GT bay

ASA’s New Horizons – Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan

We have a new series called New Horizons, which  will take a look at the many cruising grounds and sweet sailing spots in the US and abroad. We’ve asked the folks from the vast network of ASA schools to help us out and give us the skinny on the cool places they call home. Nothing like getting the lowdown from a local. We all know the BVIs are great, but what about the places we haven’t heard of? This is going to be fun!

First up is Grand Traverse Bay / Lake Michigan. We asked Rod Call from Great Lakes Sailing Company in Michigan about sailing in the gorgeous waters of the north.

There are quite a few things that always come up when we talk about sailing in our neck of the woods,” said Call. “The water.Crystal clear. Green. You’d think you were in the Caribbean if it weren’t for the pine trees dotting the shoreline. Also, that it’s freshwater – or as we call it ‘unsalted Sailing’. You go for a swim…no need to rinse off. And, that it’s a mostly easy place to sail. The waters of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan are deep. And the shallows are green and crystal clear. So if you are near, or in, green water…you know to check your depth.

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Instructor Qualification Clinic IQC

Become A Sailing Instructor this Fall

Are you a sailor that feels the need to share your knowledge & love of sailing with others?

The American Sailing Association was organized to establish national standards for sailing instructor certification in the United States. We take experienced instructors and expert sailors and give them the tools they need to become certified sailing instructors.

ASA Sailing Instructor clinics test existing skills and knowledge while teaching a structured curriculum and proven presentation techniques.

Take the challenge and attend an ASA Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQC) this Fall!

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Stella Diamant - Mega Expedition Coordinator

Stella Diamant, Mega Expedition Coordinator

Stella Diamant - Mega Expedition Coordinator

Stella Diamant works for The Ocean Cleanup. She is currently in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch sailing on a Gunboat 66 called Extreme H2O collecting plastic pollution samples as part of the Mega Expedition that she helped put together.

I was raised in Brussels, Belgium and attended an international school. I have always been environmentally conscious and even as a young person I would give speeches in my classes about climate change etc. I have always enjoyed wide open spaces and nature, and spent a good part of my childhood riding horses and climbing trees.

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Plastic Pollution Quiz

ASA Quiz – Sailing Around the Plastic Pollution Issue

As we further promote the efforts of The Ocean Cleanup (and the Mega Expedition) aimed to rid the world’s oceans of toxic plastic, we thought it might be cool to create a quiz about the subject. As sailors, we believe the oceans need help and protection. Our hope is all sailors will do what they can, individually and collectively, to reduce plastic consumption and thereby alleviate what the oceans and the living beings that live there are being asked to bear. Remember – today it’s the fish, turtles and seabirds – tomorrow it’s us. Okay sermon over – take the quiz – it’s actually fun! Photo courtesy of Turning the Tide and Sons of Norway.

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Sailing Phrases

10 Phrases You Never Knew Came From Sailing

When you stop to think about it… sailing is pretty amazing. From a historical perspective, through its role in travel, trade and war, it was the absolute hinge of western civilization for hundreds of years. Through that time, sailors’ slang and terminology became rooted in the English lexicon and still exists profoundly to this day.

Here’s a list of 10 everyday phrases that you may not have realized were born in the days when sailing made the world go round… wait… is that a nautical phrase?

  1. “A clean bill of health”
    According to dictionary.com this phrase derives from the days when the crew of ocean going ships might be a little less than hygienic, so they needed to present a certificate, carried by a ship, attesting to the presence or absence of infectious diseases among the ship’s crew and at the port from which it has come.

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Mega Expedition Video

ASA Coverage of the Departure of the Mega Expedition

From the shores of Hawaii, and the shores of the mainland the Mega Expedition has begun… 24 sailboats are out in the middle of the Pacific collecting more plastic measurements in 3 weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined. Any day now we expect to hear from Stella Diamant, the Mega Expedition Coordinator, onboard Extreme H2O as they traverse the notorious Pacific Garbage Patch where so much of these plastics congregate. ASA will be conducting satellite interviews with The Ocean Cleanup team detailing what they are seeing and how their historic missing is progressing. Watch the video >>

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IQC at RnR

Summer School for Sailing Instructors

Sometimes summer school can be fun, especially for those sailing instructors who attended an ASA Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQC) held at R&R Charters and Sail School in Chester, MD.

Congratulations to all the newly certified ASA Instructors:

  • ASA 201 – Phinehas Bowen, Larry Dean, Miguel Moravec
  • ASA 203 – William Rathbun, Suzanne Acevedo
  • ASA 204 – Suzanne Acevedo, William Rathbun
  • ASA 218 – Maragret Pmmert, Jeffrey Sippy, Kenneth Roach, & William Rathbun

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The ASA "Grand Tour" on Arabella

The ASA “Grand Tour” on Arabella

Members of the American Sailing Association are currently onboard the “Arabella” experiencing the history of sailing and maritime culture in the United States. On Sunday they set sail from Newport, RI, the sailing capital of our country. Their journey will take them to the fascinating islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket as well as the beautiful port of Cuttyhunk.

Here’s what a few of the guests had to say…

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