Pacific Lady – Sharon Sites Adams

Lilli's conspiring with our friends Willamette Sailing to host Mrs. Adams to speak about her experiences as the first woman to cross the Pacific.

Details to come.

An opportunity to meet one of the bravest, boldest and tenacious sailors in modern history.

Sharon Sites Adams Pacific Lady the first woman to sail around the worldISC's Lilli Matzke had the honor of meeting Sharon Sites Adams, the first woman to solo circumnavigate. An Oregon Native (lives in Portland), widowed at 34, Mrs. Sites sailed (74 days and +8,000 miles later) into history.

Below is Lilli's account and pictures, and meanwhile we encourage everyone to read her book! Pacific Lady: The First Woman to Sail Solo across the World's Largest Ocean »

"...It was an age without GPS and the Internet, without high-tech monitoring and instantaneous reporting. And it was a time when women simply didn’t do such more

...None of this deterred Sharon Sites Adams. In June 1965 Adams made history as the first woman to sail solo from the mainland United States to Hawaii. Four years later, just as Neil Armstrong very publicly stepped onto the moon, the diminutive Adams, alone and unobserved, finally sighted Point Arguello, California, after seventy-four days sailing a thirty-one-foot ketch from Japan, across the violent and unpredictable Pacific. She was the first woman to do so, setting another world record.

Inspiring and exciting, Adams’s memoir recounts the personal path leading to her historic achievements: a tomboy childhood in the Oregon high desert, an early marriage and painful divorce, and a second marriage that ended when her husband died of cancer. In the wake of his death and almost by accident, Adams discovered sailing. Six weeks after her first sailing lesson she bought a boat, and within eight months she set out to achieve her first world record. Pacific Lady recounts the inward journey that paralleled her sailing feats, as Adams drew on every scrap of courage and navigational skill she could muster to overcome the seasickness, exhaustion, and loneliness that marked her harrowing crossings.

Island Sailing listening to the Pacific Lady, Sharon Sites Adams, the first woman to sail around the world.From Lilli (6/7/2019)...  This week I had the honor to meet Sharon Sites Adams. The first woman to single-hand a sailboat across the Pacific from Yokohama, Japan to San Diego California, in 1969. Four years before that, Sharon set her first world record as the first woman to sail solo from the mainland of the United States to Hawaii, with only 8 months of sailing experience.

And she did so for no other reason than that SHE COULD.

I first heard about Sharon at an OWSA meeting earlier this year. After just the first few pages of her book ‘Pacific Lady’ I felt a connection to her. The detailed recount of her voyages, touching and tragic glimpses into her personal life and human thoughts are the ones of a curious, adventures, fierce soul who survived true loneliness. Her determination and bravery consumed me.

I ended up reading the book 5 times in a row.

Discovering that Sharon returned to Oregon where she spend most of her childhood, I reached out to friend at OWSA, who in turn reached out to another friend and then I was sitting across from her, in her tiny one butt- kitchen home (as she calls is it) in SW Portland, covered in mementos of her life, having lunch.

Sharon retold some of her stories while showing me pictures and trinkets she kept for herself. Most memorabilia from her journeys remain in museums in her hometown Prineville OR, Marina Del- Ray and San Diego.

At the end of my visit Sharon suggest that I should join for sail in July. What??? How lucky am I?

A few pics....

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