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We received this letter from Jonathan Brewster who took our eight day ASA103/104 Chesapeake Bay Cruise with Captain Steve Runals in June 2009



I have just a few minutes before it all starts for the day so I thought I'd give you a brief critique of the week. I've had some time to think through the training.

Needless to say it was excellent! You impressed me in several areas that I found quite valuable for the week. Obviously your time on the water gives you a depth of sailing experience that was reflected in your ability to adjust to the different conditions we faced. Without 'advertising' that depth, it became clear to me that it would be unlikely that we would face a situation that would not become a teaching opportunity. In other words your experience gives you a context in which you can use it to teach a student. It isn't necessarily new to you. 

I appreciated the attention to detail and in some sense the dedication to procedure. Both of those reduce risk and increase safety. I saw this in the pre-departure checklist to the conservative approach to Academe's engine problem.

Patience and challenge. Patience to recognize very quickly where both Bob and I were experientially (me a novice) and at the same time you were not limited by it. You seemed, at least in my estimation, to then challenge my existing level of experience and knowledge. I have not taken 105, but found the chart work we did part of the challenge of learning a new skill. Your attention to anchoring was all new to me, as well as mooring, entering and exiting a harbor, as well as a very developed skill of sail trim, etc.

Finally we were in close quarters for a few days. Personalities are well, personalities. The time in Annapolis gave us all some 'breathing room'. We've all been in situations like this so it shows some understanding of human nature to design the layovers like that. Very wise way to approach the course.

Steve I don't patronize anyone, but I do recognize and acknowledge those that have helped me. So if it could be summed up succinctly it would be that you recognized my weakness and areas of needed development and then went on from there.

So all this leads to the Subject line of this message. If you teach 106 with MSSS could you let me know? I'd like to ship out with you again. I have to get 105 done, finish my PhD, etc. etc., but if you decide to lead a class I'd like to join you if I can make it all work. That's probably as far as I need to go in the training.

Jonathan Brewster

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