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post #21 of Old 12-18-2012
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Re: Best Beginners sailing grounds?

Without knowing more details from OP's objective, I would say Chesapeake Bay would be a good place to start for mere learning and practice sailing skills. Plenty of sailing at the bay and countless sailing clubs and with many good sailing school that meet various budget.

One characteristic that Chesapeake wins over other sailing areas in the States is its late afternoon summer storm. It is the best preparation if one thinking about going off shore in the future. The storm will come fast and be gone in 15 to 20 minutes. When you think your are going to die and a moment later, it is blue sky. When you driving home, you can review in your head what you had done right and what you need to prepare more. Think about how the boat reacted in the storm, think about the HS physics he learned about vector and moment acted on the CG, read more books, talk to other captains for their advices, and repeat this again until it becomes your second nature. I found this is the quickest way to learn to be self reliant, if this is what you are seeking.

At the beginning, make sure you have lot of sea room or bring on another sailor to help you in case you need help. Once everything hunker down properly, the sailboat will take care her own. I just stand on the companion way to enjoy the storm to pass.

This is not for everyone obviously, My wife hates it. But this is the best what Chesapeake has to offer to prepare the sailors before going to the big Pond. The problem in the Big Pond is that the storm lasts for days. It sucks when you don't know if you ever will see you family again.

As always, YMMV

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