Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Galia Moss: One Determined Woman


In keeping my women's theme, I'd like to introduce you to Galia Moss who we have had the pleasure of meeting here at APS. I got the opportunity to talk to her about her life story and it's a pretty incredible one.
She was born in Mexico City and moved to the US in '99 to pursue a music degree at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA where a friend brought her sailing. From the first day she was hooked (like the rest of us). Her next stop the Sea Education Association, in Woods Hole, MA, where she would learn and sail on tall ships. From the classroom to the water her dreams only got bigger. Reading books on solo navigation became her favorite pastime. One in particular has always stuck out as her biggest inspiration, Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi. Tania had no real direction until at 18 she set out to sail around the world alone. She put 27,000 miles on her 26 foot sloop and when she returned wrote the book about her journey. Galia was inspired by her accomplishments.

After the SEA course Galia took every opportunity to sail. She would race or do deliveries whenever she could. Her favorite memory is arriving in Hawaii to the Captain of the boat telling her that she was the skipper for the delivery and the other crew members had very little to no sailing experience. They arrived safely in Oregon after a memorable learning experience. They do always say it's better to learn by teaching, right?

For the next few years she continued to act on any opportunity. She took courses in Venezuela, Israel and Spain. From there her training took her to Barcelona, where for two years she sailed in any condition, windy, calm, rainy, it didn’t matter, she was still going on the water. She bought a Mini Transat to train and sail on, as well as taking the opportunity to sail with anyone, on any boat.

After seven years of training, she set out to be the first Mexican or Latin American to sail solo across the Atlantic. It took her two years to gain her first sponsor, but throughout that time she remained positive and finally got the support she needed. She claims finding sponsors is harder than actually solo sailing across the ocean (we'll take her word for it). Her determination paid off and 13 sponsors made donations. But that wasn’t enough, Galia couldn’t justify having money donated just for her own cause, so she partnered with an organization called Fundacion Televisa who pledged to build a house for every 8 nautical miles she sailed. 688 houses later in 2006, Galia accomplished her goal, taking her Beneteau First 31.7 from Vigo, Spain to Xcaret, Mexico. 41 days of sailing and 5,154 miles later, she accomplished what she set out to do, but not surprisingly, the desire to help and continue her sailing career didn’t end there.

Once back on land, she participated in the actual building of the houses that were donated and said the most rewarding part was handing over keys to families who had been given a house. Over the next year, she sold her beloved Beneteau, gave motivational talks all over Mexico, wrote a book and made many appearances to do book signings. As the publicity wore off she began setting her sights on her next adventure and spoke to many organizations in Israel that offered her teaching jobs at sailing schools. So, the next journey began, and while most people would jump on an airplane to get there, Galia decided that she should sail there, uniting her two heritages.

Again, she didn't want to sail just for herself, so she once again looked to help and found two great organizations. One makes arrangements to feed children in Mexico for their first five years of life, helping them get through those crucial first years. The next will plants trees in both Mexico and Israel. But finding sponsors was even harder the second time around. Finding sponsors in 2008 wasn’t easy given the economic condition. But again, perseverance paid off. Which brings us to now. With many sponsors giving to her two causes, she will be leaving from Annapolis next week on her J/105, which she purchased here after a long search for a boat. She is here with her twin sister, who is going to sail with her to Mexico and has been a big part of her campaigns, acting as manager.

Alone, Galia will leave for Israel on October 12th. They have both been working hard to get the boat ready to go and are eager to set sail. From all of us here at APS, good luck!!

Check her out at her website at http://www.galiamoss.org/

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