It's not a sexy topic, not like some websites that Brad enjoys visiting where the water is sky blue and the bathing suits are tiny... But I digress. Oh, well, if you can't read further without checking out what I'm talking about, go to the Links portion of this site, bottom center website, but come back!!
Now that you're back, finish reading through because this is how you end up enjoying beautiful sailing, by knowing what you're doing and being safe. Brad has been sailing a lot longer than I have, although I've been around the water nearly all my life. Thankfully Brad is very conscientious, exercises common sense, highly skilled, and knowledgeable with numerous classes and certifications under his belt - many of which require continuing education. I, on the other hand, have limited class time and want to change that by taking some courses and advancing my level of boating knowledge. I thought I'd start with the US Power Squadron's Seamanship course. It's the first class after the basic boating safety class within the USPS (I'm a member of the Kent Narrows Sail & Power Squadron - same group but national doesn't quite yet get they need to add "Sail"). Since it's a class that is offered online, it's a brilliant way for me to learn at my own pace and time schedule. Not all the classes are offered online as many require hands on, practical application instruction.
I've gotten through the first chapter and have taken the end of chapter quiz online and scored 100%! Well, it wasn't too hard but I know at the end of the book I have to learn about knots, the kind you tie with rope and I stink at tying knots, really bad, just horrible. Guess that's going to change!
Besides being knowledgeable and being safe aboard CALIX, any boat for that matter, it never hurts to continue learning. Once I complete the Seamanship course, the next class is Piloting which I'll have to take in a classroom. A classroom is pretty far removed from clear blue waters, sunshine and bikinis, but it's worth the effort. I've got a crazy plan in mind to sail in the Caribbean 1500 and from there, well, I've got some more ideas. I won't be doing any ocean crossings though without taking these classes and being as smart about sailing as I am about what I do off the water to make owning a boat possible. Stay tuned on the results (I'll use the education tag so you can find all these posts together).