Staff Biographies

 Call 866.944.SAIL or 310.823.5545 for more information.
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Kathleen D. Reilly
Peter W. Damisch
Instructors / Skippers / Captains

Kathleen D. Reilly, Owner


Kathleen Reilly is the Owner of Bluewater Sailing, a division of Compass Rose, Inc.  Bluewater was estabished in 1978.  Kathleen is a certified bareboat charter captain who has been sailing for over 30 years.  She has traveled through beautiful oceans and exotic locations ranging from the tranquil waters of the Tahitian islands to the sun sparkled lands of the Caribbean as well as the storm tossed waters of the Gulf of Mexico and quiet backwaters of Chesapeake Bay. She is always striving to ensure that our friends have access to the highest quality of sail and power education along with top quality boats for charters and rentals.

In addition to offering Safety!  Fun!! and Learn!!! with Bluewater Sailing, she has also served as a School Principal and Regional Supervisor for over 30 years, with heavy involvement in the development of improved methods of teaching and instruction.

Kathleen has a B.A. in English from Marian College ( Indianapolis) , a M.S. in Learning Disabilities from Butler University ( Indianapolis ) and an MBA from Santa Clara University ( Santa Clara, CA ).

Kathleen would be happy to answer questions about Bluewater Sailing at  310-823-5545 (Office) or 310-823-5728 (Fax), or

Captain Peter W. Damisch, Managing Director

USCG Licensed Master, ASA Instructor, IYT Examiner, USNA

Contrary to popular myth, Peter was not born a Son of a Gun with seawater in his veins, nor was he rocked in the cradle of the deep. He began to develop a life-long love of the sea while graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Peter has more than 39 years of sailing experience, serving as a U.S. Navy Captain, and holding an active Coast Guard Master Captain's License with Power, Steam, Sail, Towing and STCW endorsements. After more than 4,400 days at sea and a few equator crossings, he was on the right track to becoming Managing Director of Bluewater Sailing, which was founded in 1978.

Over the past 39 years, Peter has accumulated nearly 750,000 kilometers ( roughly 19 times around the world ) of sailing in oceans and seas around the world on board a wide range of vessels, from sailboards, sloops, schooners, and a 152' square rigged bark, to cruisers and aircraft carriers. He is a certified American Sailing Association (ASA) Instructor, as well as one of the very few nationwide ASA Instructor Evaluators (IE) certified to teach both students and instructors at all levels. In addition, he is the first ASA IE and International Yacht Training (IYT) examiner in the World.

Peter started sailing and received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy, followed by a MS(e) in Nuclear Engineering from the Navy's Nuclear Power School. He later obtained professional certification as a Chief Engineer of Nuclear Ships. Peter also obtained an MBA from Northwestern University where he graduated #1 in his class, majoring in Finance, International Business and Strategic Policy Planning.

Following active duty service with the U.S. Navy, Peter completed graduate work in celestial navigation, serving as a Congressional Aide and directing the largest division in the Atlantic Fleet. Peter continued to sail while managing several complex operations in different geographic locations for the FMC Corporation; concurrently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of several technically complex public corporations listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Within the community, Peter is a retired U.S. Navy Captain with 6 prior, senior assignments as Commanding Officer or Executive Officer of several Naval Reserve Units across the country.  In his final leadership position he served as Director, Joint Reserve Unit, Western Region with responsibility for all Air Force, Army and Navy Reserve DIA personnel West of the Mississippi.  His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal(s).

After coming to his senses, Peter began to teach sailing and navigation on a full-time basis for many years prior to consulting on the purchase of Bluewater Sailing in late 1998.

Within the entertainment industry, Peter has represented Bluewater in many films, model shoots and television programs, including NBC's Today Show, BBC, CBS, MTV, Discovery Channel, E! Entertainment, HBO, TLC, Univision, USA Network and Warner Brothers.  There have also been feature articles in the New York Times, Santa Monica Observer, South Bay Daily Breeze and Shipmate Magazine.

Across the world, Peter has visited all 7 continents and more than 55 countries as well as crossing Cape Horn 9 times and the Cape of Good Hope twice by sea.  He is a recognized expert on the history of Antarctica, having traveled extensively in Antarctica over many years and is in the process of writing a comprehensive 3,000 page book covering the Antarctic regions.  Peter also spends several months each year in the Antarctic serving with a series of international expedition teams. 

He would be happy to answer questions about Bluewater Sailing at 310-823-5545 (office) or 310-823-5728 (fax), or  or .

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Instructors, Skippers, Captains and Staff

Bluewater Sailing maintains the highest quality standards for its friendly staff. Our experienced and professional staff average more than 20 years experience on the water, who enjoy helping people from around the world polish their boating and navigational skills, and assisting our friends with their charter needs.

A Wide Range of Long Term, Experienced Skippers
Our professional skippers average more than 20 years experience on the water, sailing under many different conditions around the world. Despite extensive backgrounds, each of our highly motivated instructors receive a great deal of additional training to ensure that they continue to meet the highest professional standards. Our instructional materials and lesson plans are continuously reviewed to ensure they provide the most up to date and clear standards of high quality sail and power education while maintaining Bluewater Sailing's goal of:



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