'ASA Sailing Week in St Petersburg Florida - Jim Rick Betty Susie Ann'
Wanting to have a holiday and build your sailing skills as well? There's nothing like a flotilla sailing holiday to fill the bill, or, for more intensive instruction, a Sailing Week in a single port.
The American Sailing Association (ASA) offers just such holidays and one of the big sailing summer kick-offs took place last month, as the Renaissance Vinoy Marina in St. Petersburg, Florida, became ASA territory.
Members and instructors from around the world descended for a week of celebrating the sailing lifestyle–meeting new friends, enjoying the sunshine, and learning from the best!
With clinics in the mornings, and open dock times every afternoon, there were no shortage of opportunities to get out and sail on Tampa Bay. The boats ranged from the big Leopard 44 catamaran, to Hunters, Catalinas, and Beneateaus, as small as 27 feet and as large as 45.
Members got in some great Crew Overboard and Docking practice (including clinics for women only) and plenty of time to just handle the boat and enjoy the water.
One of the great assets of being part of such a sailing holiday is learning from the combined experience of their master instructors! The American Sailing Week schedule was packed with seminars on every topic, including:
* 'The Five Step Plan to the Cruising Life'
* 'Basic Line Handling (aka, Develop Your Cowboy Skills)'
* 'Basic Navigation & Cool Tools'
* And many more!
One of the biggest and most important clinics was on 'Safety at Sea,' and covered a broad spectrum of topics, including the different types of emergencies that can occur at sea, how to call for help, and lifesaving techniques, including an inflatable life raft demonstration in the pool. This was a unique chance to try out a life raft and understand how it works BEFORE you need it!
ASA sailing week in St Petersburg - when the sailing finishes the parties begin - .. .
Meanwhile, there were 'informal seminars' happening all over the place–at breakfast, poolside, and in the cockpit. The chance to pick the brain of an ASA instructor who has spent decades sailing some of the world’s best cruising grounds was not to be missed!
No gathering of sailors would be complete without some great parties. Aside from daily meals shared at the Vinoy’s fine restaurant or in the local St. Petersburg area, many a cutlass was brandished at the ASA Rooftop Pirate Party, with the skyline of St. Petersburg and the waters of Tampa Bay for a backdrop. And the week ended with a grand awards banquet, a chance to say farewell and thanks for the memories…until next year!
The American Sailing Association has flotillas all around the world, including Croatia, Grenada, and the British Virgin Islands coming up later this year!
Click here for their full schedule for 2012. You'll have to wait a little longer for the 2013 calendar.
by ASA/Sail-World Cruising
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12:22 AM Wed 25 Jul 2012GMT
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