While working at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as the Assistant Registrar Rocky started volunteering on the Barque Elissa which is a iron barque in Galveston, Texas. Elissa is also where Captain Heerssen got his start in tall ships. Rocky spent the next 10 years with Elissa volunteering making it up to the rank of Mast Captain. Rocky also spent the 2000 summer sailing in Niagara for Niagara’s last East Coast voyage.
In January of 2005 Rocky retired from the world of Academia, gave up her life ashore and went to sea starting out on the schooner Sultana as a deckhand during the 2005 season. By 2006 Rocky came back to Niagara as an AB and stayed for the 2007 season as well. Throughout the rest of 2007 and all of 2008 and part of 2009 she has been working for Sea Education Association as Third Mate with which she will continue with next winter.
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Rocky for 2 seasons in Niagara. During the 2007 season she was my AB. Throughout that entire summer Rocky was ,well, my rock. Her dedication to not only the ship and her shipmates but to her new-found profession makes her extremely valuable. Her passion for sailing and sail training inspires all who work with her or for her. She makes everyone’s job easier and her presence is calming to all on board.
Rocky is a very patient and caring teacher. She will work with you until you have fully figured something out and can go forth and do the task with confidence. All trainees and crew will find in Rocky a confidant and a role model.