Learning to sail is a lifelong journey. Experienced yachtsmen will tell you that the sea will teach you something new every day. So being on the water and actually sailing on a yacht is an important part of learning and can not be duplicated well in a classroom.
Our 10 day live aboard course is designed to effectively move a novice sailor or experienced sailor to a level of sailing that will allow them to safely operate a charter yacht. This all starts with learning the language of sailing, a novice sailor will be required to learn the sail speak/jargon as quickly as possible. Its important that he understand all terminologies. Sailing and living on a yacht puts you right in the middle of this world. So reading the teaching books becomes an exercise in immediate recognition of what the book is trying to tell you.
The course is divided into 2 parts. The first part is run on the island of Poros and involves 3 days of intense sailing drills on a 36ft performance yacht. The 3 days of sailing in and around Poros island is designed to solidify your knowledge of sailing techniques and yacht operations. At the end of the 3 days you will take your ASA 101 written exam. (100 multiple choice questions). The second half of the course starts on th 4th day and preparation of Offshore sailing begins with an extensive briefing on how the main teaching yacht a 57ft Ketch works and operates. You will also start preparing for your second exam.
Once students have passed the first half of the course, the teaching yacht departs on the second half of the course and sets sail for the Cyclades and offshore sailing lessons. Here in the next seven days you will have to navigate and sail around the Cyclades islands, Before finally completing an offshore transit passage back to Poros Island. During the seven days there will be two more written exams and an overall Instructors assessment.
The course will finish in Poros island with the awards of Log books and Instructors farewell dinner.
What to expect on board Off-Shore
Life on board during your course will reflect an active yacht while passage making. You will be paired off with another student and be a watch team. As such you will have daily duties and days off. ‘On’ watch teams will be responsible for the running of the yacht, both in setting up the yacht on deck as well as down below domestic chores. You will be required to cook and clean, as well as drop anchor and put away the yacht after a days sail.
Typical daily routine.
The watch of the day, will need to be early riser’s, as breakfast is scheduled for 0800. Now that means whom ever is designated ‘mother’ for the day is responsible for getting breakfast out and on the table. Meanwhile the ‘deck mate’ has their hands full, getting the yacht ready to sail, helping ‘mother’ with a quick run to the village bakery, getting the other students out of their bunks. Co-ordinating with the instructor about what he needs on deck made ready for the first class of the day.
First class of the day is scheduled for 0930, every day. In most cases morning classes will continue to 1100. The classes will be a mixture of practical hands on techniques and book learning. Once the morning classes are over, the yacht is ready for sea and departure form port. The rest of the day will be sailing and practicing your sailing skills. The evening will find you in a new port around 5 – 6 pm, after docking there will be a de-brief, a relaxing drink and the school day is over.
The overall concept is to introduce students to sailing quickly and gain confidence with intense practice on a smaller yacht before moving to a larger yacht and learning the skills that will allow you as a skipper to operate and navigate a charter yacht around the islands you will wish to visit. The offshore part of the school is designed to get you sailing between islands and navigating so that you have the confidence in finding out where you are. Learning sail trim and how to manage a sail plan and operate in different wind speeds as well as sea states is taught as you progress though your Off-shore sailing experience.
Students who successfully pass all 3 ASA exams, will be qualified to operate a 40ft sailing yacht up to 25 miles away from land and on all inland water ways both in the USA and Internationally. The ASA ‘Bare-boat Skippers license’ is an Internationally recognized qualification to operate a vessel power or sail for the purpose of recreation.