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~ A Cut Above ~




Dianne Atkinson, who took our ASA104 five-day cruise in  September 2018, sent the following comments


The ASA104 class was all-around excellent. No time was wasted on what was already familiar and the range of experience within the student group was tapped to the maximum. As the least prepared, I was grateful for the opportunity to see the capabilities of students who had more experience and understand how important it is to keep working forward from wherever you are at a given time. Captain Frank [Mummert] is exceptionally patient but also clear about what has to be done and that everyone has to rise to the job(s) at hand. In a small space, it matters a lot that everyone supports one another and Captain made sure of our collective focus when necessary (speaking of anchors....). I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to complete this course with Cap't Frank and fortunate to also have great fellow students.

Because Capt. Frank has lived on the water himself for a substantial time, there were many instances of "off hand" comments or observations that I find myself remembering with appreciation. For example, I had superficial knowledge of those (8?) knots listed. That is not enough. I have taken up Capt. Frank's habit of practicing knots wherever you happen to be! NOW I know those knots. I also have tried to pick up speed about "book knowledge," which is necessary if you are actually going to do anything in a timely way. All these understandings were communicated in a way that was supportive rather than critical--Capt. Frank is a great teacher--instructing without underming his students. He could easily overwhelm but never goes that way.

I have begun to look at boats and the excellent quality and condition of the Maryland School equipment has become my standard. "Ship shape" is now a meaningful adjective for me--and I am thinking of Acadame and Scholarship.

I first found the school through a search engine--but selection was based entirely on the high quality videos. The contrast with all other schools is striking. I have had instruction at two other schools before I understood the rarity of such quality--which goes beyond the videos to the instructional staff. I am glad to share my experience as I talk with others who are looking for quality sailing instruction.  I needed multi-day quality instruction on the water. I didn't need the social aspects that sometimes go with what might be called a "Margarita Ville" approach to sailing. The location also fits that "serious" focus--the Chesapeake is large and leads to the sea.

My near-term is to get more experience and I plan to do that before additional coursework--but courses are critically important for discovering what you don't know or don't know well enough to use in actually situations. Thank you for such a quality program with such an extensive gradation of instruction.

Dianne Atkinson


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