An Interview with OCSC Member and Skipper Dan Givens!
What sailing experience did you have before you came to OCSC?
Growing up, I sailed occasionally with my grandfather (a Navy veteran) on hisLido 14 in Oregon. More recently, in 2013, I joined as crew on my friend’s 36-foot X-Yacht, for weekly “Beer Can” races and weekend practice. So I might have had a slight head start versus other students in my class, but the instructors make it so easy to learn – you really don’t need experience to begin classes.
What do you like about sailing?
The complexity. It’s physical (lots of pulling, climbing, balancing, etc.). It’s intellectual (navigation, tides and currents, right-of-way, etc.). It’s social (friends and family and fellow sailors). It’s graceful (from gliding silently along the water, to tying nifty knots, to keeping the boat tidy). It’s unpredictable (something always goes “wrong” and I like the challenge of trying to figure out the solution, whether that solution is textbook or improvised).
What brought you to OCSC?
At the end of the “Beer Can” race series, the skipper and crew suggested I get certified. I said, “Great, what sailing school should I go to?” They replied in unison, “OCSC. It’s the best.” After a bit of research on the web – in particular reading about OCSC’s history, philosophy, and approach – I was totally convinced and enrolled immediately.
Why did you decide to become a member?
Membership is a great value. The boats are always ready to go, thanks to the excellent service department. The office staff is welcoming and accommodating. The instructors are technical and rigorous – which sounds scary – but they are also very friendly, with endless stories. The seminars, BBQs, and other extra-curricular activities are well organized. And of course the other 1,000 club members are awesome, and easy to find thanks to the online “crew-list” service.
What sailing goals do you have?
In the near term, I will complete the Coastal Passage Making course with OCSC, and pursue a few other advanced courses. In the medium term, I would like to volunteer on ocean-going sailboats as crew – for yacht delivery, vacation chartering, etc.
In the long term, I dream of buying a boat and sailing around the world, hopefully with friends I’ve met along the way at OCSC.
What do you do when you’re not sailing?
Professionally, I have made a career in Financial Planning at a few Bay Area tech companies. But traveling is my real passion. I view sailing as another tool in my travel tool kit. What a great way to see the world!