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I wanted to pass along some thoughts of how grateful I am after my first charter. I signed up for the basic skipper package in mid-February, finished the BC2 class on May 24 and less than a week later was leaving Ballena Bay for an over-nighter on Saphira. My wife and I had always dreamed of a weekend of baseball and boating, and it happened May 30-31. Ideally we would have preferred guest docking in South Beach Harbor marina but we learned 5 days notice wasn’t enough (2 months for Giants’ games!). We ended up at the Pier 39 guest marina which was almost empty, saw Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games, picked up my adult children in SF at Pier 1 1/2, got them very interested in sailing and had a fabulous weekend. A delightful and dramatic late afternoon sky over SF framed the trip back to Alameda.

As I think about the experience, I’m so grateful for the training your instructors provided. I have chartered a motor yacht up off the “Sunshine Coast” of British Columbia the last 2 summers but never sailed at all. We were never really challenged by the weather up north and had delightful trips. I knew it would be more challenging on San Francisco Bay and if I was going to be tested by conditions, I was hoping to have some confidence along with the skill. The training your instructors provided gave me the ability to have solid skills and confidence, especially when heading up to Pier 39 and encountering winds of 24 knots. We never had anything like that in the classes and I was able to calmly reef the sails, then furl them and get into the marina with my inexperienced crew.

Having the experience of both Sausalito and Alameda for the BK & BC classes as well as four different boats was great. Simon Bell, Richard Deep, Paul Churchill (with new instructor Jay Grant as well) and Joe Brandt were all extremely helpful, encouraging, patient, knowledgeable, passionate and remarkably calm with us students. I don’t know what could have made it better for my personal needs.

The boats were all in very good shape and knowing you have a talented maintenance team lends even more confidence in the operation and reliability of each boat. We were so comfortable on Saphira whether motoring, sailing or when tied up in our slip cooking a meal. I hope to take her out again and share more of my passion with family and friends. I hope it passed inspection this morning when you checked it over.

Please pass along my appreciation to each instructor, the office support, maintenance teams (Colin was gracious enough to help with some questions during pre-cruise) and Dave Scott for his enthusiasm and information on how everything works. In my opinion, you are doing everything right. I look forward to more time in classes and chartering.

Yours sincerely,
Gove Celio






Article posted in by Dwight Durant