August 2013

A Steady Course: Prevailing Winds for Pau Hana & Flying Circus

Author: Kitty Bartell

It is relatively easy to pick them out in a crowd. Honey-tanned weathered skin, the good kind of deep wrinkles that come from years of squinting into the wind and sun, knotted hands from holding tight to the sheets (those are ropes to the uninitiated), salt-stained boat shoes, and an amused twinkle in their eye. It’s as though they know something the rest of us have yet to learn; and that’s because they do. Sailors have found Shangri la, and if they are fortunate enough to take the tiller on a regular basis, or make their living hoisting a sail, there’s good reason for that twinkle.

Jeanne Zailckas and John Passaloukas have been making a life and a living sailing out of Palmetto Bay Marina for 25 years on their two stunning catamarans, Pau Hana and Flying Circus. Each bringing their talents and passion for sailing to their sailing charter business has made for a special kind of marriage. Jeanne’s path to the sea has seen several incarnations, including marketing, sales, and acting, while John’s journey began in his homeland of Greece.

“I have done all the marketing, reservations, and sales. Everything I’ve done in the past, combined with John’s phenomenal expertise both with engines and sailing knowledge has made it a good mix,” Zailckas said. “It’s been fun.”

Experiencing the Lowcountry from the deck of a sailboat is an entirely therapeutic adventure, and Pau Hana and Flying Circus never disappoint. The double-hulled design of these catamarans makes for a more stable sailing experience with less heeling, while still providing loads of fun. Pau Hana, at 53 feet long and 26 feet wide, sets sail with as many as 43 passengers and plays host to every imaginable event, from family outings to anniversaries, birthdays, bachelorette parties, neighborhood events, reunions, and even weddings. Guests are welcome to have their events catered or may bring their own food and drinks.

Flying Circus is a GT Stiletto racing catamaran, meaning she’s lighter and faster than Pau Hana, offering a sailing experience that’s a little closer to the water. “She covers a lot of area,” said Zailckas of this 30-foot, six-passenger boat.

Whether on Pau Hana or Flying Circus, learning a bit about the Lowcountry from an on-the-water perspective is a special part of the experience. From watching dolphins tail slapping to learning about the tides from a sailor’s viewpoint, “It’s wonderful to give people the experience of being out on the water, and giving them some knowledge about being there,” Zailckas said.

Zailckas and Passaloukas have had a special vantage point from the helms of Pau Hana and Flying Circus, watching kids grow up over the years when their families take their annual sailing excursions. “There have been so many memorable moments, and guests from all around the world,” Zailckas said. It could be that these sailors have a twinkle in their eye because of the sun or the sails or the prevailing winds, but it just may have a little something to do with all the memories made and one-of-a-kind days shared at sea.

For more information, please visit Pau Hana & Flying Circus Sailing Charters at hiltonheadislandsailing.com or call (843) 686-2582.

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