A Great Family Adventure: From Basic Keelboat to Chartering in Greece in 9 months

Sailing in Greece

Sailing in Greece

For me, the best part of being at OCSC SAILING is seeing people achieve their goals. It never ceases to amaze me how initial conversations materialize into real-life dreams.  I had yet another opportunity to witness this with OCSC Member Rob Fyfe. Rob stopped by in September of ’09 to inquire about classes and chartering on the Bay. He told me about the fond memories he had of sailing with his family during his childhood and wanted to provide the same for his kids.  He started with Basic Keelboat back in Sept ’09, came out for a class or charter virtually every weekend since,  and recently returned from a charter in the Greek Islands.  Here is his story in his own words…

From my earliest Childhood memories until the age of 12 my family had a 35′ sailboat that we sailed in Georgian Bay (part of lake Huron) in Canada.   Every sailable weekend we would head up to the lake.  I moved from Canada to California when I was 13 and we pretty much stopped sailing.  From 12 until 32 I did very little sailing other than small sunfish sailing.  About 8 years ago my father chartered a 50′ boat from Athens, Greece and we sailed with a group of friends for a week in the Cyclyades.  This reawakened my love of sailing.  Since that trip every other year with the same group we have chartered a boat for a week.. One year in the Gulf Islands in Canada and then again in Greece (but the second time in the Dodecanes. Islands near the Turkish Coast.)  After that last trip (which was 2008) I decided that I would not do another trip without having my family with me.  In Sept 2009 I signed up and paid for a 50′ charter boat (again in the Dodecanes).  The same day I called OCSC and began what became a thorough refresher and completely new level of training, experience, skill and confidence in a subject I had thought I was already comfortable in.  I realized how much more I needed to learn before being confident enough to do the scheduled trip in July 2010.  I completed BK, BC and Finally BBC and Advanced BBC (essential for Med cruising) from Sept 2009 – June 2010.   I was extremely grateful for the skills and confidence I gained through the courses and charters that OCSC enabled.   Being a Captain requires a kind of awareness that can’t fully be understood when you are a crew member.  After all when it comes down to it you are responsible for the safety and comfort of your crew.
Sailing the Greek Islands is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had, and I hope to continue to go on a regular basis.   The skills required to do so confidently can be learned at OCSC, and I am grateful for that.. I think that anyone going on such a trip should complete the advanced BBC maybe a couple months before the trip and practice that often nerve racking Med Mooring skill 20 – 50 times… I had practiced only 3 times… For the most part I was fine..  3 successful dockings out of 3 .. however, In one harbor (a very busy and difficult one called Simi) it took me about 5 tries before we were settled.. I would rather have practiced this maneuver many more times..  The bay was very deep (thus getting the anchor down took a bunch of time)  the wind was blowing the bow to starboard and the prop walk pushing the stern to port.. The “Mooring Man” blowing his whistle.. and yelling I think in Greek… boats of all sizes everywhere and everyone on deck watching.. a bit stressful… Once parked Simi is like paradise.. so worth the sweating the docking produced.
The family had an amazing time.. favorite parts.. everything.  One thing about the Greek Islands is the food is unbeatable.  We are still talking about the meals we had.  The water was amazing for swimming.  Great nights anchored in quiet bays and others in lively, and beautiful port towns.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. David
  2. daryle

    unrelated question:

    Is the Marina webcam broken at the moment?

Comments are closed.