Clay Mills, Captain (right): Born in Burbank, CA to rodeo parents, he spent his childhood traveling the rodeo circuit and living on cattle ranches. At the age of nine he and his father moved aboard a wooden sloop and often sailed to S. Cal’s Channel Islands. His mother continued to chase the rodeo while his father ran a construction business. At 12, Clay moved to a large cattle ranch in Central Oregon with his mom and stepfather. After high school Clay drifted about from some more S. Cal. sailing, to an Oregon horse ranch and then to Anacortes, WA and boat yard grunt work. In 1983 he rode a motorcycle to NYC, continued to sail, was a motorcycle messenger, worked at a museum, then returned to Oregon. In 1986 he enlisted in the Army and served as a frontline mechanic in Germany, a tank driver in the National Guard, and as Infantry in Ft. Lewis, WA. He then went to a one year boatbuilding school near Seattle and moved to St. Croix in the USVI to build large sailing catamarans. In 1993 he moved to Coos Bay, OR and obtained an AA liberal arts transfer degree from a local Coastal College. Next he moved to the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and did some charter boat skippering before helping the Carib Indians on the island of Dominica build and sail a large dugout canoe along the windward island chain to the Orinoco River and into Venezuela and Guyana. Around 2001 Clay moved to the San Francisco Bay area, and for the next decade worked and lived in the Sausalito area and near Boston, MA as a sailing captain, shipwright, and carpenter. Over the last year he purchased an Albin Ballad sloop in Marblehead, MA. , fixed it up, and is now sailing south toward the USVI…
Travis Fraser, Crew (left): From the humble fishing village of Port Orford, OR he has spent all his life in the fecundity of Western Oregon until the summer of 2013 when an ancient and inexorable wanderlust filled his heart. A child of the forest, he has taken pride in honing wilderness survival skills from a young age, but is determined to take up the noble tradition of sailing so prized by his Portuguese ancestors. Leaving his beloved forests and farms, he headed to the East Coast to become a crew member of Sedna, looking to lose and find himself on the ocean. A romantic sensibility drives him to adventure to the Caribbean and beyond.
Natasha Steinmann, Crew (center): Hailing originally from Boulder, CO she has spent the past 4 years in Oregon studying, this most recent summer leading teenagers doing trail work in the Idaho wilderness, and the past few weeks exploring New England. She has taught outdoor education, traveled and backpacked in many mountain wildernesses, but is keen to challenge herself with something new. So here she is to crew on Sedna! With a rich family history in sailing (especially on her Australian side), and a childhood filled with memories on tiny a Sunfish heeling across Lac LaBelle, WI, she is totally stoked to be here, learning constantly and embarking on a grand adventure! It’s going to be a wild ride.
About the boat, Sedna: She’s an Albin Ballad sloop, a popular Swedish design that’s known for it’s ability to stand up to rough conditions. Many Ballads have circumnavigated. This Boat was purchased last November and the interior was completely removed for a restoration. Captain and Boatbuilder Clay re-powered it with a Yanmar diesel, epoxy coated the bilge, painted the interior, stripped and varnished the woodwork, changed the cutlass bearing, and installed a new prop.
She’s named after the rogue planet, Sedna, who was discovered in November 2003 and caught Clay’s attention as something outrageously cool and unusual. Later, when looking up the name, he found that the name originally was attributed with the Inuit Goddess of the Sea and Marine Creatures. The name seemed to fit, and so it stuck. Greetings from Sedna, Goddess of the Sea!