Sail Channel Islands

COASTAL CRUISING AND BAREBOAT TRAINING in Channel Islands National Park. That’s what I do. That and cruises for up to four people just for the fun of it. In terms of ASA qualifications, I only do private lessons – just you and your crew. And if your crew is a spouse who just needs a vacation, that’s fine, too.

There are two big differences between a day sail and a cruise. 1. Planning: long range weather, meals, navigation, contingency planning and emergency preparation. 2. The need to monitor and conserve: fresh water, fuel food, materiel integrity of your yacht and the health and well being of your crew. There are many new skills that you will learn as you work your way from ASA 103 and up to the ASA 106 Advanced Coastal Cruising certificate. I go well beyond ASA textbook and testing requirements to develop the skills you need to operate safely beyond the bounds of standard tourist cruising destinations such as the Med, Tahiti and the BVI.

Our base is in Channel Islands Harbor, Vintage Marina. We’re about an hour from Santa Barbara and an hour and change from LAX. If you take the train, I’ll pick you up and take you back.

In my ASA 103, you plan a day trip across the coastwise traffic lane to Anacapa Island. Based on the weather forecast, you’ll select an anchorage and a backup. You’ll plot the course, note obstructions, and pilot the boat to the island. We’ll anchor at least twice, setting anchor alarms and visually monitoring our position. We’ll have lunch, discuss what we did and talk about heavy weather considerations. On the way home, we’ll go forward on jacklines and reef the main. Once clear of the coastwise traffic lane, we’ll do a surprise MOB drill.

ASA 104 is at least a three day trip to Santa Cruz Island. In addition to the skills previously practiced, we’ll scope out more difficult anchorages that require a bow and stern anchor. I’ll help you launch and recover the dinghy and or kayak after we consider the wind, tide and surf conditions. When we’re in an exposed anchorage on one hook, we’ll rig a riding sail and make preparations for an emergency departure. We’ll consult on the menu a week or two ahead of time and I’ll make sure everything is aboard, then we’ll stow the stuff together when you arrive. In the evening, we’ll discuss emergency plans for fire, flooding, rigging failure and medical emergencies. We’ll review our supply/water/fuel situation every night then set the anchor watch. Prior to departure, I’ll assist you in the navigation planning and will teach you how to take a fix and do basic dead reckoning on our first leg.

ASA 106 is a practicum – you put it all together in a five day trip that may range as far as San Miguel Island. But this time, I’m the coach and you are the quarterback. You’ve already completed ASA 105 and all the navigation planning is in your hands. We are heading for a region where the weather can be challenging and we will prepare for gale force winds (though we won’t go if the prediction is that bad.) We’ll do a substantial bit of night sailing and “flying on instruments,” using our radar to establish a danger bearing and warn us of vessels in the area. We’ll do a simulated man overboard recovery in the dark. We’ll cook midrats or, if the weather is balky, live on power bars for a time.

It sounds like a lot of work, and it is more work than vacation. But there will be plenty of time for kayaking, tide pooling, hiking, snorkeling and just hanging out and watching the sunset. And you’re doing it all in the Galapagos of North America. We’re likely to sail with whales and dolphins, see the elephant seal rookeries and watch bald eagles hunt in our anchorage.

I had no idea how fabulous this area was until I moved here and started exploring. Yes, I’d read about it but I didn’t believe. Less than 100 miles from a billion or so people in LA, we rarely even see another boat in our anchorage.

See my resume if you want to know more about my teaching and sailing life, or give me a call. I’m happy to talk sailing just about any time.

ASA Sailing Certification Courses Offered

ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing
ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing
Learn to skipper a 20' - 27' sloop-rigged keelboat by day, in light to moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising
Learn to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered 25'-35' keelboat by day in moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather, safety and seamanship.
ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising
ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising
Learn how to sail a sloop-rigged, auxiliary powered 30'-45' sailboat during a multi-day cruise upon inland/coastal waters in moderate/heavy winds and sea conditions. Learn about provisioning, boat systems, auxiliary engines, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation, anchoring / mooring, docking, emergency operations, weather, and more.
ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising
ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising
Learn to safely act as skipper and crew of a sailing vessel about 30 to 50 feet in length in coastal and inland waters, in any conditions.

Sailing School Reviews / Testimonials

  • Taking ASA 104 (Bareboat chartering) and ASA 105 (Coastal Navigation) opened up new worlds for me. With ASA 104 Captain Dan brought his wealth of sailing knowledge and his personal experiences to teach me everything necessary to skipper a yacht...[read more]

    Dennis - ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising

  • Captain Dan took me from a guy who had never stepped foot onto a sailboat before to a guy who sailed his own 35 foot Bluewater boat from Ventura, Ca to La Paz, BCS and then around the Sea of Cortez – often solo![read more]

    Ken - ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

  • Karla returned from her third day at sea with the ‘King of Salt’ declaring ‘Larry, I need to be on the water everyday!'[read more]

    Larry and Karla - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

  • From the moment my son (age 11 at the time) and I met Capt. Dan he conveyed his passion for sailing through patient teaching and simple hands on direction.[read more]

    Regina and Luke - ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

  • I took ASA 101 and 103 back to back with Capt. Dan. On day 1, I didn’t know the difference between a jib and a jibe, but on day 6, I was commanding "Wiley", a Catalina 36, around platform Gina miles out in the Pacific.

    Randy - ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

Contact Information

Sail Channel Islands

Address 3150 S. Harbor Blvd.OxnardCA93035United States
Phone(805) 750-7828
Websitewww.sailchannelislands.com
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