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Sailing Story: Jenna Dodge

a close up of a signJenna Dodge is a Montana native but her sailing story began along the coast of Mississippi when she was just a child.

“I don’t remember exactly my first time sailing because I’ve seen pictures of me younger sailing but I have clear memories as a teenager,” she recalled. 

On summer breaks and during the holidays, Jenna and her brother would spend time with her dad on sailboats in the South. 

“[I remember] a lot of sitting on the bow as we are going through the waves, that was always one of my favorite things,” she said. 

As Jenna got older, she still enjoyed getting out on the water but never learned how to sail herself. It wasn’t until recently, in fact, that her interest to learn the ropes peaked. 

“I was just finding people on the internet, on Youtube and Instagram, who were sailing and was reminded of how fun it is,” she said. “We were coming into summer and I thought, ‘I know there is sailing at Flathead Lake!’”

Jenna signed up for ASA courses with Go Sail Flathead Lake with her brother.  

“I just had a lot of fun. It was really neat to be the one actually sailing the boat and adjusting the sails and all those things I never did as a teenager,” she said. “It was really cool to feel empowered.”

After the course wrapped up, Jenna was excited to share her new skills. On Labor Day weekend she took her own family sailing.

“I retained what I learned and I have the ability to charter a boat on Flathead. I feel confident with my skills for the lake,” she said. 

Just as her love for sailing grew as she sailed with her dad as a kid, she hopes her children develop a love of the sport from sailing with her. 

“I have so many good memories. The trips we took were very memorable and I would like to replicate that,” she said.  

Another goal Jenna has is to show her new skills to her dad next time she visits him in Florida. 

“I think he’s happy that one of his hobbies is passed on. We are hoping maybe— hopefully in the winter time— to get out and go sailing on the ocean together,” she said. “I think he’d sit back and let me take the lead. He’s really good at letting people learn by doing.”

However, Jenna also has sailing goals beyond getting out with her family. 

“I definitely want to take more of the ASA courses. I’d like to learn the skills to go on the ocean, to go cruising— for a short period of time at first,” she said.