I am indeed in the PNW - I'll be mooring in Victoria (and yes, when I was last around the West side of the island it was aboard the Pacific Grace). I can't pretend I know the waters around Victoria like the back of my hand, but I do know how the currents form and where the rocks are likely to be (oceanographer
) so I'd be staying away from the rips and channels. I've been out on sailboats a fair bit - what will be new is the skippering, not the sailing.
That being said, I read through the syllabus Jack linked, and I was reasonably impressed. The chartwork, rules of the road and weather stuff I could quiz on now (I did so as I read it), but there's a lot in other sections that I didn't know (some of the power-oriented skills, rescuing a MOB under sail). I'll certainly put both of those courses fairly high up on my list. I'll also be fishing around for recommended instructors . . .
While I can't say that I'll take the course before I ever leave the dock, I will certainly take it, and reasonably soon. One thing re: insurance. I was talking to a Dolphin broker, and they were going to give me $15/yr off my insurance with a CYA course (not much, but a little). I was amazed, however, that she wasn't willing to give me anything for commercial/TC tickets (like an SVOP, MED A3, MED A1/2, etc), or for my previous offshore sea time (which is signed off by the skipper). Is that common?
Also, I have to ask: YeahJohn, did you mean you took a course in 'cruising', or was it actually 'cursing'? 'Cause I'd definitely take a course on how to curse like an old sailor . . .