Ever since I first took out a daysailer in the 1970's, my dream has been to get back on the water. But, then along came a wife, kids, a business and all the other obligations life throws at you when you live over 60 miles from the nearest navigable water. So, here I was, 60 y/o with a girlfriend who shared my dream even though she had never sailed before. So, I looked into the idea of checking this one off our bucket list.
I saw that Havre De Grace would be the nearest place to try sailing and after a little research, we picked Baysail to go for our ASA 101 certificate. We showed up for our first day (of a 3 day course) on a rainy friday morning (9:00AM) a bit concerned about the weekend's weather forecast.
We met Captain Russ who would be our instructor and he quickly got to work going over some sailing basics on a monitor in a tiny classroom. The great thing was there were only 3 students (class size is always between 2 and 4 students). Beth, myself and another friendly fellow from Delaware. After a couple hours in the classroom, fortunately, the weather broke and we were off to our 22 foot Catalina (Carolina) for 6 hours of hands-on sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.
Saturday and Sunday were about the same. A couple hours classroom going over all the practical knowledge a sailor requires to safely take a small sailboat out on the water. Then about 6 hours out on the Bay learning skills and having fun. Sunday afternoon, we all passed our ASA 101 tests with ease.
The long and short: No matter your age or experience level, all you need to get into sailing is the desire to do it and three days of your time. Of course, you can spend all your years perfecting those skills. Baysail is an excellent option. It's not just about the money for them, they really enjoy helping new sailors get started. Although everyone we met there was friendly and knowledgeable, Captain Russ is highly recommended. He is an expert sailor and is patient with new students.
So, if you're like me and have sailing on your bucket list, just give these guys a call and ask for Capt. Russ!
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