Thank you Sharon - the first woman to solo the Pacific.
Since Sharon refuses to see herself as a role model, we simply want to say thank you. We had a wonderful night celebrating and hearing the stories of Solo Sailing Pioneer Sharon Sites Adams. Thank you everyone who came out last and a big thank you to everyone who came out to help (Jamie and Lynda, we couldn’t have done it without you)!
On our last meet, Sharon told me that over the last 3 decades she re-wrote her book 3 times and was rejected by many different publishers. ‘Just another sailor doing something...’ was the general response.
Thank you Sharon for persisting to get your story published. Thank you for sharing your wisdom not only about the highs and lows of sailing across the worlds largest ocean but life itself.
Thank you for inspiring a whole new generation of sailor, island hoppers and dufflers...
(a few pics from the other evening)
More about the Pacific Lady - Sharon Sites Adams
ISC's Lilli Matzke had the honor of meeting Sharon Sites Adams, the first woman to solo cross the pacific. 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 things...
...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.
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....