Well folks, its true. I’m officially certifiable. As a sailing instructor, that is. The ASA (American Sailing Association) has seen fit to grant me a slew of instructor certifications from basic keelboat instructor all the way to bareboat charter instructor (ASA 104/204), including coastal navigation instructor (ASA 105/205). I’ve got three left to go “all the way” for monohull with them: Advanced Coastal Crusing Instructor, Offshore Passagemaking Instructor, and Offshore Navigation (Celestial Navigation) Instructor. But for now, for this area, its about as complete as I’m going to get for the moment, and it lets me teach a LOT of sailing to a lot of folks.
Needless to say, I’ve studied and practiced my ass off for quite a long time to earn these certifications and I’m very, very excited to share this news with you.
Some people ask me why I chose the ASA, so I’ll explain briefly here: The ASA is the major sailing educational institution in the US, with over 300 professional sailing schools worldwide. The ASA has long been THE standard reference for sailing instruction in the US, with a functional keelboat education program since 1983. And, interestingly, its the only certifying sailing organization in the U.S. with an Instructor Code of Ethics. There are a few other well-advertised schools of sailing out there, and while I’m not one to get into political issues, let’s just say that I was very impressed by the ASA’s educational focus and solid ethics. I think the other schools have their strengths (the ASA is not a racing school, for instance) but I think the ASA’s model for teaching new sailors and strengthening experienced ones is very well done.
If you have any questions about sailing education — or the other side of sailing: racing — just let me know!
Now its off to clean my boat up since its become a total mess while I’ve prepared for and then taken these exams.