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The Sailing Surgeon

Outstanding Instructor Series

John Martin is a guy who knows how to live life. A retired surgeon who has sailed around the world, Martin has over 48,000 nautical miles under his belt and he’s still sailing all the time.

The sailing bug bit him as a 7-year-old racing Lasers, Flying Scotts and then 470s through high school and college. As he got older the boats got bigger and he was soon crewing on the larger mono’s racing the Chicago and Port Huron to Mac races.

Today he’s an instructor at the Great Lakes Sailing Company in Traverse City, Michigan where he’s enjoying his second career as a sailing instructor. For his dedication to education and conscientious work there, he has been recognized as one of ASA’s Outstanding Instructors.

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Yacht Tubbing

Yacht Tubbing

Summer Sailstice 2015 – Yacht Tubbing, Good Company, and Clipper Cove

Kira Maixner writes about her first Summer Sailstice experience.

A day to celebrate summer, sailing, and good company. I had never experienced the holiday before moving to the Bay and as a fairly new sailor, this year was my first, full on event. I joined the two-day flotilla hosted by Modern Sailing School and Club. I wasn’t sure what to expect, outside of an itinerary that, as sailing goes, was likely to change at any moment, and I have never spent a night on the San Francisco Bay. Regardless, I booked my boat, filled it with newbies, a few seasoned sailors, and headed out onto the Bay.

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ASA Sailing Terms Quiz

Sailing Terms Quiz (III)

How about another awesome ASA quiz, where you get compliments or a wisecrack. The last two have been about terminology and we’ve had feedback saying that they were too easy. Here’s a quiz generated from our Sailing Made Easy textbook designed to be a bit more challenging. Good luck!

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What’s in A Rig? The Junk Rig

What’s in a Rig Series #3

There’s probably no rig more fascinating than the junk rig. Long before Columbus’ time, early as the 10th century, the Chinese were making their way through the oceans with a rig that has amazingly stood the test of the time. There are many who feel that this very old but very innovative sail plan is superior to the more popular and ubiquitous sloop rig and others.

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Classic Rock Sailing Songs

Top 7 Classic Rock Sailing Songs

The sun is beginning to set. There’s a warm 12-knot breeze pushing you along easily as you sail downwind. A glance at the GPS says you’re hitting 7s and 8s on flat water – it’s a perfect day on the water. It’s days like these that have inspired some great songwriters to sit down and write tunes about what we love – sailing. So, with that in mind, here are ASA’s 7 best sailing songs from the classic rock genre. If you disagree, feel free to shuffle the order or add your favorite in the comments. But please understand ASA has researched this completely through a very complicated scientific process. These are the best songs and this is the right order!

  1. Catch the Wind – Although this is a love song (by Donovan), the chorus that cries, “I may as well try and catch the wind,” seems so perfect when sailing along on a summer day. Listen
  2. Lost Sailor – The Grateful Dead aren’t known for their sailing songs but this one is pretty cool. It’s a somber tune that taps into the darker side of sailing. “Somedays the gales are howling, sometimes the sea is still as glass,” say the brooding lyrics. “Oh, raise the main sail, oh, lash the mast,” Not sure if they should raise the main if they have to lash the mast, but it’s a good tune anyway.Listen
  3. Sailing – Rod Stewart’s Sailing is essentially a gospel tune reveling in the idea of sailing home across a sea. It’s another gorgeous melody inspired by sails full of wind and traveling like only a sailboat can.Listen

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First Aid Kit

5 Things That Aren’t in Your First Aid Kit But Should Be

Most generic first aid kits carry the essentials for an impromptu medical situation. There’s usually a bunch of Band-Aids, some rolls of gauze, little tube of peroxide, cotton balls, a different looking kind of a bandage that you pull out when things get a bit more grizzly, tape and maybe a little ibuprofen. If you have a good one, there might even be a little pair of scissors, a cold press and some rubber gloves.

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Knots Made Easy - Round Turn Two Half Hitches

Knots Made Easy : Round Turn & Two Half Hitches

This may be the most underrated knot. It’s fast to tie under load and applicable all around the boat. It’s much more reliable and certainly easier to untie than its cousin the clove hitch. This knot is secure, does not allow the line to chafe, and is easily undone. Use this hitch to tie a dockline to a mooring.

This video shows you step-by-step how to tie a round turn & two half hitches knot.

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Blown Away by Sailing

Drew Skelton found his way into sailing through the Boy Scouts of America program and has been a waterman ever since. As a kid he sailed his own Snark 14 on a local lake and continued to hone his skills as he grew up. In 2006 he began pursuing ASA certifications and after a good amount of sailing and hard work he became an instructor. Today, as owner of Blown Away Sailing in Rock Hall, Maryland, he is recognized as one of ASA’s Outstanding Instructors.

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