Frequently Asked Questions
There is a minimum of three students, maximum of four, as well as the instructor. We have found this to be the ideal student/instructor ratio and maximize student learning. The exception to this is our weekender catamaran course, which has a maximum of five students.
With a full class of four students, your course will be taught on a boat ranging in size from 34 -38 feet in length, with either 2 cabins or 3 cabins.
We will be able to let you know your boat when you arrive for your course. There can be changes to boat availability, so rather than let you know of last minute boat changes, we release the boat details when you arrive. We keep all our boats to the highest maintenance standards and want to be sure that the boat you are learning on is the best one for your course!
Your course will be on either a 2 or 3 cabin boat, with plenty of room for each student. If you are coming as a couple, then you can expect to share a cabin. Most boats have a dinette that converts into a double berth, and a single berth settee in the main salon. Sleeping accommodations will be worked out when all the students arrive and with the instructor.
Are there precautions I should take? The San Juan Islands are in a protected area, without ocean swells, however, it is always a good idea to come prepared with sea sickness medication, even if you never need to use it. Treatments include acupressure wrist bands, or medications such as Dramamine or Bonine (please note that these medications can cause drowsiness). A non-medication option is ginger. There is evidence that this herb settles the stomach and can be taken in many forms including: raw ginger, candied ginger, ginger snap cookies, ginger ale or ginger beer (non-alcoholic). Once onboard, many people find that the sea-sickness will subside on its own after a few hours as the body re-balances and they find their “sea legs”. Staying above deck and getting fresh air will also help.
We want to make sure that your experience is as safe and positive as possible. Therefore, if the weather is too severe we may need to reschedule your course. Rescheduling will be based on weather and experience level, as well as the best judgment of your instructor. For example, ASA 101 courses will be rescheduled if the sustained wind speed is greater than 20 knots, ASA 103 if the sustained wind speed is greater than 25 knots, and ASA 104 if it is greater than 30 knots.
Chances are that you will find you neither need nor desire to do laundry during your cruise, but many of the ports of call will have laundry facilities, so that you can do a quick laundry. Bring plenty of quarters along for the machines.
Yes, you may do so, as we do not provide alcohol in our provisioning. However, for the safety and learning of all aboard, alcoholic beverages are allowed only after instruction, when at dock or at anchor, with a 2 drink limit.
All our boats are non smoking. If you smoke, it can only be done ashore (with minimal opportunities for stopping).
Yes, bring along your favorite treats. Our provisioning includes snacks, but if you have a favorite you cannot do without, bring it along.
If you have dietary needs that require personalized shopping (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, allergies), there is a $25/person fee to customize the provisioning in order to accommodate your request and to cover costs that exceed those of the standard menu.
While tipping is totally optional, please consider this as a guideline if your skipper/instructor has performed at or above your expectations: 10% - 15% or $25 per day.
All of our boats have 12-volt cigarette lighter sockets at the electrical panel. Most of our boats have an inverter as well, also located at the electrical panel. The electrical panel is generally between 10-15 feet from the staterooms. Based on the model of your CPAP machine, you'll need an extension cord that will be able to reach from where you are sleeping to the electrical panel. Most CPAP machines have a 12-volt cigarette lighter power option.
We suggest the following in order to make your CPAP machine boat compatible:
- Go to Radio Shack (or similar) and get two (2) 12-volt cigarette lighter extension cords. Don’t unwrap the second one unless it’s needed for sure…as you can always return it if it’s unopened. That way you’ll definitely have power to the CPAP machine, since all boats have the 12-volt cigarette lighter socket.
- Test first by plugging in the one extension cord and try the machine in your car…just to make sure you’ve got the right cord and that it works well.
- Also, if you have a 110-volt A/C power cord, bring that with an 12 foot extension cord (one should do it) to use when hooked up to shore power at a dock (this will only happen once or twice during a weeklong course). That MIGHT also work if the boat has an inverter, BUT…the CPAP machine draws so little power that the inverter sometimes thinks there’s no current draw and it shuts off. Sometimes, plugging in a phone charger along with the CPAP machine helps the inverter know that devices are in need of power, and it won’t shut off.
- If your machine takes batteries (and many do), please bring lots of batteries in case the other two options are inconvenient (cords all over the place), you aren’t hooked up to shore power or in case something in the electrical system fails while out in the islands.