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Old 16-02-2014, 17:37   #1
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Location: Varies - Currently Western Caribbean
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ASA 101 Done

Howdy Folks,

My wife and I have been sailing our recently purchased Catalina 22 on the weekends and finally decided that trial and error wasn't enough so we signed up for ASA 101 at our local yacht club. I'm pretty solidly bitten by the sailing bug, but to date my wife has really just been accommodating and open to the idea of possibly making sailing part of lifestyle. So, we spent this Saturday and Sunday with our two instructors and 4 fellow students sailing around the local lake, doing COB drills and tuning our skills a bit. I have to say we both really learned a lot, it's amazing how much info an experienced sailor can share in a short period of time. We had two instructors and they where both very knowledgeable, but with very different styles. Our favorite instructor was the guy that spent as much time as necessary answering questions and explaining what we where about to do, in great detail before asking us to do it. The other was obviously extremely knowledgeable but was less detailed in explaining concepts and almost just expected us to anticipate his moves in advance, which we found confusing and frustrating when trying to do drills with things like COB and stopping the boat.

I honestly think if we'd have been stuck with this second instructor that my wife would have quit the class out of frustration that sailing was just too complicated. But being able to circle back around with the better of the two, really made a huge difference in everyone's confidence and actually got my wife excited about getting back on our boat and putting everything we'd learned to use on our little boat. Who could ask for more than that? So all in all I couldn't be happier and feel this weekend was a great use of our time. Now I'm pretty confident we'll be ready for our upcoming 103 and 104 charter class in the BVI's, this June, booked before the 101 class.

As a (very) part time SCUBA instructor, this weekend really drove home how important it is for those of us who choose to teach, just how important it is to stop and put yourself in your students shoes. The vocabulary, skills, and drills that come so easily to someone who's been doing it for years...took years to build. So keep that in mind, stop and slow down to get a read from your students, are they really understanding the concepts and asking questions because they're engaged? If not, now's probably a good time to take a break, slow down and remember what it was like the first time you where exposed to this material. Explain the entire process from start to finish and what the purpose of the steps are, along with the end goal. Then be calm and reassuring as your students make mistakes and help them to correct them and learn from your experience. Learning and performing new tasks is stressful for most of us, your attitude has a lot to do with your students enjoyment and how much they'll learn.

If you'll take the time to take this approach, I can promise you that your students will appreciate it and get much more out of the class. Chances are, you might even hook them on the sport and get future business from them for continuing-ed courses.

I realize this sounds like common sense, but I honestly think it's harder to do than it sounds, give it a shot. I know I'll be making a more concerted effort, the next time I teach a SCUBA class.

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Old 16-02-2014, 17:47   #2
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Re: ASA 101 Done

You are so smart to take classes with your partner! Having a partner that can share the load is very valuable.
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Old 16-02-2014, 17:49   #3
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Re: ASA 101 Done

Glad to hear you're both enjoying your boat and your lessons. Some companies offer a "ladies" course, by female instructors, but my wife and I enjoyed a course together, although, as luck would have it, I was the only male aboard a boat load of ladies for a week of cruising. Both the instructor and one of our fellow students remain our good friends years later. Sailing and SCUBA combined is a sure way to enjoy the ocean.
As a former Skydiving instructor, I learned an instructor is an instructor, regardless of the discipline they teach. The best skydiver in the world might be the lousiest instructor.
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Old 16-02-2014, 18:09   #4
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Re: ASA 101 Done

Whatever you do, make sure it has a purpose; like honing a particular skill until its gets easier to do. When I go diving, I search for a particular fish or corals known to be in that locale. You'll never ever get bored, if anything you do has a purpose! Have fun!

Retired - Don't Ask Me To Do A Damn Thing!
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Old 16-02-2014, 18:12   #5
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Re: ASA 101 Done

The best sail trim book ever written:

Sail Trim Users Guide
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 20-02-2014, 18:16   #6
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Re: ASA 101 Done

Thanks Stu, I ordered a copy and will definitely give it a read...or two
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