Thanks fairweather1 for the comments.
I thought I'd take this time to update this thread with my progress. I was in Punta Cana this past December and had a chance to play a lot on a hobbie cat :-)! I know, I know, but it was my first real sailing experience (as real as a hobbie cat can be). Not enough wind
to get air, but at least I got to sail for hours by myself with a big smile on my face!
A few updates since the last time I discussed my training/experience plan.
1. SAILING CLUB: I found we have a sailing club 20min away in an inland lake (southern Michigan). They have mostly JY-15s, Vanguard 15, Albacores, and 470s. They have an active racing
program and I have a friend who races there weekly. As soon as the ice melts, we'll be there every week learning to trim and read the wind as much as we can :-)
2. RACING: My friend also owns a 20ish racing boat in Lake Saint Claire and races every weekend. He invited us to join his crew and to come out on the boat on the weekends. My wife is very competitive so the idea of racing will make her motivated to be on the lake every week. He is out every time the weather is nice (and sometimes when it's not so nice), so this will give me tons of informal sailing hours in a bigger boat.
3. CRUISING CREWING: I have online-met several people (some here in CF) who are currently cruising and have invited us to spend time in their boat during the spring/summer in the Caribbean
or East Coast
. We will likely take some offers and spend at least a week crewing for someone doing a short passage
4. FORMAL TRAINING: The formal training plan continues as I first proposed it: Scheduled to fly to florida
in March for the ASA
101-103, 104, & 114 course. I will then be doing ASA
105/106 in the fall/late summer. Will likely do the offshore passage
course in 2016.
5. CHARTING: We will do our first charter in the BVIs in December likely on a FP Helia, which is currently our target purchase
boat (although we know this may change as we test other boats).
I'll let you know of my experience with the Florida
trip and likely post some pics when I come back in March. Thanks! BB.