Day 1: Meet at our office inside the Balboa Marina at 10am. The address is 201 E. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660. There is free parking at our office. You’ll meet a friendly member of our team who you will follow to the Vue Marina on the Balboa peninsula, where your catamaran is located, just a short drive away. He/She will then assist you in taking your belongings to your sailing yacht. We will give you an orientation of the boat and the marina, as well as the surrounding area, including locations of stores and restaurants. You’ll have time to go to the store or walk to get a sandwich or coffee. At noon, your sailing instructor will arrive at your boat, you will depart the slip, and you’ll spend the next 4 hours working through 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. You’ll return to the slip at 4pm. Your instructor will make sure you are properly situated to spend the night on the boat on your own and then he/she will leave. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy your new boating lifestyle. You can enjoy sunset from the deck of your boat and then cook on board, or walk to one of the excellent restaurants near the marina.
Day 2: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard, walk to get a coffee or breakfast, or go for a walk or run on the beach, or relax. You’ll have time to study your course materials and if you’re feeling ready, you can take the 101 written exam on this day. Your captain will meet you aboard your boat at the time convenient for you. (The most common timeframe is for the Captain to arrive at noon and sail with you until 4pm because the wind is generally best in the afternoon.) You’ll spend the 4 hours working through 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. Upon your return to the marina, the captain will once again ensure that you are situated to spend the evening on your own, and then he/she will leave. Enjoy a second evening on your yacht. Maybe sip some wine at sunset. Make a reservation for dinner or cook on board. The choice is yours!
Day 3: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard and then head over to the Newport Pier. Rent a bike or rollerblades, or just stroll along the boardwalk. Your captain will then meet you aboard your boat at the time convenient for you. You’ll spend the 4 hours working through another 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. Upon your return to the marina, the captain will once again ensure that you are situated to spend the evening on your own, and then he/she will leave. Enjoy a third evening on your yacht. Maybe sip some wine at sunset. Consider barbecuing on board or check out one of the many other restaurants nearby.
Day 4: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard then walk to rent a kayak or standup paddle board. You could also take the ASA 103 written exam. Your captain will meet aboard your boat at the time convenient for you. You’ll spend the 4 hours working through the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. Make a reservation for dinner in nearby Laguna Beach or cook on board. This would be a good time to provision for your three days in Catalina.
Day 5: At 9:30am, your sailing instructor will arrive at your boat. You’ll spend the next hour or so discussing the cruising plan, doing safety checks, and going over all of the features and functionality of the vessel. At about 10:30am, you’ll depart for Avalon, Catalina. It is about a 4 to 5 hour journey to Avalon, during which you’ll have plenty of time to practice sailing, controlling the vessel under power, using the sophisticated set of electronic navigation equipment, and working through the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. You also might get a chance to spot some marine wildlife like sea lions, dolphins, whales or maybe even the elusive sunfish. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
When you arrive in Catalina, you’ll pick up a mooring and set the outboard motor on the dinghy. You can cook aboard or go ashore for dinner and to explore. Spend a peaceful evening on the boat or hit one of the local bars in Avalon. Don’t forget to listen to Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash. “In a noisy bar in Avalon, I tried to call you.”
Day 6: Wake up to the birds chirping and the sun shining on the quaint town of Avalon and the surrounding hillside. Go for a walk past the famous old Casino where Hollywood’s elite used to party. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard or eat ashore. Later that morning, you’ll drop your mooring lines and begin your journey North West toward Two Harbors, Catalina. During this time you’ll work through the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. There are many private coves along the front side of Catalina and it would be good experience to practice anchoring in at least one of them. Maybe you’ll even be adventuresome enough to swim through Blue Cavern Point. In the afternoon, arrive in Isthmus Cove. Pick up a mooring for the evening. Maybe sip some wine at sunset. Make a reservation for dinner at the Harbor Reef Restaurant, play a game of pool at the local bar, or BBQ, or cook on board.
Day 7: If you are ready, this morning might be a good time to take the 104 and 114 tests. If not, you can always take the tests back at our office on a later day. There are some great hiking trails in Two Harbors. Bring your camera and good shoes. This is a great chance to take some scenic pictures of the beautiful coves of Catalina. Oh, and watch out for bison–they’re big and they have horns! Be respectful of their space and distance, but enjoy this wonderfully unique experience to see them in nature. After breakfast, prepare your vessel for the 5 to 6 hour journey back to Newport Beach. Generally you’ll be sailing downwind and maybe you’ll get the opportunity to fly the gennaker or Code 0. During this passage, you’ll have plenty of time to work on your navigational skills, motor the boat under power, and work through the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. You’ll return to the dock about 3 or 4pm. The captain will then help you remove your belongings for disembarkation. Don’t worry about cleaning the boat! Our crew will be down early the following morning to clean it after your stay with us.