ASA Featured Instructor: Marc Gonsalves ASA Instructor & Owner Cruise Abaco

By: Instructors, Schools

Growing up in the windward Islands didn’t just prepare Captain Mark Gonsalves of Cruise Abaco for a career in sailing; it guaranteed he would share his passion for the lifestyle with as many people as possible. His attention to the details of sailing, learning to sail and introducing people to chartering are best described by a student testimonial found on the Cruise Abaco website:

“Our charter with Cruise Abaco was one of the most amazing vacations that my wife and I had EVER taken, and we had some fantastic vacations! Mark Gonsalves, the owner and our Captain met us at the marina and ushered us to our sailboat that he had docked in Hope Town. From there, our ASA instruction and the vacation that followed were simply amazing! I can only describe Mark as one of the nicest, most professional, knowledgeable sailing captains that I have ever met. His willingness to accommodate us was a true relief, and he FAR exceeded our expectations. He ensured not only that our ASA exams were of the utmost priority, but that after training time we enjoyed the Abacos with a very personalized touch that we are CERTAIN we would not have had with anyone else. Mark certainly was a joy to sail and learn with. I cannot imagine our vacation and ASA certification program with anyone else! We were truly astounded with the level of service provided” – Scott and Beverly H.

Captain Marc Gonsalves is this month’s Featured Instructor.

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ASA: What got you into sailing?

Captain Marc Gonsalves:

My father, born and raised in the Grenadines on the island of St. Vincent, was a sailor and I grew up sailing and cruising on a Trimaran built on the island of Bequia in the Grenadines.

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ASA: What was your most memorable student or class?
Captain Marc Gonsalves:

It was a student, he was a corn farmer who had never sailed, and he felt the joy and became hooked. Due to his practical knowledge of being a farmer he excelled. He later retired, bought a boat and went cruising. This scenario has repeated itself over and over. Recently, we just had a family who had a boat in our fleet that took ASA classes. They left the fleet after 2 years with their boat and went sailing all over the world. They returned to visit us on their way back after a year of cruising.

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ASA: Your favorite place to sail?
Captain Marc Gonsalves:

Sea of Abaco in the Bahamas, there is nothing like it, you can sail any day as it lies protected from the Atlantic Ocean swells, its color is amazing, even NASA astronauts say from space the color is beautiful. The marine life and large sailing area that goes for miles and miles are unlike anywhere or any place in the world.

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ASA: Why do you sail?
Captain Marc Gonsalves:

It’s a way of life for me, like breathing; it makes you feel alive! I love to share sailing with others and watch that feeling spread to them; it gives me great joy! It’s the best mode of travel as far as I am concerned and ecologically green……

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ASA: What do people not know about sailing that they should?

Captain Marc Gonsalves:

Understanding the weather, cloud formations, winds and patterns of weather is crucial to sailing. Be self-reliant and understand that if all electronics break you need to be able to fall back on your paper charts, compass, and a lead line.

“There is nothing like the quietness and peace when the sails are up and moving you along with the wind……Brings you back to nature and is healing to the soul.” -Captain Marc Gonsalves

Cruise Abaco offers ASA certifications as well as charter sailing vacations. Captain Marc Gonsalves can be found enjoying the sunshine with guests in Abaco, Bahamas.

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