All female crew sailing around the world makes stop in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Maiden, a yacht powered by an all-female crew that is making its way around the world, pulled out of San Francisco this morning and is making its way to Los Angeles.

"We are sailing around the world and raising awareness that there are 130 million girls in the world that don't have access to education. We are working with charities to eradicate that," said Skipper Wendy Tuck.

One charity is Room to Read, an international education organization focused on eliminating illiteracy and gender inequality around the world.

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"When we were asked to be a part of Maiden, the answer was an easy yes. The alignment between our missions, the need to have more people all over the world understanding the issues that women and girls are facing to reach their full potential, is something Room to Read is committed to ensuring," said Room to Read CEO Geetha Murali.

She says the trip helps raise visibility. They also raise money by auctioning off legs of the trip and through donations and sponsors.

The all-female crew has faced risks on their trip around the world, which they started last November. But their message is to stay strong.

"Going through the Suez Canal in the Red Sea in Sri Lanka was challenging... one because it is a high pirate risk area so we had to take four armed security guards with us," said crew member Belle Henry.

But mostly it has been a peaceful trip.

"We sleep a lot, read a lot, chill out a lot, lay out on the deck, look at the stars. So there's lots of down time to look at the scenery," said Tuck.

Maiden first went around the world 30 years ago. An all-female crew led by a woman named Tracey Edwards entered a race around the world. An all-female team in the race was a first.

"So she decided to break down barriers and do that. She got so much bad press - 'you are going to die' 'you can't do it' 'you will sink', all that sort of crazy stuff was being said," said Tuck.

She got second overall.

This team is expecting to arrive in LA on Sunday. Then they will head to Chile. But they will carry with them fond memories of their stop in San Francisco.

"I was walking down the street thinking if I could live in any city, this would be it and I am not a big city person. So far, this has been my favorite city," said Henry.
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