Who the Hell is Skipper Jenn?

Skipper Jenn is a human being, artist, coach, therapist, writer, friend, mermaid, student of life and lover of all shine and sparkle. 



This blog started out just for friends and family, as well as anyone curious about some weird middle-aged woman’s journey of sailing and owning her first keel boat, a 1976 Ranger 29 named Poop Deck. I am a middle-aged, middle-class, bi-sexual, white cis-woman who lives in the US in Washington state, which was taken from the many Coast Salish tribes of this beautiful region of the world. 

Surprisingly, this little blog has grown to include an international readership, publishing and leadership opportunities listed in full on my sailing CV. I was happy to be the Editor-in-Chief of the Women Who Sail Newsletter in their first 7 issues, amplifying women’s voices to create a more equitable world. I have published with the American Sailing Association and 48 North, facilitated a national presentation with US Sailing, and given workshops with many yacht clubs, including the Southern California Yachting Association on topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, ability, and belonging (DEIAB). Lastly, I have recently been designated the Land Acknowledgement Committee chair for the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories.  

Hopefully my writing will make you laugh, provide inspiration and help, and give something to live through vicariously or in tandem. An intention is to weave the social and emotional aspects of sailing and being human into the technical and practical parts, all with some humor and magic. I aspire to create a platform to voice women’s issues in sailing to promote a more safe and inclusive sport, incorporating intersectional feminism and mental health issues into most posts. Other posts simply explore the ridiculousness of life and being human with joy and silliness. 

Please note that I do unapologetically and profusely swear throughout my blog because that is my authentic voice. Also note, while sailing is the vehicle for my writing, the content applies to most aspects of life and can be enjoyable and informative for non-sailors. This is  a blog for everyone. 

May you be free, happy and have joy!


I’m a salty sassy nerdy woman who loves to learn, create and drop the f-bomb.

I have worked in the mental health field and been involved with training, consulting, meditation and mindfulness for over 15 years. I graduated from Naropa University in 2010 with a masters in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy. I have had a thriving private practice for 8 years, helping kids, teens and adults with all kinds of life issues. My specialty is in anxiety and trauma. In 2020, I expanded my experience and knowledge into the realm of corporate coaching to help support organizations in cultivating wellbeing through community care and DEIAB. 

As for being a skipper, I grew up in the 80’s sailing in the man-made reservoirs of Kansas on small lasers and then larger keel boats in high winds and hot sun. In my twenties I completely refurbished a Snipe and sailed in Fern Ridge, OR. It was around this time in 1996 I chartered a boat through a Navigation class in the San Juan Islands. It was then that a seed was planted and a dream started to fester. I wanted to cruise. I felt at home on the water in the Pacific Northwest with its abundant evergreen coming down to the water’s edge. However, life went through it’s unpredictable ups and downs and I wasn’t on the water again until 2016, when I found myself in Seattle taking ASA classes through the Seattle Sailing Club. In November 2017 I bought Poop Deck, my beloved 1976 Ranger 29 and started the journey of restoring her and sailing her. That journey continues.

To contact me, email: skipperjennharkness@gmail.com

May we all sail in peace