Re: US Sailing vs. ASA courses, vs. just get out there
If it were me, I would probably just take the local basic courses first before taking either the ASA or USSA. These will at least allow you to meet some local sailors.
I took a few of the ASA courses with my wife, who had never really sailed before, and it was a fun experience. I sailed a lot as a kid and up through my twenties, now 47. I was away from sailing for about 10 years or so before my wife was interested so I got back into sailing. For me, it was kinda like riding a bike, you don't really forget, you just got to clean off the rust before you remember everything. Besides if you can sail the small boats you can sail the big boats, docking in a slip with wind, current, and million dollar yachts everywhere is another issue.