Back in March I went out to the Coast to re-certify my Basic Cruising Instructor level. I used to be an Advanced Cruising Instructor however kids and a “real job” got in the way and I let my certifications lapse. So, now that the kiddies are older and I have a new playground (Nelson BC) I have decided it was time to jump back on the sailing bandwagon. Hence the birth of Sail Nelson.

I was fortunate enough to get slotted into a Basic Cruising Instructor course with a school on the Coast called Simply Sailing. Christof and Bob welcomed me to the course with open arms and off I went.

I was a bit hesitant to head out as I had no idea if I still had what it took to be an instructor. I mean I taught all over Ontario and Quebec for years, but I had not taught in almost 10 years. What was I getting myself into? What if my skills had diminished? What if I could not remember the theory? What if I could not plot a course?


My first classroom lesson was Tide Tables (yawn) and Bob announced after I finished that it was the best and most interesting Tide lesson he’s ever seen in his 20+ years of coaching instructors. Phew! Maybe I’ve still got it?!

The other instructors in the course were all racers. Man, the language they were using was SO foreign to me! “I’m in the pit” “Punch it” “Pinch it” blah blah swearing… what the heck are they talking about? So, needless to say I was a bit interested in this land o’ racing. I raced dinghies back in Hamilton and Montreal, but never really got into serious racing with keelboats. However, a big Ocean race has always been on my to-do list…


So, as I have done with many other things in life, I’ve decided to jump in with both feet and I am planning to compete in the Vic-Maui Yacht Race next season! I will have to get a few courses under my belt (Safety At Sea, Coastal Nav brush-up), but overall I am excited for my first Ocean voyage. I’ll be blogging about my preparations for this journey, so feel free to tag along!

Safe seas,

Captain Penny

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