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Old 06-18-2012
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Where in the world to learn in August?

I would like to take a live aboard sailing class for at least a week in mid-August. I know this is peak hurricane season in the Caribbean and most of the East Coast, so where would you recommend I go to learn? I live in NYC and am looking for a place to "get away" as well, so don't really want to learn up here in my back yard.

Any schools you would recommend would be much appreciated as well. My ultimate goal would be to learn enough to charter a boat in the future to take my family out for a few days on a sail boat vacation.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and help.
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

I've seen good results (wife) from Colgate's Offshore Sailing School. Tortola is a great place to sail. They have a school in Fort Meyers/Captiva as well. Ask them what happens if a tropical storm ruins the trip. Can't be the first time they've dealt with it. Typically, you're going to have many days notice of the potential.

While it is hurricane season, the odds are actually in your favor that you won't get hit on a single week in a specific location. But, best to know the deal if one is on the way.
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

I don't think they have a liveaboard program, but OCSC in Berkely gave me great instruction in the early 90s, and it's a great get-away in the Bay area...and August is great for sailing there-windy, sunny-couldn't ask for better learning conditions!
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

Thanks to you both.

Minnewaska - would you really take a chance a book in BVI in prime hurricane season? I'm a little nervous.... Would it be the same deal all the way up the East Coast as well?
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

You might try the Pacific North West. The wind tends to drop, but the good instructors know where the wind will develop.

If you can get into Canada, you can swim in Desolation Sound in the warmest water north of Panama.

This is the place to learn navigation: lots of rocks, big tides, swift currents.

The scenery is spectacular and the wildlife abundant.
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

Hi jackdale! Sounds fantastic. Where would I fly into and would you know of a liveaboard sailing school that you would recommend?
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

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Originally Posted by meloo72 View Post
Hi jackdale! Sounds fantastic. Where would I fly into and would you know of a liveaboard sailing school that you would recommend?
I am more familiar with the Canadian schools. If you want ASA, there is one Vancouver, but lots in Washington. Most instruction on the area is liveaboard.

I would prefer not to recommend publicly as I work for most of them, but PM me and I can be more candid.

EDIT - I will PM you with my email.

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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

the PNW is good if you don't get fog or rain. there is 2 week period in and around august when the sun comes out if you are lucky. how about San Diego, the sun will be out, temps in the high 70s and there will be wind. never rains in August and no hurricanes. plenty of schools and the airport is about 10 minutes from the bay. learn in the bay or the ocean is about 30 minute sail out of the harbor
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

San Diego sounds nice as well. There was something alluring about learning in BVI, or even the Greek Islands - warm tropical environment, anchoring at a different island each night and experiencing the laid back vacation atmosphere all the while learning to sail....

Would you say I'd get the same type of experience in San Diego or PNW?
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Re: Where in the world to learn in August?

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Originally Posted by meloo72 View Post
San Diego sounds nice as well. There was something alluring about learning in BVI, or even the Greek Islands - warm tropical environment, anchoring at a different island each night and experiencing the laid back vacation atmosphere all the while learning to sail....

Would you say I'd get the same type of experience in San Diego or PNW?
Another advantage of BVI is you're going to want to charter there one day and you'll already be familiar. Its one of the most popular sail destinations for a reason.

Would I book in hurricane season? Maybe. It would all depend on their policy for dealing with it. Do I get a refund? You will know of the potential well in advance of any actual threat. When do I get to leave and get that refund. Depending on those answers, I probably would go in August.

Something else to consider is a last minute booking in BVI, so you can assess storms forming in the eastern Atlantic. There will always be a boat available last minute during the summer, the question is only the instructor.
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