You can become a sailing skipper in one week. This course is conducted by a qualified instructor and set to the syllabus of the American Sailing Association (ASA) and NauticEd.The fast-track skipper course commences in Le Marin, in the south of Martinique, sails for seven days around the legendary waters of the French Caribbean, and returns the following Saturday at midday.Students live on board a fast, comfortable Beneteau First 40 yacht for the entire week. Meals on board (breakfast, lunch and two dinners) are included, as is instruction and your accommodation on board.
A typical itinerary for your fast-track Sailing Virgins skipper course (which may change according to conditions) looks like this:Sunday - Boat Familiarisation, Mooring TechniquesAt 9.30am everyone will meet at the dockside at Le Marin, Martinique. Boat safety briefings, provisioning, food is put away, you're off! You sail to Parc Domania in Sainte Anne and perfect your anchoring techniques. After lunch you have a swim in the perfectly clear water, explore the beautiful south side island, then drop anchor for the day in a beautifully quiet, sheltered bay in Sainte Anne.Monday - Sailing Downwind, Passage PlansThis morning you have your introduction to passage plans and downwind sailing. Guided by your instructor you will write your first passage plan and then adopt it to sail downwind to the wooded bays of Anse d'Arlet.Tuesday - Sailing Reaches, NavigationYou work on some handy navigation techniques and as a team create your second passage plan. This passage will take you through some lovely water on the lee side of the island. We can spend the evening on the south side of Fort de France, in clean, quiet water that still offers a chance to procure fresh croissants in the morning.Wednesday - Man Over-Board Procedures, DockingWith a very early start, you leave les Trois Îlets and head north to the small harbour of Case Pilote. We spend a good amount of time here on "short work", such as various alongside methods and other docking techniques. On the way you learn a couple of techniques for Man Over-Board drills.Thursday - Sailing Downwind, Weather, ReefingUnderstanding weather is a crucial part of a sailor's skill-set. This morning starts with discussions around meteorology theory and how it is applied in real-life situations. This includes techniques to reduce your sail size (reefing), and how to do it fast, should you ever be surprised by a squall. Then you will have a lovely cross-island sail to the lovely town of Saint Pierre with its renowned restaurants.Friday - Exam day!Today we spend the early hours on theory exams, and the second half of the day putting into practice everything that has been learned thus far. Your sailing competencies will be put to the test, refining any areas that need work. Saturday - Snorkel and back to baseA lazy morning, gentle snorkel and lovely sail back to the base, Le Marin. Debrief and you're done! If you came for your skipper course and passed the theory and practical assessment, you are now an ASA 104 (or equivalent) qualified skipper.