While sail training on board a tall ship is generally the province of the young, there are big ship sail training opportunities for adults. Selecting the right sail training program can be challenging without a clear idea of personal goals and an honest look at your abilities, experience and present skill set. For some, the objective may be an opportunity for adventure travel, earning a certificate enabling them to charter. For others it may be basic sailing skills, rudimentary navigation, or a way to brush up on racing technique. But for a lot of folks, the goal post is not that clearly defined.
One exciting new learning opportunity for those wanting to expand their knowledge of all things maritime and spend some time at sea is a cruise workshop on Rhode Island’s new tall ship, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. At an overall length of 200 feet, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) is the largest civilian, sailing school vessel in the U.S. Perry is a fully rigged, USCG- and ABS-inspected ocean-going ship with accommodations for 49 people overnight and 100 for day sails. The vessel has been specifically designed to be an educational platform from which the OHPRI organization offers a range of programs from summer camps, to adult sailing trips and customized professional development courses.
According to Jessica Wurzbacher, OHPRI’s executive director, teen programs are already underway but adult sailing cruises will most likely begin in September 2015 with a two-week round-trip (one week each way) to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. A similar two-week cruise to Bermuda is planned for the spring of 2016. Ocean Navigator will be partnering with OHP on these offshore trips. Watch for more information on upcoming passages.
During these cruises, everyone on board will stand a watch and participate in sailing the vessel. They will be involved in all aspects of the ship’s operation and learn how to sail a big ship in the ocean. Instruction will include a wide range of maritime skills, including navigation, seamanship, meteorology, oceanography, marine biology and more. The curriculum is still in the early stages of being developed.
Wurzbacher said that pricing per person for a two-person stateroom with private head is expected to be about $2,800 per week. The rate for shared accommodations will be about $1,850 per week. All meals, accommodations and courses are included in these fees.
For anyone who has never been to sea or sailed a tall ship, a learning cruise aboard a learning platform like SSV Oliver Hazard Perry might just be the ticket.
Contributing editor John Snyder