Hey thanks guys-- really helpful. So my takeaway from this is that the online course/6 pack etc is not what I need/want. I didn't realize that's really for people who want to commercially skipper/charter. I basically just want to officially "learn" the stuff that I've always just known from growing up cruising with the family etc. now that I've got a family of my own I want to be the safest most responsible sailor I can be and have my wife do the same. So I think those courses are probably overkill and perhaps i'll check out the CG auxiliary and ASA stuff since all I really want to do is learn- not get any kind of official ticket etc.
We keep the boat where I grew up in Annapolis- but live about 1:45h (ok so it's exactly 1:52h door to dock!) outside Philadelphia. So online is an attractive option given the travel issue.
thanks again for your input.
(Ches sailors- keep an eye out for "BAILA" C42!! Still have a sea trial/survey to go but looking good...).
'88 Caliber 28