By the 'Whale Whisperer'.
So we are now finally into summer. We are planning to sail up the West Coast for a few weeks after Xmas and will reopen the school for normal courses and training, incl. charters from mid Jan 2024. Naturally our sailing is always weather dependent and we wont go out if its miserable or blowing a gale. Anyway as long as you know what youre doing out on the water and have a good boat that can cope, should things get bad, it is not a problem. Trick is to reef early. I have had a busy summer thus far with lots of Comp Crew, Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper students passing thru the school. I also cater for many tourists who want to have some hours saiing in the bay. So if you have not yet been sailing and want to learn, NOW is the time. We are fortunate to be able to sail all year round, weather dependent naturally. Hope to see you soon.
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.).
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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.