“And as we wind on down the road…”


The Ancient Mariner Regatta is in less less than 4 days. That’s all. Just 4 days. I find myself feeling that same “top of the roller coaster” sensation I do every year. I’m sure many others feel it as well.

Some Scouts who are approaching their first AMR may have strong apprehension. Concerns of being able to deliver the skills they practiced for so long may flood their minds. I assure you even the salt Bos’n and Bos’ns Mate feel that same thing. “Can I lead my Crew to the victory we want?” They can and will.

385723_10150924109919820_882333819_n To that end even J.O.’s and Officers have their own version of excitement; unfortunately it doesn’t come from competing anymore. For adults we revel in seeing the Crews strive for their goals. To witness young men and women achieve things they have striven for is an amazing reward. Believe it or not the Staff and Committee of the Ancient Mariner Regatta feel the energy is building up.

Here are some memories and advice from them along with some photos of AMR 2012.

Advice and an AMR memory from Josh Gilliland (AMR Chairman), National Sea Scout Committee Member and Mate, S.S.S. Gryphon:
“Be positive, be organized, and have a plan. Work events by “zones.” For example: heaving line, semaphore, and international code flags are all on the Flight Deck. Go there and do them all. Don’t do one and come back for the other two. Also, be sure to pay attention to your flotilla and pulling boat schedule times. If you are late, the judges have no way to work you in later in the day.”

“My first AMR was in 1991 at Coast Guard Island. The Gryphon and several of the other boats were docked astern of the CG 378’s. The smaller boats were on the small boat marina (which no longer exists). I remember the spectacle of the size of the Fleet, the number of Sea Scouts, and the slow lines at the Coast Guard galley.”

The Crew of M.S.S. Mystic Yankee (Woodland Hills, CA) make the highline ready during breeches buoy.

Advice and an AMR memory from Leslie Feyling (AMR Registrar), Skipper, M.S.S. Tradewind:

“Make a schedule for your Crew to try to complete all events, but be flexible. If you see rope climb is empty as you go by it take advantage of that opportunity.”

“One of my favorite pass times at AMR was the Crew sing-a-longs while waiting for meals. When AMR was held at Coast Guard Island, we would often wait outside the mess hall for our turn to go eat. While the Crews were waiting we would break into songs, cheers, or chants singing together or seeing who could be the loudest.”

The Crew of S.S.S. Deja Vu (Portland, OR) strives for perfection in marlinspike.

Advice and an AMR memory from Nathan Shellhorn (AMR Operations), S.S.S. Chaser:

“Don’t put off your Ship events. Each year there are certain events that almost no one does the first day of competition, then everyone is waiting in line on day two.”

“Cheering with everyone else when they finished announcing the Schooners…”

The Crew of S.S.S. Tsunami (Battle Ground, WA) show some smiles on the pier.

An AMR memory from Mike Marzano (AMR Safety and Finance), Skipper, S.S.S. Gryphon:

“My first AMR was in 1970. One of the main things I can recall is the different opportunities to look past competition and get to know some of the other Crews and just have fun.”

The top Crews in pulling boat get towed out for the final race.

Advice and an AMR memory from Kevin Trujillo (AMR Chief Judge), XO, S.S.S. Makai:

“Sportsmanship is not just a cheering factor. Everything counts towards it. If you’re paying attention to your Shipmates that are competing while you look on, how you treat each other when something goes sideways, even how you report in to an event, and even making sure everyone gets a chance at events (ie not using the minimum number for an event when the maximum is possible). Sportsmanship is continuous.”

“In 2005 I was my Ship’s Bos’n and Drill Cox’n. We had never really been able to get drill right. Too many Crewmen missing practice or not really focusing. That year was the first time we qualified in drill. It was my greatest accomplishment while competing.”

The Crew of M.S.S. Morningstar (Sherman Oaks, CA) revels in their victories on the flight deck after the closing ceremony.

Here are some final thoughts from the AMR Chairman.

“All of us who run AMR do so out of the love for the Regatta. The AMR is special, the high water mark of Sea Scout events. Literally nothing matches the scope and prestige of our Regatta. Many Sea Scouts spend months preparing for the event and we aim to make sure it is amazing.

I view my role as Chairman as ensuring today’s Sea Scouts have a regatta experience better than the ones I enjoyed in my youth. I love this Regatta. After 23 AMRs I love being part of its history. I am dedicated to honoring its past and building a bright future.

Good luck. I wish you all success.”

Prepared and edited by


Chief Judge, AMR


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