Captain Vicki Saporta
USCG 50-ton Master
I grew up in Rochester, NY and learned how to sail at summer camp on Seneca Lake when I was eleven years old. I later became a sailing instructor at the camp, where I also taught water skiing, canoeing, and swimming. I continued sailing in college on the Cornell University sailing team. We qualified in the Eastern Regionals at West Point and went on to sail in the National Finals on the Charles River in Boston.
I moved to the San Francisco Bay area after college and bought my first sail boat — a fourteen foot Laser, which I had lots of fun sailing on the lagoons in Foster City. I also sailed on my sister’s 22 foot Catalina in Monterey Bay, and on charter sail boats in San Francisco Bay, Hawaii, Australia, the American and British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.
After moving to Washington, DC, I bought my second sail boat — a new S2 9.2A — and began exploring the Chesapeake Bay. I happily cruised on Sail Away with friends and my golden retriever from the Sassafras to the Rappahannock Rivers over nine years. In 1996 I bought a new Sabre 402, Pleiades, which I still own and sail on the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere as often as possible.
I’ve successfully raced Pleiades in non-spinnaker classes taking first places in two Leukemia Cups, Sabre World Cup Class A and overall, Hospice Cup, and Oxford round the buoys. We also finished in the medals in many other races including the Oxford Regatta Race to Oxford and the Solomon’s Invitational. Additionally, we were the best Caregiver Boat in the Hospice Cup three different years.
In 2011, I took a sabbatical from the non-profit organization I ran and planned a cruise to Maine. As part of my preparation, I took a two week course to obtain my Captain’s license. I received my Master 50 Gross Tons Inland Waters, with sailing and towing endorsements, in 2011. I joined CAPCA shortly thereafter, and received my certification to renew my license in a CAPCA license renewal course.
I was able to take ten weeks for my cruise to Maine and back on Pleiades. I served as Captain and was responsible for preparing the boat, recruiting and directing one to two crew members per segment, plotting the course, navigating, piloting the boat, and ensuring proper maintenance. We cruised the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays; Atlantic Ocean; Block Island and Rhode Island Sounds; Narragansett Bay; Buzzard’s Bay; Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds; Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bays; Bay of Maine; Penobscot and Casco Bays; and Frenchman Bay. The sailing trip was a dream come true and one of the highlights of my life! I happily took another five week cruise to New England on Pleiades in 2014, visiting some of the same places and adding part of Long Island Sound to my trip.
I put my license to work in 2012 and 2013 as a sailing coach at one of the local sailing schools, in my limited spare time from my full time job. I coached their 5-day live aboard cruising courses where students received US Sailing Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising certifications, upon successful completion. I also coached their DelMarVa passage making course.
I recently retired and moved to the Annapolis area. This Fall, I started raising oysters with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation from my dock on Deep Creek off the Magothy River. I am a member of Eastport Yacht Club and the Chesapeake Bay Sabre Association, and am delighted to be getting more involved with CAPCA.