I titled this step 2 because I've finally learned that when starting something new you should listen first. So, with sailing I've done that as a lurker on this forum. I'm 50 years old and dream of someday retiring and spending the first oh, maybe 10-15 years cruising live aboard
on a boat
. I had a very rudimentary knowledge of boating
as the owner of a small 18ft fishing boat
on MN lakes. So, step 1 was taking some sailing / cruising classes
, on larger boats, on larger waters to find out if my wife and I would both really enjoy being on a boat any length of time.
From this forum I found some good and fair sailing schools. My wife and I took ASA
101, 103 & 104 at Windward Sailing in Fernandina Beach, FL. It was very reasonably priced and a really good school
. Highly recommended. We then took a second set of US Sailing courses (Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, Basic Bareboat
endorsement) with Offshore
sailing in the
(stupid hurricane) Bahamas
. It was not reasonably priced but it was
fair practice in the environment
we hope to sail someday. It was
good considering what they had to deal with given the storms. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.
So given that, officially joining this forum is step 2. My wife and I are planning our first solo charter
in the BVI
only 2 short weeks away. For better or worse we've decided to stick with what seems like the "big box" vendors in this world, The Moorings and we're chartering a 39' catamaran
in the BVI
. My daughter and her husband will be coming with us so we'll have some uneducated help.
Even with 2 weeks of classes
, I'm actually still pretty nervous. I know we can handle this safely but it seems like there are still practical things that I need more practice with and I'm afraid of being "that guy" around other boaters. For example, I've never actually used the VHF radio
. Of course, I had a lot of instruction on it but I've never actually made a call. What if there are no mooring
balls available! Yes, I know how to set an anchor
and I know how to figure out the correct scope
ratio but still, will I be up all night wondering if I'm too close to that other boat, did we just move? Maybe my anchor alarm
app isn't working! or is this even the correct area to drop anchor?!
I already know this is too long an intro. Any pointers to what my next stop should be would be much appreciated. I could use some pointers on setting up an itinerary leaving Tortola for 5 nights. Tips, tricks, gotchas for that first 5 day trip as skipper
, or is it captain
? I'm pretty sure I'm both. I forget he difference. See! I've already forgotten everything!