Name's Shelagh (SHAY-lə). I was born and raised in Massachusetts, the second oldest of five kids. We lived about 20 minutes from the shore and many childhood summer days were spent at the beach either on the north shore or down on Cape Cod. From an early age, I had an affinity for being on the water. My grandfather had us take sailing lessons for several summers, and without really realizing it, I was hooked.
Fast forward about a decade, and I found myself as freshman at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, returning from my first semester at sea, high on the salt air, starry nights, and the prospect of learning the navigation and seamanship skills required to make a career out of trips like that. I spent my college summers on ferries down the Cape, and tug boats on the Houston Ship Channel in Texas. It was while working on the ferries and living aboard a sailboat that my dream of living and traveling my own sailboat was born.
I graduated in 2013 with a USCG Third Mate, Unlimited Tonnage license and a B.S. in Marine Transportation and began my career as a Third Officer with the Military Sealift Command. Over the next seven years, I worked on ammunition ships, hospital ships, tankers, and high speed catamarans, travelled to dozens of countries, and upgraded my license to Second Officer, and subsequently Chief Mate. Throughout my time with MSC, I enjoyed the new challenges, everchanging missions of the ships I worked on, the travel, and experience of different countries, and new cultures; I learned so much and formed a few solid friendships. However, the dream of owning my own sailboat kept creeping into the forefront of my mind. Finally, in 2019 I found CONSTANCE and pulled the trigger. I resigned from MSC with my USCG Chief Mate Unlimited Tonnage and 1600 Ton Master's license in my pocket and moved aboard my new vessel. The challenges and fun haven't stopped since.
As with many other sailors, and likely to the exasperation of my shoreside family and friends, my travel plans are written in the sand at low tide. The only goal: Never stop learning.