Sailing schools Victoria, British Columbia
I am thinking of taking the 6 day cruise and learn ISPA level 1 and 2 from Island Cruising in Sydney, B.C. Anyone have a review of this outfit or another recommendation?
I don't know very much about Island Cruising, so no comment there.
As for alternatives, Cooper Boating Centre also has a Sidney base. They are probably the biggest sailing school in BC. My wife did the Basic Cruising course with them there last Spring, and was really pleased.
Out of curiosity, are you just doing ISPA? If so, why. While things may have changed, I understood that a lot of the charter companies wouldn't recognize it.
I am teach both ISPA and CYA courses and am on the board of ISPA. I also teach for Island Cruising, Nanaimo Yacht Charters and Desolation Sound. I have also done skippered charters / lessons for Blue Pacific.
I have never had a charter company indicate that they would not recognize an ISPA course. In BC most charter companies offer ISPA courses. Aside from Island Cruising, ISPA courses are offered Nanaimo Yacht Charters, Blue Pacific, Cooper Boating and Desolation Sound.
ISPA certified students have chartered all over the world with virtually every charter company.
Thanks for your replies. I am registered for a 6 day course this fall with Island Cruising. As for the "designations", what I have heard confirms jackdale's note that both CYA and ISPA are both recognized by most charter companies, both in Canada and abroad. For me the goal is the experience and quality of instructiuon, no matter where it comes from. I don't anticipate any problems chartering down the road. On a similar topic I've start a new thread regarding racing schools. Perhaps you can comment on those as well.
This discussion about CYA / ISPA / ASA, etc.. is much like discussions about NAUI and PADI in the dive world. It is the quality of the instruction / instructor that matters.
A good instructor will give the benefit of their experience. I often tell prospective instructors that they need to have messed up a whole lot to to be able to teach well. As Bill Gates once said, "success teaches nothing." I guess the corollary of that is that failure points you in new directions.
I have never been asked for a logbook by any charter company. I have been asked for a resume. That indicates that experience matters more than certifications. As an instructor who often does more advanced courses I would support that view, as I get too many students who, while they have the paper qualifications, lack that helm time that gives that a "feel" for the boat.
Have a good course. The Gulf Islands is a great place to learn to sail.
I am heading for the coast on Wednesday for a Coastal Skipper course to Port Hardy, followed by a Yachtmaster Offshore course from Hardy back to Sidney via Hot Springs Cove and Barkley Sound.
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