|"Island Dreamer", a 41 foot Morgan Out Island, our platform for ASA 103, 104 certifications|
|"Kermit", a 20 foot Balboa we used for ASA 101 certification|
|Sharon reviewing ASA course books aboard "Island Dreamer"|
After doing much research, I also decided that we should obtain some sort of standardized certification. While no specific license is required to sail (non-commercially), US Sailing and American Sailing Association are two widely known and accepted standards. By showing these levels of certification, it is official proof of the training one has accomplished for their sailing resume - be it for bareboat chartering (renting and skippering a yacht yourself), or for possible employment. Deciding that education standards were a must helped to narrow down the type of schools we would consider.
|Tim at the helm of "Island Dreamer" under Capt. Margie's command|
The American Sailing Association and US Sailing both have similar levels of certification, starting with the basics of keelboat sailing, progressing up to and beyond bareboat chartering. My goal was to achieve proficiency to a level in which we would feel comfortable enough in our skills to safely live aboard a 40-50 foot sailing vessel. With this goal in mind, it was decided that we should aim for Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising, and Bareboat Charter certifications.
|Sailing "Island Dreamer" through a narrow mangrove channel|
|Sharon at the helm of "Island Dreamer"|
I placed a call to Harold Ochstein, the owner of the school, and also an instructor. Harold immediately convinced me that he truly understood our needs, and our reasons for seeking knowledge towards a new life adventure. This was not a used car salesman making a sale, this was a guy that had been in my position, and had gone through the things we were facing. Cementing our choice, Sharon also placed a call to Harold herself. Harold's calm, reassuring nature soon put all of her concerns at ease. With our decision made, and acknowledgement of the work ahead of us, dates were decided and contracts were signed.
|Capt. Harold Ochstein grilling a great meal aboard "Island Dreamer"|
|ASA Course Materials|