Thanks to all for your comments--I am really looking forward to getting out on the water soon.
Just a quick follow-up question, regarding certifications:
I've read the posts discussing the ASA vs. US Sailing certifications--but building on the comment above from FarCry, I would tend to agree that skills/knowledge speak louder than the name on the top of your certificate.
Based on that, I've decided to sign up for a course based on the ICSO certification (since my intention is bareboat cruising, international waters, etc.)--the question is, what is the general consensus on ICSO training, and will I regret not getting an ASA or US Sailing certification instead?
I figure if I want to start racing, that I could always get a follow-up certification (if needed).
I searched the forum--there doesn't seem to be much discussion on ICSO certifications.