Apprenticeshop grad receives national award

Mar 07, 2019
Photo by: CCA/Dan Nerney Bill Cook, left, chair of the CCA’s Awards Committee, and Commodore Brad Willauer, right, flank the Halabisky family during the award presentation held in New York.

New York — The Cruising Club of America has presented Bruce Halabisky and Tiffany Loney with its prestigious Blue Water Medal for their 11-year circumnavigation in Vixen, a 1952 John Atkin designed wood gaff-rigged cutter, with their two daughters, born during the cruise, as crew. The CCA established this award in 1923 to reward “meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by amateur sailors of all nationalities that might otherwise go unrecognized.”

Halabisky was born in Seattle and grew up in Tacoma, Wash., where his parents still reside. He learned to sail on Commencement Bay, first with a Sailfish and then a windsurfer. While attending Western Washington University in Bellingham, he raced dinghies all four years, before graduating with a liberal arts degree in 1994. His post-grad studies took place in Rockland at the Apprenticeshop, a school for traditional wooden boatbuilding.

Loney, born in Fort Saint John, British Columbia, grew up in Victoria, BC. She learned to sail on her father's 36-foot Jay Benford-designed wooden boat, which is quite similar to Vixen, the boat with which the couple circumnavigated the globe. She studied dance at the University of Missouri Kansas City , graduating with a bachelor's of fine arts in 1996. From 1975, Loney spent most summers on Orcas Island at a family cabin, making her home there after college to teach dance and yoga.

After meeting, the couple moved to Victoria, BC and lived on Vixen for two years before leaving for Hawaii in 2004. Victoria is officially Vixen's home port.

Following 11 years at sea, they now make their home on Orcas Island with daughters Solianna and Seffa.

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