My how things have changed! There was a time when having to go to summer school was not a good thing. Your friends felt sorry for you and your parents weren’t happy since going to summer school back then meant you didn’t do well in school and you had to retake some courses to keep up with your class.
If you didn’t go to summer school, you’d have to repeat the previous year’s classes and worst of all you’d be in a whole new class with those a year behind you becoming your new classmates. That was a social “No-No” to be avoided at all costs.
The “Summer School” I’m talking about now is on the water, in the classroom and even online for both power and sail “Students”. Whether beginning cruisers or sailors who want to enhance their skills, these “Summer School” opportunities can easily accommodate both.
The U. S. Power Squadron (usps.org) offers many classes and the State of Florida has the Boat Smart (www.boat-ed.com) course online. Successful completion of that course provides the student with a Florida Boating Safety Education I.D. Card and that’s required if you were born on or after January 1, 1988 and operate a motorized boat of 10 horsepower or more in Florida. There’s no minimum age requirement to take this online course, nor do you have to be a Florida resident.
The American Sailing Association (asa.com) has training facilities across the country and many of them offer special summer programs.
Over the years Vic and I have offered power and sail classes, we’ve seen a number of occasions when the captain and first mate attend school and then hook up with the rest of their crew to try out their new skills in the cruising waters of Southwest Florida — A nautical family vacation.
Finally, Summer School this time of year has an added bonus. It takes place during our “low” season here in Florida and that means the lowest rates of the year for our visitors.
So, if you’re planning on improving your cruising skills give Summer School 2019 a try! You have a lot of options.
Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, a liveaboard yacht school. Contact her at email@example.com