SU Highlight: Sailing Essentials

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This post addresses all four central goals of Shearwater University:

  1. To increase the skills, safety and enjoyment of boaters on the Salish Sea
  2. To deepen the individual connection with the natural world we enjoy
  3. To make marine education accessible to anyone wanting to learn
  4. To provide high-caliber classes that are easy to fit into a busy calendar

The Sailing Essentials class and series both provide a thorough foundation in safe, effective sailing for those who want to enjoy sailing keelboats of size 22’ and larger.  The class/series systematically works through the essential skills needed to understand and operate a fixed-keel sailboat under most conditions, including directional sailing under a multitude of conditions, navigation aids and rules, sailing knots, anchoring, docking, and heavy weather tactics.  This comprehensive curriculum provides a thorough accomplishment of Goal #1.

There is nothing that compares with learning to sail in the environment you most aspire to immersing yourself in.  There is no “waiting period” before you can BE in the islands of the Salish Sea.  No local harbor practice with the hope of someday being “out there”.  From the first day on the water with Shearwater University, you are where you long to be, interacting with the winds, tides, waves, and animal life that you so enjoy.  Of all the goals of Shearwater University, Goal 2 may be the most essential.  And you will have it from your first day on the water.

Shearwater University aspires to make boating education affordable and accessible to anyone who desires it (Goal 3).  Likely the biggest challenge is accessibility.  And that is mostly about scheduling.  Therefore, to meet this goal, we’ve created two scheduling options for each major instructional sequence.  For Sailing Essentials, the first option is to take the full class as a three-day intensive, granted you can get a Friday off and stay for the weekend.  If this is not practical for your schedule, you can take individual SE modules on a combination of weeknights and shorter weekend classes.  The other benefit of the module model is that those who have some sailing background can select modules to “fill gaps”, while not repeating content that they already feel confident in,  Finally, if you have a weekend available that is not pre-scheduled, contact us to arrange a dedicated weekend to meet your needs.

Goal number 4 combines quality with accessibility.  One should not have to choose between the two.  Because our paramount goal is making skilled, safe boating available to anyone who wants it, we make both a priority.  The accessibility is just a matter of what makes sense, and so our scheduling & pricing account for that.  The quality has deeper roots.  Phyllis, our educational director, has decades of professional experience in curriculum design.  As a life-long educator of the highest caliber, she has taught on the water and in classrooms with a great deal of success, and provided training and coaching to other top-notch educators, for decades.  An accomplished National Board Certified Teacher of the sciences for adults and young adults, Phyllis has supported many other teachers in improving their effectiveness, engagement, and instructional design.  The result is that you have inherited a world-class educator, because her heart remained in boating and in learning from nature.

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