Sailing Lessons for a New Sailor
As a novice sailor based in Orlando, FL, I was anxious to improve my sailing skills through some formal sailing classes. With access to both the East Coast and West Coast of Florida, I found that Simple Sailing Charters and Sales in St. Petersburg, FL, had the newest fleet of boats, the location on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront was ideal, and their class pricing was unbeatable. Tampa Bay, with its hundreds of miles of shoreline and protected waters, was the ideal venue for my basic sailing lessons, and Simple Sailing was selected as an outstanding American Sailing Association (ASA) school of the year in 2012.
Working with Deborah at Simple Sailing was easy, coordinating the right dates for my on-the-water classroom work. Their staff of available captain instructors allowed me to pick precisely the days I wanted to take the sailing classes. Both the basic class, ASA 101, and the follow-up intermediate ASA 103 sailing class, each involved two days spent on the water sailing…hands on learning aboard the like-new Hunter 36 “Dream.” Their fleet includes newer monohulls ranging from 28 feet to 36 feet plus the flagship Leopard 39 catamaran for the more advanced sailing classes.
With proper attention to the chart to see the shallow areas, sailing lessons on Tampa Bay were easy, fun, and even offered the opportunity to sail to an island destination for our lunch stop. Sailing across Tampa Bay to Picnic Island, situated just offshore of Apollo Beach on the east side of the bay, makes you think you’ve just arrived at some exotic tropical destination. This tiny island has plenty of room for dozens of boats to anchor and enjoy the warm waters with a short swim or dinghy ride to the quaint but undeveloped island.
After practicing my anchoring skills and having lunch we sailed back across Tampa Bay for our return to the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina. After a day on the water the downtown area offered dozens of choices for a cold beverage and a meal, all within walking distance of the marina. A visit to the Dali Museum and the Chihuly Museum made the weekend sailing lesson experience complete.
A Total Sailing Vacation
Expanding my sailing vacation, I visited the beach resorts at St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island, which are situated on the Gulf of Mexico just a short 15-minute drive from downtown St. Petersburg. These resorts offered additional amenities for the vacation including Jet Ski and Hobie beach cat rentals, water slides, and the pristine beaches and waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
I have to recommend Simple Sailing Charter and Sales as simply the best solution for sailing classes and charters on Florida’s West Coast. With like-new boats, extremely knowledgeable instructors, and the pristine waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, I look forward to continuing to improve my sailing skills with Simple Sailing in St. Petersburg, FL.