Captain's Log - Summer 2023 Update

Dear friends,

We’ve had a great summer here at LAMI, and I wanted to share a few stories with you that show how we’ve fulfilled our mission of “empowering youth to discover their greatest potential through extraordinary at-sea experiences aboard educational sailing vessels.”

I was aboard our Juneteenth Fireworks Sail in collaboration with LAMI Board Member and community organizer Joe Gatlin. During that sail, I watched as one young girl – only 9-years-old – was captivated by the crew and how the ship worked. Every time I turned around, a different crew member was teaching her how to do something. She also loved seeing the dolphins and seals, and after the experience, her mom reached out to tell us that it was all she could talk about. As a result, she and her siblings joined us for our Adventure Camp in July, where they got an even closer look at how a ship runs as they spent five days and nights aboard Exy Johnson.

Campers on the bowsprit

Their mom shared this update with us once they returned from Sea Camp: “After picking them up and hearing about their adventure – how they overcame little hiccups along the way, helping them learn about themselves and what they are capable of – I felt gratitude for this experience. This balance is so important, and it is what I strive to implement in their lives daily. My youngest cried for a few days, telling me she missed the crew. I could see that my middle child was influenced by some of the crew members and felt supported while she was away at camp, while my oldest now has a new sense of adventure. They all came back happy and with a new outlook that will help them see life more openly and creatively, and they’re a bit more responsible, more mature, and more united as siblings.”

We also created a new partnership with Sharefest this summer. Another San Pedro nonprofit, Sharefest gives youth who are facing significant barriers the skills, support and connections they need to achieve economic success. Partnerships like this are an important part of what we do, because we are making an even greater impact on local youth together, and their first sail with us showed us just that. One young man was nervous before the excursion, because like many of the youth we serve, he had never been on a boat. Before long, he got his sea-legs, and he ended up being one of the most active participants during that sail. Watch a short video that Sharefest created about the experience.

After we shared their video on Facebook, the Sharefest Community Development team commented that “it was an extraordinary journey that left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of our young participants… Under the skilled guidance of the LAMI crew, our students embarked on an immersive experience that seamlessly blended learning with hands-on activities. The opportunity to actively participate in navigating the ship, hoisting sails, and understanding the principles of seamanship created an authentic connection to the maritime world.

Our students were enthralled as they learned about marine biology, ecology, and the importance of environmental stewardship. The integration of these subjects into the program was seamless and added an extra layer of depth to the experience… The impact of this adventure on our students’ personal growth cannot be overstated. Through their interactions with the LAMI crew, our young participants developed essential life skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. The dynamic environment onboard the tall ship fostered an atmosphere of collaboration and encouraged our students to step out of their comfort zones, building confidence and resilience in the process.”

As I look back at the past 10 years I’ve spent with LAMI, I can think of so many experiences like the ones I just described. This is exactly why we do what we do – to create these unforgettable experiences for local youth, while they learn important skills that will help them succeed in the future… and we couldn’t do this without you. You are another partnership that is essential to what we do. Without you, we would not be able to provide experiences like this, so thank you!

We recently revamped our membership program, turning it into a monthly giving program that allows you to make an impact on these youth year-round, with the same benefits of the membership program. We’re calling it Prevailing Winds, because as a member, you are helping to propel us confidently throughout the year with your automated monthly donations.

Join Prevailing Winds – Our New, Automated Monthly Giving Program

Special perks are gifted annually and good for one year.

Monthly Donation

Annual Total

Sailing Perks



1 complimentary ticket*



2 complimentary tickets*



3 complimentary tickets*



4 complimentary tickets



6 complimentary tickets



10 complimentary tickets and a special behind-the-scenes tour



15 complimentary tickets and a special behind-the-scenes tour



20 complimentary tickets and a special behind-the-scenes tour



25 complimentary tickets and a special behind-the-scenes tour

Complimentary tickets can be used on any of our monthly Community Sails.

*Excludes Community Sails in February, July and December

**Your gift supports one student

***Your gift supports one group of students

All members receive the following benefits as well:

  • A complimentary branded gift when you join
  • 10% discount on all public sails and merchandise
  • Invitations to special events, special offers and pre-sales
  • Recognition on our website and in special publications

I know that most nonprofits send updates like this at the end of their fiscal year, usually in June. I decided to wait and send this update after we had embarked on our new fiscal year, and I would love your help in starting the year strong. Would you consider making a one-time donation or joining Prevailing Winds to propel us forward with confidence as we continue to impact local youth during the 23-24 school year?

I would also be honored if you considered joining Prevailing Winds at the $10/month or $100/month level to help me celebrate my tenth anniversary at LAMI. Together, we can create future scientists, engineers and maritime industry champions who develop the skills they need to thrive!


Bruce Heyman
Executive Director

p.s. Please also look for our upcoming Long Beach Gives campaign to support the Children’s Maritime Institute and our programs that provide the same experiences described above to youth in Long Beach. Early giving begins Thursday, September 14, one week prior to the official day of giving on Thursday, September 21!

Looking back, 10 years with LAMI:

LAMI's 30th Anniversary
Class is in session
Boat Building Class