Six adults excelled this spring in the class “Adventures in Sailing” class offered on the York River under the tutelage of the Williamsburg Area Learning Tree. They learned all six points of sail, how to tack sharply, how to gibe safely, how to rescue a man overboard, how to communicate on marine radio, how to read charts, and how to sail on someone’s boat without anxiety. One of them is already looking to buy a sailboat.
This course ranned nearly 20 years and sometimes twice in the Spring and once again in the Fall. Hundreds of landlubbers got their wings and went on to sail on their own. Several bought boats, some of them with partners. Others moved away but continued to sail elsewhere. Eventually the WALT program petered out because the sponsoring church resisted the insurance coverage for liability. A valiant attept to ressurect the program also petered out. The beauty of WALT lay in a curriculum of popular activities that could not be learned anywhere else locally.
I went on to teach at Sail Time in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, certified in the American Sailing Association’s 101, 103 and 105 courses. Most of the lessons took place in the basic 101 course involving two or three people. We sailed Capri 22s in Willoughby Bay. Even though the bay was well protected, big winds became a challenge in the smallish boats. I taught the 103 intermediate course on Hunter 36s in Virginia Beach. That mean sailing in the lower Chesapeake, hard by the Atlantic Ocean. Big stuff, too big for my taste. I never got to teach 105, which is a very difficult navigation course. Eventually the scale of Let’s Go Sail consumed all my time and I gave up ASA.
Let’s Go Launch Sailors
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