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Old 07-31-2011
HWD HWD is offline
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Hello. New to the Forum and new to sailing. In fact, still in the dreaming stage. Recently been introduced to sailing fanatics over the last 5 years on the southern coast of Spain where I have a vehicle and loads of photography gear stored. Have taken some overnight trips on big boats and some on smaller motorized boats and never got seasick while others did get sick. I do get sick on helicopters. I say that because I presently work in Iraq on US military bases. That job is about to end and another job is about to start in Europe where I will be assigned to US bases in Europe with weeks of time off in between assignments. I love photographing boats and harbors along with the beautiful White Hill towns of Southern Spain.
I listen with fascination to all the places my friends have sailed to (they are blue water men with ocean passage experience) and until recently I have insisted that I am too old to learn what appears to me to be a young man's game. The first step for me will be to take some "professional" sailing lessons. My friends in Spain have offered to teach me stuff but they seem unaware of "professional" lessons and schools that teach sailing. So my first question to the forum is feedback/advice about sailing lessons. On the south coast of Spain there is a school that offers 3 day and also 1 week courses. The one week course is only 400 euros. What should I look for in theses courses? I have time off in October and next January where I can take at least 7-10 days during each of these periods to focus on sailing lessons. Eventually I would like to 'coastal cruise' to places like Italy and Croatia from Spain. If I became skilled/competant or seaworthy enough I would like to be able to sail to the British Isles and Norway for photographic purposes. I will be going solo, or "singlehanded" I think is the correct term. With those goals in mind any feedback on this first step would be appreciated.
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Old 07-31-2011
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Welcome to Sailnet!

If I remember correctly, Europe requires boaters to have a RYA International Certificate of Competence for inland and coastal waters. You might check to see if any sailing school that you attend offers testing for it at the end of the course, or if not, you'll have to find out how to obtain one.

Good luck!
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