Embark on a voyage of skill and discovery with the Puget Sound Sailing Institute – an esteemed Sailing School Affiliate of ASA, charting the course of exceptional instruction for over 35 years. Whether you’re a novice yearning for the thrill of the first sail or a seasoned mariner seeking to refine your mastery, the Puget Sound Sailing Institute welcomes all aboard.
For this exciting sail expedition, Matthew Blair, the new owner of Puget Sound Sailing Institute, takes the helm from the esteemed Mike Rice, founder of the institute and a 10-time recipient of the esteemed title of ASA Instructor of the Year Award. Matthew brings an impressive sailing background as a former Outward Bound Instructor, including commanding tall ships. Trained meticulously in Mike Rice’s sail plan and personally mentored by Mike himself, Matthew seamlessly continues the institute’s tradition of excellence in Learn-To-Sail “EducationVacation” charters.
The British Virgin Islands (BVIs) aren’t just a sailing destination; they’re a sailor’s paradise waiting to be explored. And Winter in the BVIs (January to March) offers favorable temperatures and sailing conditions. During this time of year, reliable trade winds from the East (averaging 15-20 knots) are accompanied by gentle seas, creating an idyllic playground for those exploring the region’s vast crystal clear waters.
With more than forty anchorages, most just a few hours’ sail apart, the BVIs present an ideal sailing destination. Pristine white sand beaches, turquoise waters and exceptional snorkeling/scuba opportunities comprise the elements of paradise and a perfect destination for both beginner and novice sailors alike.
This archipelago of approximately 60 islands is a sailor’s dream come true and your personal playground for mastering the art of sailing, whether you’re a rookie setting sail for the first time or a seasoned mariner looking to fine-tune your expertise. More than just a lesson, this Learn-to-Sail Vacation embodies an immersive experience. It provides the opportunity to seamlessly navigate from one picturesque spot to another, refining navigation skills while embracing the diverse sailing conditions each location presents.
Beyond the thrill of the sea, these islands buzz with infectious energy within a passionate sailing community. Mingle with fellow sailors, listening to their stories of triumphs and tribulations while learning valuable lessons from these experienced mentors, enthusiastic to share their wisdom. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, taste the tantalizing local cuisine, and sway to the rhythm of lively island melodies. The British Virgin Islands aren’t just a place to learn to sail; they’re a captivating journey beckoning you to embark on an unforgettable seafaring adventure.
This 2024 BVI EducationVacation hosted by Puget Sound Sailing Institute offers the opportunity to earn the following Certifications :
· ASA 103 | Basic Coastal Cruising
· ASA 104 | Bareboat Cruising
· ASA 114 | Cruising Catamaran
Your BVI “EducationVacation” will take place on a Lagoon 42 Catamaran.
Welcome aboard! Your dream Caribbean journey begins in breathtaking Tortola. Whether you opt for a direct flight to Tortola or choose a ferry from St. Thomas, both routes can lead you to our base, where you’ll board our sailing vessel that you will call ‘home’ for the week ahead.
By noon the following morning, we’ll hoist the sails and set sail on our unforgettable journey. Exploring the sun-soaked shores and exquisite landscapes of the British Virgin Islands, our itinerary will include visits to numerous popular locations and islands. Below, find a list of some of the places you are likely to experience during your BVI “EducationVacation”.
▷ North Gorda Island. Renowned for its beautiful and secluded beaches, stunning views, and relatively untouched natural surroundings. This island is prized for its tranquility, offering visitors a serene escape from the more bustling areas. Also known for excellent snorkeling and diving spots, featuring vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, as well as home to scenic hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints.
▷ The Baths on Virgin Gorda Island. One of the most iconic and breathtaking natural attractions in the British Virgin Islands. This natural marvel is characterized by massive granite boulders, grottoes, and caves scattered along the beach and into the water. These gigantic boulders, some as large as 40 feet in diameter, form unique formations and create a series of scenic pools, tunnels, and hidden chambers.
▷ The Wreck of the RMS Rhone. One of the most famous dive sites in the region. The RMS Rhone was a British Royal Mail Ship that sank in 1867 during a hurricane and now lies in pieces at two different dive sites off the coast of Salt Island. Diving the wreck of the Rhone offers an incredible opportunity to explore a historic shipwreck in relatively shallow and clear waters in a site renowned for its marine life, stunning coral formations, and the eerie yet fascinating remnants of the ship.
▷ Norman Island. Often associated with being the inspiration for the book “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. The general belief is that Norman Island’s rich history of pirate activity, tales of buried treasure, and its mysterious caves might have inspired Stevenson’s imagination.
▷ Jost Van Dyke. Home to only 280 people but over 30 beach bars, Jost is commonly known as the ultimate fun-in-the-sun destination. The Soggy Dollar Bar is famous for its creation of the Painkiller cocktail. Accessible only by boat, visitors can swim ashore, paying for their drinks with the “soggy dollars” from their pockets. Meanwhile, Foxy’s, another iconic bar and restaurant located on Jost Van Dyke, is renowned for its lively atmosphere, Caribbean charm, and the charismatic personality of its owner, Foxy.
▷ Activities. Amidst the top-notch sailing and navigation guidance you will receive during your trip, there will be moments dedicated to more leisurely pursuits. And the possibilities are endless! Enjoy sun-soaked relaxation, swimming, snorkeling, adventurous scuba dives, immersive reads, invigorating hikes, or simply embracing these serene moments.
*Itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
We just got back from our first bareboat charter experience in the British Virgin Islands. We had the best 10-day adventure sailing in the warm tropical waters, discovering the best beaches, and snorkeling the bays and reefs of the BVIs. In preparation for this vacation I enrolled in the ASA 104/114 combo class with Puget Sound Sailing Institute. The instruction I received from Mike Rice allowed me to confidently captain the 52′ sailing catamaran that we chartered for this adventure of a lifetime. I strongly recommend PSSI for any of your sailing instruction needs. We are already planning our next bareboat adventure. The Greek Isles here we come!
All-Inclusive 8-Day, 7-Night “EducationVacations” :
From $4695 USD per person, based on double occupancy
*Couples Booking Receive a 5% Discount. Accommodations can be made for an accompanying spouse, significant other or friend/family member who wishes to be aboard but not participate in the learning.
Course Includes :
Eight Days/Seven Nights Aboard the Sailing Yacht, Provisioning to Include 7x Breakfasts and Lunches + 4x Dinners On Board, Instruction and Cost of Certifications Earned.
*Not Included : Cost of Necessary Text Book(s) and Shipping, Hotel/Airfare Expenses and Dinners on Shore.
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