Portland Sailing Center

About PSC Adventures

Messenger Sailing Adventures was founded in 2005 to provide large boat and salt water experience primarily to students of Portland Sailing Center. MSA was itself a replay of China Girl Sailing, operated by John Schoeder. John developed the off shore and bar-crossing trips, is still active within Portland Sailing Center and independently. MSA, however, is no longer seperate from PSC.

Our primary vessel is Messenger, a fine sailing craft and excellent example of a well-found coastal cruiser, and, having two heads and two-plus cabins, she is well-suited to mixed company. Messenger is described more fully on the FAQ page.

Our primary skipper is Clifford Mason, born in 1953, a teacher at PSC since 1995 and a U.S. Coast Guard licensed master since 2002. Cliff is all about safety, his first and foremost concern at all times. Hot-dogging and such are never part of his program — good, basic sailing is amply exciting. As a veteran instructor Cliff is pretty good at mixing input with free reign so his crews get a real sense of what it takes to do what we do.

"I do these trips because I love them. Despite having done each too many times to count, I look forward to every trip because I know it will be fun and I'll learn something new. Oddly, I measure success by failure, or lack thereof. The perfect trip has no mistakes of note, no running aground, no almost running aground, no sharp words, no regrets. That's what I'm always going for, a score of zero.

"I like the Bonneville trip because it is easy, low-stress fun. Just show up and go. Running up the river and locking through is always fun, and sailing in the Gorge rarely disappoints. Bonneville has none of the stress of Sea Trials, none of the short sleep, no ships sliding through the dark, no worries about bars, seas and seasickness. But I love Sea Trials precisely because it has all of that! People often sign up for Sea Trials for the allure of the Bar and the ocean. And a very worthy excursion that is, a complete adventure by itself. But Sea Trials is rich with many surprises. It is a great experience that challenges you to really understand and participate in piloting the river. If motion sickness saps your spirit while we're on the bar and such, you'll probably find the other discoveries of Sea Trials outweigh a few hours lost to discomfort.

"As I am fond of saying, sailing on the Oregon coast is never as fun as we think it is going to be. That is why I don't push the Offshore trip. There are no guarantees there but discomfort. You don't walk away from Offshore looking back at what fun you had. The best you can hope for is a few moments of joy. Otherwise it is a matter of meeting the challenges that face you, and mostly that is dealing with discomfort: motion sickness, lack of sleep, maybe foul weather or contrary wind, and endless motion, like an earthquake that never stops. Offshore has its rewards, you just need to adjust your expectations. There is satisfaction in having done your job as well as you could."

Both Messenger and China Girl are well-maintained, fully equipped, and properly licensed for Oregon Inland and Ocean Charter service. Our captains are U.S. Coast Guard licensed masters. Proof of insurance and other documention are available aboard the vessels and/or upon request.

 

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