“After having fun with my J/88 for some years on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland I got a „real“ taste of sailing on the Canary Islands in November 2016. Yes, I wanted more! During winter 2016/2017 I did the RYA Yachtmaster Theory Course with Leon Schulz in Malta, then passed the exam for the Ocean Yachting Certificate in Switzerland. But as such a certificate does not make a good skipper yet, the next logical step was to find the best teachers I could get for sail training in summer 2017.
Fortunately I got the opportunity to spend 3 weeks on I Dolci (www.skylinesailing.com) and 2 weeks on Regina Laska (www.reginasailing.com). Both sailing experiences were outstanding as far as safety, comfort and style are concerned. I learned a lot, found new friends – and fell in love with Hallberg-Rassy.
In 3 weeks of tidal sail training on I Dolci with Anita de Bruycker and Kurt Cortier I have learned so much about navigation, passage and pilotage plans, risks and dangers, maneuvers, safety, technical equipment, boat maintenance and life on board. We were experiencing adventures and having fun together. Besides all the training there was also time for sightseeing – I will never forget our bicycle tour on Ouessant. The food on board was great – healthy and tasty, because Anita and Kurt both are great cooks. And of course we enjoyed many excellent dinners on shore in well selected restaurants.
We sailed in the Solent (yes, I found bramble post at night!), the Channel Islands (so many rocks and marks and therefore bearings to be taken!) and along the coast of Brittany (how far can you get in 6 hours?). We crossed the English Channel and „rushed“ through famous passages like The Needles or Alderney Race. Believe it or not: You make friends with tides and currents and even start to enjoy the magical moments of wind over tides – just practice! But do it with a safe boat like and the best teachers you can get.
Sailing has changed my life – and sailing with Anita and Kurt has accelerated this process of change dramatically. These 3 weeks of „personalized sail training“ have brought me to a much higher level of sailing skills, cruising experience and leadership, so I came closer to my goal: To become a good skipper. To achieve this you need teachers who have knowledge, experience, responsibility, credibility, leadership – which also includes a sense of humour and a big heart for students. Anita and Kurt were permanently sharing their experience and knowledge with me, offering as many personalized learning situations and „units“ as I wished, of course always under the main aspect of maximal safety. They got never tired to answer my million questions. I was so well taken care of! I felt always free to follow my interests and needs, but I was never treated as a “paying passenger”, but challenged as a fully responsible crew member. I was encouraged me to move on and on, getting better every day and therefore coming closer to my dream – sailing my own boat on the ocean.
I am full of memories of summer 2017… sensations of wind, waves and sun, clouds with and without rain, tides and currents, endless coasts – this planet is so beautiful.
Thank you so much, I Dolci and Crew, for your company on my journey.
Marianne was our guest on leg 2, 3 and 5 and bought her own HR 44 in the summer of 2017.