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Old 22-12-2012, 16:34   #16
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Re: New in San Francisco

Dear iannitram,

I, too, am new to sailing and just joined this forum. I took the first 2 American Sailing Association courses in Monterey, CA in October '12 and it was so worth the money. The required book for the course was "Sailing Fundamentals" by Gary Johnson. My experience was you need to read the book before you go to class. They start right off and if you don't know the terminology and points of sail you'll get lost. There's a lot of material in 2 days. The second 2 days were wonderful. I am HOOKED!! They have more advanced classes too for repairs and navagation. I recommend the class, it was a blast.
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Old 23-12-2012, 14:52   #17
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Re: New in San Francisco

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here. I always feel better inviting sailors aboard who have had a class. I can count on them to know a bit about safety and what to call things. I trust them more than those who profess to be self-taught until I know the self-taught ones really know what their doing.
kind regards,
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Old 24-12-2012, 02:49   #18
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Re: New in San Francisco

Hello and welcome!

Socrates said (something like): all I know is that I know nothing.

This is a good starting point – better than thinking you know everything, which obviously is very dangerous, also when going to sea. So take your time, be carefull, take small steps and use your common sense.

Going live-aboard now may be a giant leap requiring a big boat (I think) with everything that follows, though you'l never feel accused by empty corners anymore. Perhaps you should consider other ways? Joining a sailing club is great!

Happy trails!
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Old 14-01-2013, 16:26   #19
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Re: New in San Francisco

SO... had my first lesson this weekend at the Afterguard Sailing Academy over in Oakland.

Bearing in mind that I'm starting from absolute zero in sailing experience (last time I was on the water I was 10...I'm now 33) it was an interesting experience. I'm posting for the benefit of people in a similar situation to my own. I wouldn't say it was "fun." There was fun to be had for sure. But my reaction at the end of the first day was, "Uh oh...that was not what I'd expected."

My day 1 expectation versus reality might be something like when you're a kid and what you think driving a car is going to be like. I guess when you're a kid you picture cruising in the family car with your friends to the mall. No biggie. Maybe waving at the ladies. Then you get in the car and feel this anxiety on your chest as you're trying to tell your right foot which pedal is clutch and which is the gas, and your hand what gear to put it in, while simultaneously looking out the front windshield and trying not to crash into the light pole of the parking lot your parent has taken you to. And that parent is sitting next to you saying things like, "Why did you put the wipers on? SLOW DOWN. Maybe you've had enough for the day?" Nerve wracking and a bit exhausting.

There were four males (between myself and one of the other guys, an Oakland police officer, we were 500 pounds in the boat easy) and our instructor sitting in the cockpit of a 23 foot Ranger. The majority of the 16 hours (8 hours each day) we spent going up and down the estuary, making maneuvers. Tacking. Jibbing. Docking. Leaving dock. Docking again. Several times we got our life vests stuck on the lifelines. Our on board police officer took a boom to the head. Etc. I imagine it was a bit like watching four chimps try and launch the space shuttle. End of day 1 I was a bit grumpy to be honest.

On the morning of Day 2 though...something felt different. We ran through the ASA checklist without a hitch and each grabbed a station and got out early. After just one day there was a MEASURABLE difference in our performance. A few times we got the little ranger to heel a bit and move along at decent clip. Sometimes we even trimmed and managed to work together as a team. Then I took a boom to the eye socket and remembered we're still not that far from chimps on the shuttle. Oh well.

The second day there was actual wind. There was also a race in the estuary. Tons of beautiful boats with their spinnakers out. That was actually the best part of the experience for me. Just sailing along and getting a chance to see all the ships along the bay. Some of them are truly floating works of art. Of course others look like floating TV dinners.

Anyway, took the afterguard test and am now able to crew small boats with their company. Today I am longing to get back out again. If that feeling at the beginning of day 2 is how I felt after ONE DAY of training I can only imagine how I'd feel after 3. Or 7. Or 10. And I know the propensity for new knowledge to atrophy quickly.

SO, while I wouldn't describe the first experience as "fun" I feel like it tempered my expectations of the work and training properly. I have made it a goal to get back out again within the next thirty days for the ASA 101 course. Have ordered up the books and am working through the flash cards. In the meantime I've been watching for various meetups and chances to get back out on the water in the short term.

That's where it stands.
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Old 14-01-2013, 19:53   #20
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Re: New in San Francisco

Congratulations and good going!
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Old 14-01-2013, 21:31   #21
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Re: New in San Francisco

A good set of fowl weather gear will help make it nicer once you get out on the central bay. Least wise late spring through summer anyway. At least across the slot.

Congrats your sailing adventures!
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Old 15-01-2013, 01:47   #22
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Re: New in San Francisco

Congratulations with your fast progress – sounds like you've already been bitten by the sea bug. Be prepared to spend most of your free time and spare money ;-)
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