When the storm hits, commitment to good navigation is key! Which is perhaps the guiding principle ASA instructor Captain Brian A. Earl of Sea Safaris Sailing School operated upon when he refused to let Europe’s ash-related flight cancelations get in the way of his Coastal Navigation class. One prospective student, Jim Sarns, had enrolled in the class but remained stuck in Ireland, where he’d been traveling on business, and his flights were repeatedly canceled right up until the day his Coastal Nav class was to commence in Wisconsin.
With a bit of technological ingenuity and cooperation from Jim’s stateside wife, Mary Ellen, who was also taking the class, Captain Earl connected with Jim via Skype, facilitating his participation in the group session completely. Although Jim was 6 hours ahead of Central Standard Time and thousands of miles away, he was able to keep pace with the class’s charting exercises over the camera and used emailed copies of the other reference materials from Captain Earl. Though Jim is scheduled for a flight home and will be attending the next session of the class in person next week, his classmates suggested that instead he cruise home from Ireland, the perfect opportunity to employ his newfound navigation skills.
The Irish would say, there’s no need to fear the wind if your haystacks are tied down, but Captain Earl could say, there’s no need to fear the wind as long as you have good navigation skills–and a Skype connection!
It’s Monday morning, and my face is sunkissed and windburned. I wear the signs of the ultimate romantic weekend with my boat, skimming along 30 miles of flat ocean, exceeding hull speed with full sail, and enjoying a freshly caught tuna for lunch in the cockpit. Springtime winds always seem to whirl me into a renewed love affair with sailing. So I gush:
Sailing has got to be the greatest past time known to man. And beast too, I suppose Ratty from Wind in the Willows would say: “There is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” I would have to agree as Ratty profoundly continues: “In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it.”
I’m thrilled to find so many new ASA fans on Facebook and Twitter this week. You are all lovers of water and wind, and no matter whether you like a full keel double ender or sleek lightweight racing sloop or a ten-foot catboat, it doesn’t really matter. That’s the charm of it. If you are visiting this site, you enjoy simply messing around in boats, and you’ll find hundreds of kindred spirits in this online community.
I hope that you all share your photos and stories with us on these online forums, and take it one step further by joining the real-life ASA community in one of our many awesome flotillas for 2010. I’m going to the Exuma Islands, Bahamas, flotilla in just a few weeks, and I’m excited to relate stories from the event on this blog — so stay tuned! I hope you each find your way to an ASA flotilla soon and share sea stories of your own with everyone here too.
Meanwhile, tell your friends about our new social media sites, and keep sailing with ASA!