Do you know anything about sailing?
We get this question a lot. Admittedly, we’re novices at the whole sailing thing. We’ve spent some time sailing in the Florida Keys and received some excellent instruction from a licensed captain and his mate – our good friends Jim and Sharon. We’ve read every sailing and navigation book we can find, watched all the instructional videos and attended years of seminars at various sailing shows. However, we’ve got a lot more learning to do. We’ll soon both be receiving some American Sailing Association (ASA) instruction, and John will take the full battery of certification courses through ASA 106 (Advanced Coastal Cruising).
Let’s be clear about one thing, we’re not sailboat racers! You know, the type where Jane is hiked out over the side of the boat straining to keep us from capsizing, while we violently crash through towering waves, and as I scream from the helm, “more sail, dammit, more sail!”. We’re not the offshore, blue water, “hold onto your butt” type. We’re coastal cruisers, the slow-paced, a little bit at a time type. We’ll slowly and methodically make our way, on constant lookout to avoid challenging Mother Nature’s weather wrath. We know she’ll always win that battle.
The way we look at it is that millions of people have successfully learned how to sail, navigate from one point on the map to another, avoid bad weather and manage a big sailboat. We’re convinced that, in spite of our late entry into sailing and cruising, we can do it too!
We will undoubtedly bump into a few things along the way, and put some scratches in the gel coat, but we’ll stay within our capabilities and make arriving safely at the next port more important than arriving on time.
UPDATE: On March 11th, Jane and John completed grueling, four-day, on the water sailing instruction (see Sailing Lessons on Biscayne Bay) and were awarded ASA 101, 103 and 104 certifications. John will soon round out his training by completing ASA 105 and 106 (Advanced Coastal Navigation).