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  #1  
Old 05-10-2006
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ASA Bareboat Certification

Just a quick report-- my wife and I achieved our ASA Bareboat certification last weekend from www.sanjuansailing.com in Bellingham, Washington. We had a great time.

It was a two-day course that involved a cruise from Bellingham Bay to Sucia Island in the San Juans. We used a 2004 Catalina 350. In addition to us, there was one other student and our instructor (who grew up sailing in the San Juans).

The confidence of our instructor was really evident when the weather became rough. We overpowered the boat right off the bat and had to reef as the rain came down. Then things cleared and the rest of the trip to Sucia was perfectly manageable even if overcast and cool. We took a narrow channel into Echo Bay, and then practiced anchoring, maneuvering, and picking up mooring bouys. That night, we studied for the test and practiced chart skills.

The next morning, there was a strong blow coming into the day, with 3 foot chop. The boat was bucking at the mooring, and the thought of taking the hour-long written test below decks was not comforting. We motored into a more protected part of the bay and anchored, but still my wife and I were getting green halfway through the test and moved up and down between cabin and cockpit as we completed the pages. We both passed without much problem, but I wasn't in best form for the rest of the day.

Sailing back to Bellingham, we had some fairly heavy conditions (for us, at least). There were strong gusts, four foot swells, and we used only a reefed foresail. Still, we buried the rail more than once, rolling to 25 degrees or more. It was pretty exciting, and my wife did a great job at the wheel and the winches (which were under major strain and a bit touchy when releasing).

We had enough wind to sail all the way back down Hale Passage, which I understand is somewhat rare, and we used the GPS/chart plotter to get the maximum distance out of our tacks. We lunched at Inati Bay (well, at least I ate some trail mix and sipped water). Then we sailed the rest of the way back to the Bellingham marina. There, we did slip practice. We used the engine very little during the entire trip-- pretty cool.

So, a wonderful experience, and we're looking forward to our week-long charter of an Islander 28 in the San Juans this summer (last week of July). This weekend we plan to do an overnight trip on our C&C 27 with our kids on the Columbia River (if I can get out to shock the water tank this week).

I've posted some pictures from our Bareboat course here:

http://photos.sailingvoyage.com/v/ASABareboatCertification/


Jim H





Last edited by Jim H; 05-10-2006 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 05-10-2006
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Congratulations, Jim! When a husband and wife take that kind of course together, and both pass and both are still married when it is done, that's a good sign of things to come!
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Old 05-10-2006
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Sounds like your are ready to rock and roll

Congrats!! You are on the right track.
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Old 05-11-2006
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Advanced Coastal Cruising and Navigation

Thanks for the comments-- we are looking forward to what's to come.

Next year or the following (after we charter for two or more weeks, and cruise the river on our C&C 27), we both plan to return for the week-long Advanced Coastal Cruising and Coastal Navigation courses (ASA 106 and 105). The series this year even offers a series of longer cruises that circumnavigate Vancouver Island.

We'd both like the additional ASA certifications, but it isn't cheap and we'd have to go one at a time (kid duty at home), but it's a good goal and maybe the best way to get some offshore experience.

Jim H
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Old 06-14-2006
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Jim, congrats on your course work. My wife and I are taking a 6 day Basic and Bareboat Cruising Certification out of Charleston, SC next month. I am very excited to get to go back. We did the Keel Boat Certification last year. With a friend, our family did a 7 day bareboat cruise in BVI on a 47 Cat! Needless to say we are now BROKE and RUINED! Next step is a boat of our own to bang around on the SE coast.!! Cheers!
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Old 06-15-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot11
With a friend, our family did a 7 day bareboat cruise in BVI on a 47 Cat! Needless to say we are now BROKE and RUINED! Next step is a boat of our own to bang around on the SE coast.!! Cheers!
I've been to the BVI, but not on a sailboat. I've heard it's just about the ultimate destination for a first charter if you want to become hooked. Have a great time on your 6 day cruise-n-learn, but beware that "BROKE and RUINED" could become permanent.

Just yesterday in the office, my colleague noted that he was glad he didn't have a gambling problem. I saild "Yeah, I'm glad that I only have a little sailboat problem." At that, I was stared at like I had cancer...

Jim H
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Old 06-15-2006
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Jim, we are counting on staying BROKE and Ruined! Keep us posted of how you progress on your learning curve. We will do the same. Cheers, Pilot
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Old 06-16-2006
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LOL, being Broke and Ruined, but sailing is not all that bad a place to be.
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Old 06-16-2006
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Old 06-23-2006
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Jim,

My wife and I did our ASA's together. The instructor only had one rule which I totally agreed with. At no time was I to tell my wife what to do. It was great because too often she depends on me when she knows exactly what needs to be done. Anyway we've been together for 33 years, but it wasn't sailing that was the test it was wallpapering. :-))

My question, in the post your wife seems to have a prety "cool" life jacket on. I don't think I have seen one quite like it. Is it a PFD and is it as "cool" and comfortable as it looks?

John
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