Welcome Aboard, Lead Captain Kym Ketcham!
Healing Winds is so pleased to announce that Captain Kym Ketcham has joined our growing staff as Lead Captain. Last year, Kym was one of our most dedicated captains, taking more than 100 guests out on therapeutic, uplifting sailing excursions. Kym brings a wealth of experience and a passion for showing cancer patients a good time out on his beloved Lake Champlain.
Sailing is a way of life for Captain Ketcham. Well over fifty years ago on horribly hot summer days, Kym would hop on his bike, and, with the 400-acre family farm and its hay baler receding behind him, head toward his grandparent’s lake house ten miles away. His grandparents lived right on the lake and had something that Kym loved almost as much as he loved the lake: A sunfish sailboat. Every chance he got, he’d sneak away to his beloved lake. He taught himself to sail and has been sailing ever since.
Captain Ketcham is no day sailor. He received his USCG Captain’s license in the early ’90s and has sailed in Tahiti and all over the Caribbean. “It’s my great fortune to have sailed many romantic island destinations,” he says, “I’ve faced and navigated nearly every sailing scenario out there, and my priority is simple: Fun and Safety.” For six years he lived a life most of us only dream about – living on his boat, sailing up and down the Eastern Seaboard in a yearly ritual: Summers in Vermont, winters in West Palm Beach.
After decades of sailing, Kym sold his sailboat and came home to help take care of the family farm in Hinesburg. “I’d heard about this wonderful nonprofit that has been around for six years, who takes people with cancer out on the lake,” he said, “And I know from experience because cancer has touched my family with my father and brother both being survivors, that being out on the lake with the sun, wind, and waves is so uplifting and healthy. I wanted to help people with cancer go out and enjoy that, so this opportunity is very special to me.”
A favorite captain of our guests, Kym has a reputation for being a blast to be with. Guest Greg L. said, “Thank you Healing Winds! Kym was extraordinary. Best day of the summer! A few more days like this one, and “cure” would be the word of the day!”
Captain Ketcham is eager to begin taking guests out on Gypsy Wind, a vessel donated to Healing Winds in 2017. Crew training has already begun!
Up next: An interview with Captain Ketcham, answering all your questions!
Please email all questions to [email protected]