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  #31  
Old 05-20-2011
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Good luck Knotted. I will be very interested in hearing your opinion of Adventure Sailing, I'm thinking about taking the Intermediate Cruising with Coastal Navigation from them eventually. Would like to do it this summer but $1500 x 2 is a bit more than the budget can handle right now.
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  #32  
Old 05-27-2011
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Mike, I exchanged emails with several people who had taken the Adventure Sailing Basic Cruising course both in Midland and the Caribbean; all feedback was positive. I also had quite a few long exchanges with Frank, the instructor, and felt very positive about these, also. I'm convinced that 'live aboard' is the best way to go - intensive experience creates the quickest and most long lived learning!

I'll let you know how I fared, assuming it wasn't so badly as to be worth total silence!

Three weeks to go and the excitement mounts! Which reminds me, I've got to start getting (gear) ready.... don't want the boat to sail without me!

Quote:
"You start with an empty cup of experience and a full barrel of luck. The trick is to fill your cup before the barrel runs dry." - bljones
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  #33  
Old 06-25-2011
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Feedback - Adventure Sailing liveaboard Basic Cruise course

Woke up this morning and the world wasn’t swinging by outside the window… Bummer!

The Adventure Sailing course was great; no other way to describe it. I took a mixed Basic/Intermediate course with two Basic level students and two Intermediate level students.

Liveaboard is the only way to go! Not only is it intensive, but there is an extra day of Heaven (five days as opposed to the four days of a two weekend course).

Sailing in Georgian Bay is sailing in real world conditions. I know of no other locations in Ontario (except for the Thousand Islands around Kingston) where there are CANS (ATONS to you Yanks ), passages with channel markers about 50 ft red-to-green needing crisp 90° course changes to stay on range, and consequences of poor helming or piloting from rocks awash or just below the surface, shoals sticking out from points, and very, very hard places to hit or ground. You just don't get this sailing on Lake Ontario.

Everyone did the same sailing; the intermediate students practised navigation doing the necessary chart work and tracking course made good with fixes and the basic students practised piloting. Whoever was on helm had someone to assist with piloting/navigation, spotting markers and giving headings to steer from the plotted chart course.

Frank, the instructor, was/is very personable, able to explain, advise, correct and guide our efforts without loosing his cool, often humorously, and in such a way that one gained positively from every experience, even after goofing. Working as a team on Compass Rose X,

I believe a 45 ft Sun Odyssey Jeanneau with roller furling on main and genny for those who need to know, was good; we supported and advised each other, learned from each other’s mistakes, and shared each other’s triumphs. Working as a team comes quickly when you are sharing by roster the cooking and clean-up duties as well as the sailing activities. We rotated through each of the sailing activities (navigator, helm, crew, and lookout) on 30 or 60 minute spells, so everyone got a taste of all the conditions and courses we sailed, and the passages we ran.

We had sunshine, overcast, rain, light airs, and winds over 20 knots; sufficient variety to reflect the real world. And a different anchorage every night.

There was time spent on study on one or two mornings, and after Frank felt that we all could and should do so, and also when the Intermediate students did their nav under supervision, whoever was scheduled for helm or other duties, just sailed the boat. Frank was great in that he didn’t hover over us, but let us make our mistakes, then guided us right if need be because we didn't recover. Last day it was: 'You guys are taking her out this morning; I'm just sitting here...'

Friday morning was exam day (two hour written test), papers marked immediately afterwards and results given then.

Did I pass? YES! Am I a sailor? In my heart YES! Now I’m just an inexperienced sailor. Practice, practice and more practice will follow.

I’ve now progressed from ‘unconscious incompetence’ to a blend of ‘conscious incompetence’ and ‘conscious competence’ in sailing. These are the pre-requisite steps to ‘unconscious competence’ where it looks so easy and there is no effort. Kinda like Frank.

For those who cruise, there is no need for me to rave about the wonderful evenings at anchor, spent over supper in the cockpit, whether sunny or not. Fresh air, beautiful scenery, utter peace, good food, good wine, convivial company, excellent conversation… do I sound like a travel advertisement? You just don’t get this on a two weekend course going home afterwards each night.

Were there drawbacks? Mosquitoes after dusk, sometimes they seemed about as big as birds; no hot morning shower (that’s what swimming is for, but with water temps down in the 13° C range, it wasn’t feasible but once); and one night which was uncomfortably warm and muggy with no breeze; I truly can’t think of anything else. Were they serious? No worries! Even pumping out wasn't bad! Living aboard for the course gives one a taste of and for cruising life.

Thank you Frank and thank you shipmates for a wonderful learning experience.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Adventure Sailing or any of its subsidiaries; I received no benefits or advantage, nor do I expect to receive any, for my opinions expressed above, and I paid full list price for the course. The opinions are mine alone, based upon limited and specific experience. YMMV.

Quote:
"You start with an empty cup of experience and a full barrel of luck. The trick is to fill your cup before the barrel runs dry." - bljones
This week, my cup was overflowing....

Last edited by knotted; 06-25-2011 at 10:18 PM. Reason: added link & photo & disclaimer
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  #34  
Old 06-25-2011
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Sounds awesome! I REALLY want to do this now. The 5 day liveaboard part of it sounds like a great experience!
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  #35  
Old 06-25-2011
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knotted, I'm glad you enjoyed it. When are you coming sailing with us again?
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  #36  
Old 06-25-2011
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Sounds like a great experience. Now go sailing. That was the advise given to me by my first instructor.

Jack
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  #37  
Old 06-26-2011
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Sounds fantastic Knotted!
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  #38  
Old 06-29-2011
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Thumbs up Good stuff for everyone...

Thank you for your comments!

@Mike: Just do it! You'll never regret it!

@bljones: I sent you an email re your question... Answer: Soon, I hope!

@Jack: Agreed! Really got to get the Abbott wet and soon; funny how these instructors have great minds and think alike... GO SAILING!

@InkyMatt: It sure was; I recommend a liveaboard course to all, without hesitation.

And I'll re-emphasise the point about sailing Georgian Bay: it involves sailing and piloting, amongst markers, rocks and shallows, using ranges and steering courses, not just boat and sail handling - the type of sailing you don't get elsewhere.

Challenge, the stuff of growth!

Quote:
"You start with an empty cup of experience and a full barrel of luck. The trick is to fill your cup before the barrel runs dry." - bljones
Gotta fill your cup!
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  #39  
Old 06-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMorrison View Post
Good luck Knotted. I will be very interested in hearing your opinion of Adventure Sailing, I'm thinking about taking the Intermediate Cruising with Coastal Navigation from them eventually. Would like to do it this summer but $1500 x 2 is a bit more than the budget can handle right now.
Last year I did the intermediate skipper and my wife did the intermediate crew with Mike Young of 30,000 Island Sailing Adventures. He runs his course out of Killbear Marina (Just North of Parry Sound).

I believe we paid about $899.00 each (not over a grand anyway - my wife's the fiscally astute one in the family). We were also responsible for provisions.

It was a five-day liveaboard. The course was excellent. Mike was a strict but fair instructor. Once he got a handle on our abilities he let us manage the boat. By the end of the week it felt more like a cruise with a friend than a classroom. Mike was really good about correcting my mistakes. He was able to define my weaknesses and allowed me to find solutions without making me feel like a ****. Throughout the week we would have challenges thrown at us: finding position using LOBs; MAFOR (we were responsible for deciphering this every day), etc. By the end of the week we had covered the curriculum and more without realizing it.

Another advantage is that the area around Killbear is amazing. Lot's of little hidy holes around Franklin and Shawanaga Islands. (We were through there just last week and were very grateful to Mike for sharing some of his anchorages with us.)

I have no connection with the school, other than being a very satisfied 'graduate'.
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  #40  
Old 07-02-2011
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Sail Georgian Bay!

Thanks, flyingwelshman, good to know there are other courses in Georgian Bay. We're agreed on the most important part - The Bay has sailing challenges that you won't find in other more open water areas of the Great Lakes, and it's accessible to pretty much anyone in Ontario.

I want to sail Georgian Bay as soon as I'm confident enough to handle my boat alone. I looked at Lake Huron around Goderich this afternoon, but it wasn't as exciting as looking at the Bay, now that I know the challenges to be found there. Just ain't the same!

But I did see a neat trailer at Gozzard Yachts... even though I don't have a vehicle big enough to tow such a trailer!

Quote:
"You start with an empty cup of experience and a full barrel of luck. The trick is to fill your cup before the barrel runs dry." - bljones
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