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October 8, 2014 Annapolis, Charter sail, Coast Guard, Education, Geography, How to, Rates, Reservations, Sailing, Sailing School, Trip Advisor, US Coast Guard, Vacation, Williamsburg, York River

Sailing with Swashbucklers

Sailing with Swashbucklers

Capt Bill is standing fourth from left in red sweater

People ask, “How did you get trained?” Dedicated mariners traveled to the Annapolis Sailing School in the summer of 2014 from as far as Maine, Los Angeles and Atlanta to qualify for the American Sailing Association’s higher level of instruction in Coastal Navigation and Coastal Cruising.

Many of them run sailing schools and charter boats for daily excursion. One fellow sailed the expanse of the Chesapeake Bay for decades and simply sought certification. Another student served a former military sniper. Together they formed an experienced cadre of swashbucklers whose expertise extended to the finest rum.

Then the day combined two courses, beginning with Coastal Cruising. We qualified by running a Hunter 36 backward and blindfolded in the busy lanes of Annapolis marinas. 

As well, the ASA 105 Navigation course requires that all of it taught in the classroom instead of on the water like the other courses. And I eventually earned my 205 qualification to teach the course. Glad I never had to. One requirement calls for charting a course from Baltimore to Norfolk, from buoy to buoy. But just one slip of a few degrees along the way and you’re sunk.

Coast Guard Trainee

Sailing with SwashbucklersSailing with SwashbucklersAlec Willette is graduating high school in south central Virginia this spring and is enlisting in the US Coast Guard. “I filled out the regular application for the military and followed up with the Coast Guard testing for proficiencies. They categorize you according to desire and capability, and I’d like to get out on the Coast Guard boats.” We sailed over to the US Coast Guard Training Center at Yorktown. But the only boat there turned out the lifeboat on davits at the end of the pier. On this chilly day, but Alec felt comfortable in shorts. So he will do well in Coast Guard weather. Earlier, he went to sailing camp as a youngster, where he learned the difficult task of running dinghies and other small boats. Bigger sailboats like a Hunter 320 are much easier, he discovered on this day.

Museum Underway

Yorktown Victory center

From afar, it looks like Lee’s Mansion.

Next, Nor’easter winds are expected to gust 30-40 mph on the weekend in July 2015 atop the renamed American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Then place opens next year with a bigger and better presentation than the Yorktown Victory Center. From the York River, one can see the main entrance clearly. From afar, it looks like Robert E. Lee’s home at Arlington. But Homer Lanier of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation said the intended effect of the main building will be an “impressive sense of arrival.” And a sculpture of an American bald eagle will be added over the entrance for added impact.

Let’s Go Sailing with Swashbucklers

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