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Not everyone can be a concert pianist, but it’s fun trying.

It’s always fun to push yourself and try something new.  At the tender age of 14 my father took me to private piano lessons.  My father was musical and, as it quickly transpired, I was clearly not!  But I persevered and even managed to bash out a good enough rendition of “She’ll be coming round the mountain”. So, why is this relevant to learning to sail?

Well, not everyone is going to turn into Sir Ben Ainslie – Olympic medalist extraordinaire – after a week of learning to sail, but you will have a huge amount of fun trying, here in the sunny Caribbean!  
Learning to sail in Antigua

We always see a flurry of inquiries for learning to sail in Antigua each New Year – what a great resolution to make!  So I thought I’d jot down some pointers for those new-to-sailing people out there who know they want to experience sailing, but really don’t know what happens on one of our ASA certification sailing courses.

Well firstly, we only offer private, live-aboard courses.  We don’t team you up with other people on board.  This means that you arrive in Antigua with your buddy/best friend/husband/wife and you have an entire boat just for you. You don’t stay in a hotel or a hammock on the beach, but you sleep on your boat in your own cabin – perfect!  You will be on board with your Instructor for the duration of your course – no classrooms as part of this certification.  Everything happens on board; cooking, learning to sail, jumping into the warm Caribbean sea.  
You step on board at our base in Jolly Harbour Marina and, after a safety briefing and itinerary discussion, you will leave the Marina for your week of sailing adventure.  The courses are structured so that you will experience not only sailing, but also the beauty of Antigua, too.  So yes, there will be time for swimming, snorkelling and exploring ashore.

Your home away from home for the week

You will sail each day to a new anchorage. This means that you have every opportunity to practice your knots, your sail handling and your newly found navigation skills.   It’s all about time on the water and getting as much experience under your belt.  Every day will be different, you will experience different conditions – sometimes less wind, sometimes more wind.  All of this is great for you as you are building your knowledge in different situations.  

Your Instructor is there as your friend and teacher.  They have so much experience – probably sailing all over the world and crossing oceans – so use them to ask as many questions as you can think of.  There’s no such thing as a bad question here.  
People learn differently, and our Instructors recognize this.  Some people need to see something first and then they pick it up, others need to make notes.  Whatever works for you, works for us.  

Waterfront dining in Antigua

If, after a week afloat enjoying the Antiguan scenery, you decide to follow up with an Olympic sailing campaign then fantastic, or if you decide that becoming a concert pianist is more suited to you, then that’s great too. Either way, sailing is a wonderful hobby that brings people together, makes you forget everything else happening in the world and means you get to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world – all under sail power!

To find out more, contact Jackie at [email protected]