Sea Sense, the St. Petersburg, Florida-based sailing and powerboating school for women, is offering a new international class on Ireland’s Shannon River and canals. Every year, the company offers a different international course, with previous locations including various Caribbean locales, as well as Italy, Greece, France and Tahiti. The 2010 course will be aboard a modern, 48-foot canal barge and will run from Sept. 11-18.
The boat for the course can accommodate a total of six students. Capts. Patti Moore and Carol Cuddyer, Sea Sense founders, will be the instructors for the seven day adventure and the itinerary includes free time for individual exploration of the area. The route will begin in Shannon and meander through the beautiful Irish countryside that is home to ancient Celtic monasteries. Each evening will be spent tied along the canal in picturesque village ports with hospitable people and warm pubs for dinner and music.
Canal cruising is a unique way to see the Irish countryside but is also an ideal learning opportunity for women to experience boat handling, navigation, and routine boat maintenance in a controlled environment. The course will focus on chart reading, helmsmanship, hands-on maneuvering and docking, knot tying and proper line handling, and basic engine checks and troubleshooting. Capt. Patti Moore says of canal cruising, “Rivers and canals provide a protected environment in which women can learn while doing. The international charters are great because everyone is in a new area and can focus on learning and working together, all while cruising in an absolutely gorgeous place.”
The Shannon River charter is open to women with any level of boating experience as the small group size allows instruction to be tailored to fit individual needs and goals. Individuals as well as groups are encouraged to request additional information. Space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The per person price is $3,895 which includes the charter fee, instruction, fuel, and basic provisions for the week. Sea Sense will provide guidance and resources for travel but all registrants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and arrival to Shannon for the course.
Capts. Moore and Cuddyer provide all kinds of training and assistance, such as teaching deliveries and rendezvous instruction, to couples and mixed groups as well. I’d say that anyone interested in learning more about canal cruising might consider hiring them for a first-time experience.
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