April 2 Friday night, attended the kick-off meeting held by Flagship Sailing in St Petersburg, Florida. ThereCaptain James Thompson was the Instructor Evaluator from Flagship Sailing, and he promised to be fair and firm. He was. My fellow sailors all had respectable sailing resumes. Captain Arno sailed for two years with his family from Cape Town, South Africa, to America. Captain Anderson was a young 26 year old with eight months in the caribbean, and sailed all his life, and enjoyed surfing. He is currently teaching sailing at a ASA school in Panama City. Captain Ken Masters has years of experience and boat deliveries. Captain Ken Brown has restored a 65ft trimaran and has sailed it endless places for 11 years and he is working on his 500 ton masters license. Taking this course with these professionals was a great networking opportunity. Most everyone were persueing their ASA 201, 203, and 204 certifications.
Saturday went well with instruction from the Instructor Evaluator and drills on the boat in the afternoon. The St Petersburg side of Tampa Bay offered some nice sailing and the depth was a consistent 13.5 ft. Winds were light and easy. The bay offers some good exposure for advanced sailing with range lights, numerous lighted buoys, navigation lanes, freighters, shoals and spoils.
Sundays nautical navigation exam was tough and my first 15 minutes I choked and everything looked foreign. Then after pressing on, bit by bit, I solved one problem after another. In the end, I passed with 85.5%. Yaa. After I reviewed the answers, I could have exceeded 90%.
Monday we lost one student as they were not seeking the 204, and gained two others. Captain Mark Smith from Fair Winds, and Captain Jeff of OnWatch. We sailed and convincingly shared our mini lessons on various aspects of charter boating. Everyone was great. Thanks to everyone sharing their personal stories.