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Dinghy Sailing vs. Yacht SailingDinghy Sailing vs. Yacht Sailing The kind of boat you choose to sail will define your relationship with the sport as a whole. Like wind and weather conditions, the boat is one part of the entire sailing experience....

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Combine Sailing Lessons With an International VacationCombine Sailing Lessons With an International Vacation Vacations are for rejuvenation and exploration, right? So why not one-up all the normal resort-goers and take sailing lessons at your vacation destination this summer! Sailing...

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Sailing is a Great Way to Spend Quality Time with your FamilySailing is a Great Way to Spend Quality Time with your... Whether you have a six-year-old son or a sixteen-year-old daughter, sailing is a wonderful bonding experience that everyone in the family will enjoy. Next time you suggest...

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When it Comes to Your Sailing Education, You're the Boss!When it Comes to Your Sailing Education, You're the... One of the most important parts of beginning your sailing education is finding the right sailing school. Every individual has different strengths, weaknesses, needs, and ideal...

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ASA in Croatia: Medieval Mysteries This is a story about ASA's 2012 Croatia Flotilla. For more info on upcoming ASA sailing flotillas, click here. Sailors (and tourists of all kinds) have beaten a well-worn...

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Guanabara Bay: A Reminder to Preserve our SeasGuanabara Bay: A Reminder to Preserve our Seas “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.” –John F. Kennedy As sailors,...

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Docking: Or, How You Can Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the MarinaDocking: Or, How You Can Learn to Stop Worrying and... Once, while sailing in the San Juan Islands, I saw something I'll never forget. A powerboater cruised into the dock at high speed with his wife on the stern, line in hand,...

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ASA members unite for a special week in the BVIsASA members unite for a special week in the BVIs Lots of people sail the British Virgin Islands every year, but not many get to do it in quite the same style as the 2014 ASA Member's Event, which took place March 1-8. For...

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Four Ways to Get Sailing ExperienceFour Ways to Get Sailing Experience “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go! What the wise...

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Getting your Sailing Education is Easier Than Ever!Getting your Sailing Education is Easier Than Ever! A good education combines practical experience with study - and nowhere is that more true than in the world of sailing. As important as it is to understand how a boat works,...

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How Not to Dock Your Boat

Category : American Sailing Association, Safety, Sailboats, Social Media, Standards

If only these people had taken the American Sailing Association’s Docking Endorsement. We’ll teach you everything from the physics of docking to how to step on and off the boat without falling in the water. (Hint #1: Don’t try to jump over the lifelines.)

Most of all, we’ll give you a lot of practice and make sure you feel SAFE and CONFIDENT when leaving the dock and coming back.

Ask your local sailing school about the ASA Docking Endorsement (118). It sure beats the alternative. A few years ago I was on a boat setting sail on a major ocean passage. Our journey had an inauspicious start, however, because as we left the dock we pulled a huge chunk of it off with us! Of course, that was partly the dock’s fault, being old and crumbly, but still… (Oh, and this was way before I ever worked for ASA!)

broken dock

This is a different broken concrete dock, but it gives you the idea.

Winners of the ASA Fan Appreciation Sweepstakes

Category : American Sailing Association, Members, Social Media
Grand Prize Winner Capt. John Enders

Grand Prize Winner Capt. John Enders sails S/V Victoria.

Thousands entered, but only 5 could win.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in our recent Fan Appreciation Sweepstakes on Facebook. It was our way of thanking those of you who have followed us for a long time, as well as bringing in new people with a passion for sailing. Congratulations to the winners, and we hope that everyone continues to enjoy sharing the best of the sailing lifestyle on our Facebook page.

In case you’re not a fan of our Facebook page yet, here’s an idea of why you should be. Every day we post the best videos, photos, and news from the sailing world. You’ll find everything from informative articles on the art of sailing, to interesting historical anniversaries and great seafaring quotes, to stuff that’s just plain fun. We also love seeing your sailing photos and hearing your sea stories. It’s a great place for sailors from all over the world to talk to each other. So join us by clicking “Like” at the top of the page.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the first ever ASA Fan Appreciation Sweepstakes:
ipod touch 8g
GRAND PRIZE – iPod Touch 8G

Captain John Enders, who sails on S/V Victoria out of Anacortes, WA. Capt. Enders had a sense of humor about his win, saying, “This is great news. I haven’t won anything since I was 13 (about a hundred years ago). It was a 45 of Barry Sadler’s ‘Green Beret’ ballad.” Well, he’ll be listening to Bert Sadler in style on his iPod Touch from now on!

OTHER WINNERS:

ASA logo sailcloth cooler by Sailor Bags: John Goebel, who says, “Without my ASA certifications I wouldn’t be as good of a sailor as I am and wouldn’t be out on Santa Monica Bay crewing for races all year long!”

Weems & Plath Navigation Kit: Dan Schertner

ASA Logo T-Shirt: Marte Gutierrez

ASA Logo T-Shirt: Seth Goettelman

Once again, congratulations to all of the winners and a profound thanks from ASA to everyone who entered! Fair winds!

Notable Numbers: Magellan’s 492nd, Minoru’s 8th, and Dekker’s 16th

Category : American Sailing Association, Sailboats

On this day in 1519, Ferdinand Magellan set sail on the first ever circumnavigation of Earth. Magellan sailed in the service of King Charles I of Spain, and was charged with finding a westward route to the “Spice Islands,” which are today a part of Indonesia. His ship completed the voyage, but Magellan did not. He was killed in a conflict with natives in the Philippines. Nevertheless, Magellan is one of the most famous seafarers in history. To get an idea of his influence, consider that Magellan actually named the Pacific Ocean.

Fast forward 492 years: A couple of modern sailors have followed in Magellan’s footsteps. They’re not going into the complete unknown, as he was, but nature and the sea remain as full of surprises as ever.
laura dekker
Today, September 20th, Laura Dekker turns 16. Dekker departed her native Holland at the ripe old age of 14, has crossed two oceans and now finds herself in Australia and on track for a successful solo circumnavigation. Unlike other teen sailors, such as Zac & Abby Sunderland, Dekker is not attempting a nonstop solo circumnavigation. Instead, she’s taking her time, enjoying stops in the Azores, St. Martin, the Galapagos, and other locales along the way. She expects to finish her trip around May 2012.

And at the other end of the spectrum, a few days ago accomplished Japanese sailor Minoru Saito completed his EIGHTH solo circumnavigation, this time sailing the “wrong way,” east to west. The kicker? Saito is 77 years old. He described this as his most difficult circumnavigation, and was beset by a near-Biblical string of difficulties, from severe damage to his boat at Cape Horn, to a hernia operation in Chile, to being hit by a car in Hawaii, to delays related to the 2011 Japanese tsunami. All told it took him 4 times as long as anticipated. He says he missed “cherry blossoms” more than anything else while at sea, and is already thinking about his next trip. He mentions Alaska and Greenland as destinations, which makes you wonder if he’s not contemplating taking on the Northwest Passage! I wouldn’t put anything past him now.

New discussion forum for ASA instructors on Facebook

Category : American Sailing Association, Instructors, Social Media

asa instructors and membersThe sport and lifestyle of sailing are ever-changing, and ASA instructors, some of the finest sailing teachers in the world, are a great resource to the community and to each other. Now there’s a place online for instructors to quickly and easily talk to each other about strategies, techniques, and the issues of the day.

The brand new ASA Sailing Instructors group on Facebook is the official online meeting place for our qualified instructors. Here you can share documents, including text, articles, photos, and videos. You can also comment on and discuss any topic related to the work or lifestyle of being a sailing instructor.

For example, the first topic of discussion has been Tom Tursi’s article on Overboard Rescue procedures. Click here to contribute your voice to this topic, and to stay abreast of the latest instructor news and chit-chat!

America’s Cup Live Coverage, Sailing News, and Your Moment of Zen

Category : American Sailing Association, Sailboats, Social Media

sunset sailboatsSeptember is here and while it’s still high summer at ASA’s headquarters in Marina del Rey, CA, in many places the sailing season is winding down. But that doesn’t mean the good times have to come to an end–and you don’t have to stop living the sailing lifestyle. Here are some cool items to keep you in tune with the world of sailing.

For those who have an interest in the intense, fast, and wild world of America’s Cup racing, it’s easier than ever to keep track of the AC34 World Series. Racing action from Plymouth, England from Sept. 10-18 will be streaming live on the America’s Cup World Series.

Click here to follow.

If you’re wondering how the America’s Cup started and got it’s name, by the way, here’s the dramatic story.
moored boat sunset
In other news, a blogger going by the name Hodgepodgereel has a run-down, with some very artful photographs, of what it’s like to take ASA 101, Basic Keelboating.

A legally blind man is planning to sail solo around the world. His boat is set-up to work with his needs. What do you think? Inspiring, brave, or foolish? Maybe all three? Story.

On the lighter side, Practical Sailor on the art of blue water “cursing.”

Finally, sit back and get into the properly relaxed frame of mind for the weekend with this serene video of the waters at Key West, Florida.

New 2012 ASA Flotillas!

Category : American Sailing Association, Flotillas

bahamas flotillaEvery year ASA organizes flotilla cruises around the world. In 2011 alone we’ve been to the Bahamas, Greece, Croatia, and the Pacific Northwest, among other wonderful destinations. Still to come this year are cruises in Southern California, Florida’s Pine Island Sound, and Tahiti.

We’re hitting the ground running in 2012, too. Here are the flotillas scheduled so far:

St. Martin and the Leeward Antilles, April 20-28, 2012. With visits to French St. Martin, Dutch Sint Maarten, British Anguilla, and other stops along the way, this cruise will be a mix of European sophistication, with fine shopping and eating, and relaxed West Indian vibes. Not to mention great Caribbean sailing!

Victoria and San Juan Islands Flotilla, June 15-22, 2012. This flotilla will visit the Canadian city of Victoria, which boasts a spectacular harbor. Other stops on Vancouver Island include the vibrant seaside town of Sidney and tiny, laid back Genoa Bay. We will also be sailing the beautiful San Juan Islands of northwest Washington. Wildlife abounds in these areas and includes bald eagles and orca whales.

For more information on these flotillas and how to register, click here.