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Old 06-09-2012, 06:12   #1
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From Desk to Bay !

Hello Everyone:
I am new to the forum. I retired last year from a college and made the jump this year to working part-time on the beach teaching kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing at a kids camp. I love Hobie Cat sailing but now want to branch out and go to cruising cats. I am so new to the bigger boats but am completely gone for all things sailing.

I am planning to attend US Sailing school this upcoming year and just want and need experience on the bigger cats. I can't really say where this will lead but know I'll never be behind a desk again. Does anyone have any good ideas for getting my feet wet and gaining experience that I need? I thought I'd go to the local Yacht clubs and post for "crew experience wanted". Any other thoughts? I am fully capable of handling the duties and the heavy work.

I am a little more mature at 49 but in great shape and held my own next to the college kids at work this summer. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I can see no other way than to be on the water all the time, now.

Thanks for listening!

Catherine
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:26   #2
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Catherine.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:25   #3
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

Hi Catherine, and welcome to the forum! Just a bit of coincidence...I'm 49 too, our boat is s/v Cat Lady (Gemini Catamaran), and other cruisers often call me "Cat Man" (my wife and I usually have a few kitties on board, too). Find all the opportunities you can, and you'll get pointed in some good directions by this forum. If you have close friends who sail, maybe charter a cat in the Caribbean with them. Hope you get your sails on soon!
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:47   #4
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

Many many thanks for your kind advice. I am looking for any opportunities to crew and everyone around me knows it too!

Crazy coincidence about the name and age. I guess most might call my plan a post midlife crisis, but I see it as more of a wake-up call. When I was working I had posters in my office of beautiful beach scenes in far off places. When my boss bugged me too much I mentally inserted myself somewhere else. Quite often I told everyone, if I turned up missing, I'd be in the Caribbean making sandwiches for tourists. Almost there!!

My best to you and your spouse,
Catherine
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:59   #5
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

Dear Cat Woman, I suggest you volunteer to crew on one of the CF ads on a larger Catamaran going some real distance. Theres several available right now.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:05   #6
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

Hi Catherine,

I'm not a cat sailor but I started out just a couple of years ago myself in sailing. I got a lot of good free experience at the local yacht club volunteering to be rail meat during their informal mid-week races. You probably wont find big cats racing but it's still sail experience. Plus, once you get to know the captains and they feel confident in you they will invite you along for other longer races and/or cruises.

The sailing lessons are definitely a big help and you should certainly follow up with those.

One more resource is a website called MeetUp. It's free and basically a place where you can search for all types of activity groups in your area. I found a sailing group near me that was pretty active.

Good luck in your future sailing endeavors.

Regards,
Terry
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:09   #7
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

welcome to the forum. A great transition
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:06   #8
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Woman View Post
....
I am planning to attend US Sailing school this upcoming year and just want and need experience on the bigger cats....
Something to consider: To my knowledge US Sailing does not offer a catamaran class. ASA curriculum does include a Cruising Catamaran class. Either curriculum is fine to learn basic sailing, but if larger cats are your objective then you might want to take that into consideration.

You can start with US Sail and then later "challenge" the ASA standards to transition over and do the Cruising Catamaran class (ASA 114), but that adds hassle and expense. I've done this transition for a couple of students with US Sail certs who also wanted the ASA 114 certification. It's not a big deal really, but unnecessary if you start down the ASA path first.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:39   #9
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

I concur with belizesailor. When I was at that stage I looked at both. For me, the ASA classes offered a lot more. It seemed that the US Sailing programs were geared more towards racers rather than cruisers.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:54   #10
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

Great points about ASA. Have looked at both and was told I could learn on a cruising cat with US even though ASA has the combined and additional 114 endorsement. I thought that maybe US Sailing had a little more prestige or does it really matter for the purposes of learning. Also we spend time in Greece and I wanted to make sure that I had some credentials they would accept? I welcome any other comments on the merits or liabilities of each. Additionally,it would appear that US Sailing is also more expensive?

Catherine
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Old 06-09-2012, 13:06   #11
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Re: From Desk to Bay!

I think it may depend on your location as well. In my area, ASA is more predominant and available. I believe both are widely accepted with regards to bare boat chartering but maybe someone else who has used these credentials to charter can weigh in. I've never chartered so I'm just repeating what I've read or heard about. I can say that keeping a good log or a sailing resume is also important if you want to charter or if someday you want to go for a Capt. License.
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Old 30-10-2012, 22:38   #12
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Re: From Desk to Bay !

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
kind regards,
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Old 31-10-2012, 10:40   #13
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Re: From Desk to Bay !

Thanks for the warm welcome. Fair winds and calm seas to you.
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