We have been back home for a few days, but our minds keep wandering to the azure waters and emerald peaks of St Lucia and Martinique. I suspect a small part of our souls will forever be roaming there.

Completing ASA 104 in the Caribbean has been on our bucket list since the Spring 2019 Annapolis Boat Show when we picked up a brochure from one of the sailing schools in Chesapeake Bay. Meeting you and Ron at the Newport Boat Show last Fall finally made this a reality. The ability to continue our formal sailing education with NSS made it a no-brainer, and the choice to do so has been a wise one.

It is hard to find words adequate to describe our ASA 104 experience. Suffice to say that what we enjoyed and learned has well exceeded our expectations. Ron’s passion for sailing, extensive knowledge and experience, and unwavering patience make him the perfect captain and teacher. You are lucky to have him on your team.

Fritz and I are two of a kind, but very different sailors. Fritz was a high school dinghy sailing champion. Sailing runs in high veins. He loves sailing upwind; the stronger the breeze, the happier he gets. For him, the highlights of the course were learning the finer art of sail trim from a master, and being at the helm of an incredible boat. I, on the other hand, come from a long line of land animals. Sailing has intrigued me since I met Fritz now almost 30 years ago. Although I have learned a ton from him over the 15-odd years that we’ve owned different types of sailboats, very little comes naturally to me. The week with Ron has taught me to be a little less white-knuckled (especially when sailing upwind) and trust myself more. Key takeaways (for sailing and life): be incessantly vigilant and make sound decisions, but never rush anything that needs not be rushed.

In addition, Ron (i) has taught us new and super-efficient ways to manage sheets, lines, and ropes (he should re-write those parts of the ASA manuals), (ii) did an amazing job of introducing us to all the aspects of cruising (other than sailing), and (iii) helped us both discover a new-found love for navigation. ASA 105 is definitely next on the list.

Finally, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation to Ron and Loretta for being the perfect hosts. They really went above and beyond to streamline the experience from arrival to departure. Inviting us to their home to settle in before the cruise was great. A final evening of contemplation and reminiscence was invaluable in forestalling the inevitable anticlimax of heading back home.

Thank you again for another great experience with NSS! We certainly intend to continue learning with you!


Best regards,

Maryke & Fritz

More Photos From Our Trip