I tried to do a search for the The Virginia School of Sailing, Deltaville, VA (804) 674-6500 www.sail-school.com. There phone number is disconnected and there website leads to nothing. Is there a chance they changed there name or are no longer around?
I noticed that Norton Yacht Sales in Deltaville now has an ASA program they didn't used to have so it my have been made part of them. If they have the same instructors then it would be a good course. The courses out Annapolis are all very good too. It's the instructors that you want not the sponsor
. I don't have a list of names however unles you want to do a one week in San Diego
as I do have a name for that. It's cheaper than a hotel
room for a week would would be!
The Upper Bay courses that are a 3 day liveaboard to Norfolk are both advanced ASA courses. A course like that isn't really what you want because you won't really be doing much. You'll head
out in the morning and sail down the bay all day and you won't be practicing the types of things that you would need to master. You would mostly be holding the wheel
. It's a fun trip with the right wind
though and the fun asspect would be nice. The BVI
trips may be more what you want. Most of the BVI
courses include more short hops so you have time to practice a lot of the skills you need to master in the ASA 101 and 103 courses. Similarly with the US Sail program. The 3rd course can be combined with the second because it's mostly operations of all the boat
systems and equipment
. Most of that you can learn on an actual trip better than anything but much can be done at anchor
or at a dock
too. The first 2 courses are really mostly about making sails work
and performing emergency
procedures and knowing rules of the road. It's the guts to sailing a boat.
Mostly you want a course that is as hands for you as you can. I would be leary of classes
bigger than 4 students per instructor. It's nice to watch others make mistakes
and you learn a lot from theirs as well as your own but you really need to perform a lot of tacks, jibs and learn to trim sails
as well operate all the equipment
with a crew or as a crew too.
When my wife and I did the ASA 101 corse we took at at a local lake and it met twice per week for 6 weeks with the last night being the exam. With 4 in the boat and an instructor you had the time to do all the tasks many times and had the instructor to give feedback the whole time. We thejn spent the whole summer sailing similar boats at the same location and then the next season we did the next two ASA courses as a one week live aboard. I think we found we learned enough to be able to then get our own boat and go out on our own and not be worried.
I think if you just want to take a sailing vacation
and just be on a boat there are vacation
options that can do it better than taking a class. You can still learn a lot but the goal of completing a set of requirements is gone and you cam do as much or as little work as you like. Places down in the BVI's can be set up to do that really well. A small group can do a crewed charter
for a reasonable cost and you can go some place where the sailing is just flat out wonderful. The Chesapeake season is almost over for the early sailing season and won't get good again until after Labor Day. Just about 3 weeks left with next week looking great. August isn't great for a whole week.