Sue. We set about purchasing our second boat, a 30-ft. cuddy cabin and spent many enjoyable long weekends (and a few weeks) exploring many new towns and having great experiences meeting new people.
Through these years, I’ve always had the “spark” to obtain my Merchant Mainers Credential (MMC). Finally, in January 2020, I enrolled in the Annapolis School of Seamanship, passed the OUPV course, and went on to complete additional online certifications at the Master level and Towing Assistance. This was tough given Covid-19 restrictions, but I got it done and in July finally received my master’s license. I am also actively engaged as an USCG Auxiliarist serving in Flotilla 23-01 Annapolis.The trip was an exercise in contrasts—at once exciting and boring, challenging, and a super learning experience. We blew out the spinnaker three days out of St. Thomas, and the clew on the jib tore out when we were 60 miles off Beaufort, North Carolina, in 40-knot winds and heavy seas. Our tension abated almost instantly, however, when we passed the Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel and were safely back in Mother Chesapeake.
I took on the assignment as CAPCA's continuing education director because I enjoy sharing knowledge with others and instilling a passion about all things nautical.