Ellen Van London
Bio to be submitted.
My passion for sailing is a relatively new adventure for me. Along with my wife Anne, we started sailing together in 2016 on several fun-filled Hobie Cat adventures. Both of us are avid divers and enjoy the fun and beauty of water sports. After a couple of day trips on larger sail boats, we were hooked. We acquired our first sail boat the same year and christened her “Wind Dancer”, and our Sea Ray motor boat had to go. The name is significant because I develop projects turning wind into electricity, through large scale wind farms. My latest project also includes energy storage. Anne enjoys dancing and we both love trips to the US, British, and Caribbean Island, and continue to earn ASA certificates. Our first bare boat charter was in the US and BVI in June 2017. It was the best, and won’t be our last. We are enjoying spending time with, and meeting new Waterford friends. I still like both 2 and 4 wheeled motorsports, card playing, and guitar jamming with anyone willing to strike up a chord.
Simone has always had a love of the water, spending most of her first 50 years living near Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. She sailed some in the lake but mostly enjoyed water skiing and eating at the array of waterfront restaurants. She met her husband, Michael, at Tulane where they both studied engineering, partied hard and shared a love of the lake, the area bayous, and boating. Their children had no choice but to spend time boating but before they were allowed to take the ski boat out with friends they had to sit through a weekend-full of Coast Guard classes; they have never forgiven their parents for this!
After a change of careers into nursing (really just engineering of the body) Simone and Michael relocated to Houston where they eventually found themselves without a boat for the first time in their marriage. Their plan was to buy a sailboat but after a weekend of sailing lessons in Clear Lake found themselves gravitating to power boating again. Last year they joined the WYC with their boat, Navarre Pearl, and have enjoyed getting to know all of their new comrades on Pier 9. Simone is looking forward to organizing activities with the WYC.
I grew up in Los Angeles and always wanted to be near the water. My husband and I moved our young family to Houston in the early 80’s, and in 2013 were ready for boat ownership. We bought the De Bonte Koe and have had lots of wonderful times out in the Galveston Bay and at the dock. I earned my accounting degree while the children were growing up and have been an accountant/analyst in the oil and gas industry for more than 25 years. I enjoy assisting with WYC’s many social activities and doing whatever it takes to keep the WYC fun. It has been my pleasure to serve as the Treasurer of WYC for the past two years.
John is from New Orleans, La. and learned to sail and race Flying Scotts and Lasers on Lake Pontchartrain with Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans. His father was an avid sailor and raced Luder 16s as well as in races to Cuba. Graduate studies and employment opportunities brought John to Texas. John enjoyed two bare boat trips to the Bahamas with his wife’s family during which he visited the Abacos and Eleuthera. After a long hiatus from sailing due to work and family, John and his wife Sarah purchased their current sailboat, a Rival 38A named the Pathfinder, in 2012. The boat required a complete overhaul including a new engine and electrical system. John and Sarah sail Pathfinder on weekends whenever tide, weather and their own schedules permit. His long-term goal is to take the boat on long cruises. He joined the Waterford Yacht Club in 2017 after moving the Pathfinder from Watergate to Waterford.
Sarah’s first sailing experience was as a six-week-old infant on her parent’s 14-foot wooden sailboat in San Francisco Bay. Having survived her infancy and a return to Louisiana, she continued to sail on Vermillion Bay with her family. As the daughter of a die -hard sailor, every weekend, vacation, and holiday was spent on a sailboat. She grew up sailing everything from a 14 ft Dolphin to a Trimaran on the Bay and in regattas hosted by the local Yacht Club. Summers were spent bare boating anywhere that captured her father’s interest. After college and marriage, Sarah moved with husband John to Dallas and learned just how much she missed living near the coast. John’s job at UTMB led to a move to League City with their two children and water was finally within sight. Sarah and John returned to sailing in 2012 when they purchased a 38 ft sailboat, the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder is a Rival 38A with an interesting history of circumnavigating the globe multiple times under different captains. We began refurbishing the Pathfinder as soon as we purchased her and hope to enjoy the cruising lifestyle in the future. In addition to weekend sailing, Sarah is a microbiologist who now works as a consultant in the health care industry.
I’ve been near the ocean and on pleasure boats since childhood in Los Angeles. There I learned basic seamanship, topside maintenance, and pram sailing. While finishing college my young bride, Vickie, and I honeymooned on board the family twin diesel motor yacht for five months. Fast forward to 2013, past a move to Houston, various energy industry analytic jobs, two sons, and five grandsons, Vickie and I are back on the water in a 38′ Beneteau Oceanis. We enjoy weekend sailing with our extended family, activities with the busy and growing Waterford Yacht Club, and all our boat buddies on Pier 11. As a member of WYC Board of Directors, I’m pleased to assist club members with any and all activities as needed to help make the WYC your preferred yacht club.
I’ve always enjoyed being around the water, from pirogues in the bayous near New Orleans where I grew up, to ski boats including the one I converted into a fish pond when it was no longer seaworthy.
My wife Simone and I relocated to the Houston area when my engineering job with the offshore oil industry brought us here in 2003. We gave up our plan for waterfront living in Navarre, FL, so now our new “waterfront living” is onboard our motorboat Navarre Pearl. We thoroughly enjoyed our recent boating trip through the Intracoastal Waterway back to New Orleans.
Even though my first adventure with a sailboat (long ago) involved a rescue from the surf at a popular swimming beach in Florida, when I thought my friend knew how to sail and he thought I knew how to, I still envision doing a barefoot sail in the Caribbean one day.
I’m glad to help-out other Waterford Yacht Club members in any way that I can.
Michelle grew up in the city of Chicago but started her love for the water at an early age spending weekends on powerboats on the lakes of Wisconsin. Married in 2003 to husband John Judas they travel as much as possible and especially love trips to the Caribbean. They began their sailing adventures on Lake Michigan in 2012 with a 101 class aboard a J/22 all the while dreaming of one day escaping the long and cold winters of the Windy City.
The winter of 2013 brought her and John to Texas via a job opportunity and they soon after bought their first boat, S/V Sea your Future. When not out on Galveston Bay sailing with John, she is usually found in the kitchen cooking up a storm or working to plan her next vacation destination.
Mike grew up in Southwest Missouri and relocated to Houston in 1989 finishing his college education at The University of Houston. Working his way through school in a small wine shop, he has now spent the last 31 years in the wine and spirits industry.
Mike’s passion for sailing began in the early 90’s when he purchased his first Laser and began racing in local area regattas. After joining Waterford Yacht Club in 2001 he began acquiring ASA certifications to become a more competent sailor. With those certifications and the learnings of fellow WYC members, he and his wife, Tina, finally felt confident enough to bareboat in 2004. Since then, they have both vacationed between the The Abacos, British Virgin Islands, and United States Virgin Islands consecutively for the last 14 years. Along the way, they have introduced many people, young and “seasoned” to the joys of sailing. One of Mike’s greatest pleasures is seeing his friend’s children gain respect of the water and have the confidence to take the helm. On most weekends throughout the year you’ll see Mike, Tina, and friends sailing Galveston Bay in their 35’ Beneteau Oceanis “Cocamane”.
In addition for his love of Tina, wine, and sailing, Mike is also an avid runner. He has run over 50 marathons across the United States and is considered a Legacy runner in Houston completing 16 Houston marathons.