Supported by Ruth and Hope Atkinson

Supported in part by The Samuel D. Rusitzky Lecture Fund

The Sailors’ Series is an annual, legacy lecture series of the New Bedford Whaling Museum that presents a wide variety of experiences and adventures by individuals with lifelong commitments to sailing, boats, and the sea.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum has dedicated this year’s Sailors’ Series to Llewellyn Howland III. This year’s series is presented in partnership with the Cruising Club of America, New Bedford Yacht Club, Beverly Yacht Club, and Tabor Academy.

Top Banner Photo Credits: (first) Onne van der Wal, (second) Tabor Academy, (third) Onne van der Wal.

Rich Wilson

Vendee Globe Racing Solo Non-Stop Around the World

With Rich Wilson
6:00 pm Reception | 6:30 pm Presentation
Cook Memorial Theater

The Vendee Globe is certainly the toughest sailing race in the world. It requires three months of racing singlehanded, non-stop around the world in the world’s roughest oceans. Fewer than 150 sailors have ever finished the race. Rich Wilson has done it twice, most recently in 2017 at the age of 66.

With degrees from Harvard and MIT, along with varied successful careers, Wilson is a renowned sailor with an impressive list of world-records and other victories.

 A unique aspect of his racing is an interactive education program conducted while racing! The program reached two million school children around the world. “I had no interest whatsoever in just sailing the race. It’s too hard. It’s too dangerous,” he said. Wilson’s goal was to excite students by connecting them to a live ocean expedition. “Excite a kid with dolphins, flying fish, and gales at sea and they will pay attention. Then the science, geography, and math flow freely.”   

For more about Rich Wilson please visit

Tickets: Members $15 | Non-members $25


sailboat with iceberg in background

Yachting in Greenland

With Photographer Onne van der Wal
6:00 pm Reception | 6:30 pm Presentation
Cook Memorial Theater

Onne is one of the most prolific and talented marine photographers in the world of sailing. Throughout his adventures, has been to Greenland twice. Once in August 2018 to the Disko bay area of Western Greenland on a private, 90-foot sailboat as their expedition photographer and crew member. His second trip was in August 2019 on a steel, 65-foot ketch, which he chartered to take seven photographers to explore and photograph the beauty, this time of Eastern Greenland in the Similak Fjord /Kulusuk area.

Besides showing his beautiful images of Greenland, Onne gets in to the local customs, talks about the locals and tells his tells his tales in an interesting and light-hearted manner.

Onne is a well-known professional photographer based in Newport RI. Since 1987 he has been a Canon Explorer of Light. He is also a professional sailor who, amongst other accomplishments, was a crew member on Flyer, the winning Dutch entry in the 1981-82 Whitbread around the world race.

For more about Onne please visit

Tickets: Members $15 | Non-members $25



photograph by Onne van der Wal

May 12 
Sailing America

With Onne van der Wal
View the Virtual presentation on YouTube.
Nautical photographer Onne van der Wal took us on an adventure across America as he shared his award-winning photography from around the globe. This presentation was based on his recently released book Sailing America. For the better part of four decades, Onne van der Wal has been capturing iconic images of the sport of sailing. His career was launched on board Flyer, the winner of the 1981-’82 Whitbread Race. He crossed the starting line as a professional sailor, but he finished the race as a photographer, and he’s never looked back.
Buy your copy of Sailing America HERE.

Tabor student with Celestial Chip

February 27 
The Adventures and History of the Tabor Boy

With Captain James Geil
View the lecture on YouTube.
The first Sailors’ Series lecture of the season welcomed the captain and crew of the Tabor Boy. Captain James Geil and his Tabor Academy high school student crew aboard the 100-year-old schooner Tabor Boy headed south as part of the 645-mile Marion to Bermuda race…. and they won their class!  “Cap” and his student crew shared their training, the thrill of racing, and how they found Bermuda using only the celestial navigation learned at Tabor.