“Having double-handed under Marc’s captaincy 2,700 miles across the Pacific Ocean from the Cook Islands to Hawaii, I know him to be an excellent sailor and navigator, an expert shipwright, a wonderful cook, and a great companion. He genuinely enjoys being at sea, and is unfazed by the inevitable breakages and stresses of blue water sailing, while being delighted by its joys.”

Peter Wilson


“The Blue Water Foundation was founded and continues to be an all volunteer, nonprofit corporation dedicated to bringing the joy of sailing to San Francisco Bay Area inner- city and at risk youth.

Marc brought his tremendous energy and drive to BWF programs.  Since 2010, he has assumed the role of director and captain of the Middle School Sailing Club—introducing sailing to 5th graders from Sherman and Marina Middle Schools in addition to Claire Lilienthal Elementary, on Golden Bear a 46ft racing sloop.

Marc is also a captain for our Ocean Gate program—introducing sailing to teens from  the Alameda County Probation Program on board  Aleta another 46ft racing sloop.

The Blue Water Foundation is richer for Marc’s dedication and enthusiasm as he shares his love of sailing with the Bay Area youth.

Marc is one of our most capable and reliable captains, an inspiration to both our volunteers, our experienced sailors and the children he takes sailing.”

Lee D. Stimmel, Esq.


“Thank you so much for the gift of sailing that you gave Ken and I. It opened up a whole new world to us both.”

Lori Davidson Embrey


“In 2007, I planned my first long ocean trip in my own boat and looked for a person with extensive voyaging experience to help me.  Fortunately, Marc was available.

Marc accompanied me and a friend on my 36 foot sailboat, “Water Spirit,” on a five-day voyage from San Francisco to San Diego in the fall of 2007.  He then continued to crew on my boat with my wife and myself during the 2007 “Baja Ha-Ha” from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with the final stop being La Paz, Mexico.  This part of the trip took about 11 days.

Marc proved to be an exceptional crew member and a great companion.  He was very knowledgeable in all aspects of seamanship, navigation, sail management, boat handling, safety, and marine systems.  He was quick to respond to changes in weather conditions and never hesitated to go on deck to change sails or make adjustments.  He was an excellent watch keeper and helmsman, and always maintained an alert and positive attitude.  His seasoned judgement and skills helped us feel safe during all parts of the extended trip from San Francisco to La Paz, which included some challenging weather conditions.

I would not hesitate to sail with him again.”

Richard Mogford, PhD

“Captain Gounard is an exceptional sailor, seaman and skipper.  His skills as a delivery captain involve not just sailing an unfamiliar boat across oceans; he also is able to train and coordinate volunteer crew in how to stand a diligent watch at sea.  He has a calm and confident demeanor, which comes from 10’s of thousands of miles sailing the world with client’s boats, but also with his wife and family onboard.”

Rick Waltonsmith