Watch Captain – Cruising Skipper Class Begins!


By Amy Purves

Led by Jim Openshaw, the first sailing class of the WC-D class began on May 7. WC students Dave Switzer, Lloyd Purves, Amy Purves and D-CS student Todd Evans embarked on Gone Away (32’catamaran) hosted by Gary and Kathy Pritchard. It was a lovely, calm (too calm) day out on the Bay off of Herrington Harbour. Gary gave us a thorough checkout on through hull fittings, engine basics, rudders and steering, and vhf operation. Jim guided us through safety procedures, watch roles, lookout communications, marlinspike, and kept us amazingly busy considered lack of wind. We had plenty of time to practice with the life sling and reefed and shook out the main. It’s easy when there’s no storm in sight! Thank you Kathy for showing us the ropes on Gone Away.

For our second sail on May 14, we had wind! And the threat of an afternoon storm to make it exciting. Jim directed us to rotate our positions, we tacked, tacked, tacked……and gybed, jibed, gybed, jibed…..Meanwhile we navigated like crazy getting dizzy while we went in circles. Dave Switzer attempted to locate every tower and tank on the Western Shore. We finished up going wing on wing and then pretended to rescue our MOB. Gone Away handled beautifully and was responsive and gave us a real learning experience.

Thank you Gary and Kathy for lending Gone Away and for making our sails so enjoyable.