Dad and I are now ASA-certified sailors

Back after a much-needed break from the laptop. Today I completed my ASA Basic Keelboat certification. It was a great weekend of sailing. Now that I’ve got my cert I can rent the J22’s at Chandlers. Who’s ready to go sailing?

The cert covered two classes. The first class was the weekend before Thanksgiving. My wife, kids, sister, and brother-in-law got me the beginning sailing class as a birthday present (thanks again, guys!). The owner of the “ntssweb” had asked, “Are you sure you are up for winter sailing?” It had sounded slightly foreboding, but that weekend was one of the most perfect weekends for sailing ever. The wind was up and the temp was warm but not hot.

When we picked 12/28 for our Intermediate class I figured we wouldn’t get as lucky on the weather as we had the first weekend. But when Saturday rolled around it turned out to be another beautiful day. The morning wind was a little lighter than we would have preferred but it picked up in the afternoon.

This morning there was some fog on the lake and it was a bit chilly but the wind was up and we were working hard, putting the J22 through its paces, so I barely noticed the cold spray. (On both mornings I was able to take advantage of some fleece pullovers I got for Christmas which worked perfectly as a middle layer).

If I may say so, my Dad, who was taking the class with me, and I executed our sailing skills pretty darn well. I was a bit sloppy leaving the slip but I shook it off and subsequently nailed the slalom course and the race course. We’ve still got a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to logging more hours in the boat but I was feeling pretty cocky by the time the weekend was over.

The written test was 130 questions. We both scored well, just shy of a perfect score. I don’t know about my Dad but I was really hoping for 100%. The sailing school owner had said there had only been one perfect score at his school in the last several years and I was disappointed I couldn’t bump that up. (Advice for ASA Basic test takers: Understand the different horn signals, night-time lighting requirements for sailboats, and what equipment is/isn’t required on a sailboat of a specific length). My Dad beat me by one question. DOH!

I’m still working on “creating a vision” for the rest of the household, but if I can add some advanced creds to my diving and sailing certs, log a bunch of time doing both, and save up cash, maybe I can have a second career as a dive shop/charter boat operator. Now that’d be the life…

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