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~ A Cut Above ~


We received this letter from James Wallace who took our ASA101 and 103 courses in October 2007:


ATTENTION, ATTENTION all arm-chair want-to-be Jack Tars... For the past 9+ years, I've been dreaming of, reading for, and studying about an after retirement circumnavigation... My wife, Jan, has calmly, patiently put up with my romantic rantings about far-off islands, beautiful beaches, scents of aromatic spices, indigenous island cultures, and the on-going boat-life of lazing in becalmed seas, frantically changing sails as the tropical squall line approaches, days of a steady trade wind beat with chute or wing on wing while trolling, or the inventive language of the sailor trying to find/fix/jerry-rig various boat components that have taken the exact wrong moment to quit... Well, all the dreaming stopped in October 2007... Jan had secretly been in contact with several sailing schools... For a myriad of reasons, Jan picked the Maryland School... The most important reason, of course, that she knew that the only boat I'd ever sail off-shore would be an IPY... For all those years, she has watched me amass a huge file on IPYs... It truly was not until I arrived at Lankford Bay Marina did I realize that this was going to be a great experience... The Lankford Bay Marina is as quaint as any marina found in "Cabot Cove"... It is clean, clean, clean (oh, did I mention how clean it was?)... The personnel are as helpful as can be... The store is well furnished... The heads/laundry facility are very good... And don't worry about food, there are several wonderful restaurants near the marina... And believe me, if you are not a Northeasterner, you'll never believe how many ways crab can be cooked, with each being just as tasty as the last... But it wasn't until I met Capt. Chip that I realized how well my wife had picked a sailing school for me... From the first session to the last, Chip was able to clear the foggy mists of sailing and seamanship... Of, course, being the only student in the class that had never, ever stepped foot upon a sailboat, I was certain that I was going to be "dead in the water" with my nonexistent skills... Reading is one thing, doing is drastically another thing... Capt. Chip took the time to thoroughly explain each and every system of the IPY 32... Of course he thought that he was so smooth when he would question us every once in a while, but I wasn't fooled in the least... I know a TEST when I hear one... All went smoothly... Even though we each tried so mightily to smash Moxie into the pilings, a few words and suggestions seemed to always be enough to "straighten her out"... Well, I passed ASA 101 and ASA 105... Now Jan is signed up for ASA 101 and I am signed up for ASA 103 and ASA 107... Of course we are taking classes apart, for you see even a marriage of 40 years might be tested by the passage of rites incurred during the early sailing classes... And who knows, perhaps my dream might yet come to fruition... But for Maryland School and its crew, I might still be sitting, reading and dreaming...

Thank you Maryland School...

James N. Wallace
December 30, 2007

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