By the 'Whale Whisperer'.
Spring is upon us and soon it will be summer again and the CTSA is in its 10th year. It was in August 2009 that we started the Cape Town Sailing Academy. It has been an interesting and exciting 10 years of sailing.
Not only are we still teaching many students the art of sailing, but we are also able to instill in a lot of them the same passion for this sport that Ralph has. It is great to see students attend an Introduction to Sailing course or a Competent Crew course, get really hooked on sailing and then take it further to Day Skipper level and beyond. In fact Ralph has taught quite a few students who have bought their own boats and need a minimum Day Skipper license to be able to legally sail. They are able to learn on their own yachts and the competent crew students get the chance to sail on a variety of different boats, thus enhancing their skills. Many students also charter yachts in the Med and need a minimum of a Day Skipper license in order to do so.
The legal process involved in getting a yacht commercially endorsed with SAMSA is onerous to say the least. The yacht has to come out of the water on an annual basis, and needs to have a hull survey as well as a safety survey. Not only does the yacht itself have to be commercially endorsed by SAMSA and have its own DTC number, the teaching skipper is also supposed to have a commercial endorsement that qualifies him/her to teach/take charters legally in SA waters. Despite the fact that Ralph has RYA and SA SAILING Yachtmaster certificates of competence, was an RYA cruising Instructor and is an accredited SA Sailing Examiner, he still needed to do yet another exam with SAMSA in order to get his local SA commercial endorsement. (As a word of caution to students who intend doing a sailing course, please check that the training boats have a valid DTC no. and that your instructor is SAMSA approved with a valid commercial ticket - if not the school and the instructor are operating illegally.)
It is great to see that people do not get put off by the colder weather in winter and continue to come sailing. In fact, the sailing weather in winter is often better. Though not as warm as in summer, the Northwesterly and Southwesterly winds are often steadier and more pleasant to learn to sail in than the often gale force Southeasters. If you have warm clothes and wear a 'beanie' it can be a lot of fun. We regularly do a 'twilight sail' during the week and they are always a lot of fun, plus students get a chance to do some night sailing as part of their course. Please click on the Video link and see the latest video on Twilight Sailing in Table Bay.
We are also on face- book under "Sailing in Cape Town".
STOP PRESS. We now have a Video link on every page so you can check the latest informative videos: Hurry up and Wait & lots more.
CHECK THE LATEST BLOG.(capetownsailingacademy.blogspot.com)
The Gallery page on our website is a direct link to our Facebook page SAILING IN CAPE TOWN, so if you like looking at pictures just click on the link on the Home page.PS visit the Courses Page to find out about all the internationally approved SAS courses.
We have revised and updated our Blog The latest blog is entitled What to look for when buying a sailboat
Comments and suggestions are welcome, just drop me an email to email@example.com.
The CTSA specialises in SA Sailing accredited sailing courses, both local and international, including Introduction to Sailing, Competent Crew, Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses.
SA citizens are also eligible to obtain their ICC (International Certificate of Competency) issued by SA Sailing.
A testimonial from one of my students a few months ago had this to say..
Hi Ralph,Thank you very much for the fantastic sailing experience in Cape Town, I will never forget it. I do hope to come back next year to sail with you again like we talked about. Winter sailing like you suggested would be very interesting to me and I think perhaps August or September might be a good time to come back if you are available for several days. Please keep in touch with me so we may discuss a future trip/training experience. Again, thank you and watch out for those whales!Fair winds to you,Joel Nyman
This brings me to my personal sailing philosophy. I have stated previously that I am not a great fan and advocate of so called short sailing courses so generally I do not offer them at the CTSA. No matter what course you do with me, you will be sailing with me for a much longer period and
in many varied conditions which will enable you to develop your sailing and seamanship skills. This is at no extra cost.
Many students become friends and continue sailing with me whenever there is space on the boat. This enables you to keep developing your sailing skills and seamanship. This takes time, something that is not possible when doing short courses.
Something else I have noticed over the years is that many students want to run before they can walk. They want to enrol in a Day Skipper or
Coastal Skipper course without having a thorough grasp and knowledge of the basic Competent Crew course skills needed.
Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Sailing and seamanship are no different, it takes time and you never stop learning.