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Old 01-06-2008, 22:42   #1
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Location: Bogota, Colombia
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Hello from Colombia !

Aye aye everybody.
I am new to this board but have read a lot before actually saying hello now.
I am a German citizen, living in Colombia. I grew up doing a lot of weekend sailing trips with my parents on their 32 sv on the river Elbe, North Sea and Baltic Sea. I got my first boat, an Optimist when I was 9 years old. Later in my life I have lived in Miami where I did some day sailing on a friend's boat. I then moved to Cape Town, did a bit of day sailing before taking a crewing position on a Saint Francis 44 Catamaran from Rio de Janeiro to Trinidad with the greatest Skipper ever (thanks Ben!) who taught me an awful lot.
Now the dream is alive again, I want to go cruising, circumnavigation is the idea. Maybe on a Tartan 37 or similar, even better on a cat (money depending).
Now my first question here: I live in Bogota, Colombia, and I guess I need some sort of certification. Colombia doesn't offer much on this subject and for now I have found that the rather new Panama Sailing School offers ASA certifications. I guess having over 3500 blue water miles on my back I wont need the 101 but maybe 103/104 combo would be suitable. Honestly I don't think it would be perfect. I would really like something that goes a little further. Any suggestions to what courses I should take, maybe taking in consideration where I live (Colombia). It would be easy and affordable to take classes in Panama for me. BVIs for example would be a lot more expansive to get to. Before getting my own vessel I would certainly try to get more experience as crew but I would like to get some sort of certification first. Thank you for your help and a big Hello to everybody!
Jonas
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Old 04-06-2008, 13:08   #2
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Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
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Aloha Jonas,
Welcome aboard!
I always say that courses and certification are good things for new sailors but you have lots of experience already so I'm going to say that you probably don't need any if you'll be sailing your own boat and not chartering. If you can find close and cheap classes then go for it but I wouldn't go out of my way or spend a great deal of money for certification that is not going to help you sail your boat any better than you already can. Of course, that's just my opinion.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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