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Alissa Joy sailboat at dock

Get the Full Scoop: Captain’s Wife Learns to Sail

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a sailing lesson at SailTime Door County with Captain Bill? Wait no longer for the full scoop!

Last year I had the pleasure of taking the American Sailing Association ASA 101 course with Captain Bill on the Snow Escape. In that class, I learned all the technical terms and details as a beginner sailor. What is a beam reach, a tack (No, not an attack as some have thought), or a transom? Before the class, I hadn’t had a clew (okay, okay enough puns).

Seriously though, I didn’t have a lot of boating experience in my life. I could’ve probably counted on one hand how much boating experience I had before I started boating with Captain Bill. I never started a boat motor. I really didn’t know much about boats in general beyond it seemed like something fun to do on a hot summer day.

As the wife of a captain, I wanted to learn how to sail a boat. I don’t have the passion Captain Bill has for sailing. I mean, who does?? I feel comfortable on the water, but I wanted something much more than that. I wanted to take control of the sailboat. God forbid, what if Captain Bill were to have a heart attack? Would I know what to do? What if he fell into the deep waters of the bay? Would I just leave him there and go off sailing into the sunset because I didn’t know how to help him?

I learned a lot of practical things in sailing 101. But I wanted something more. As I maintain the schedule for SailTime Door County, I decided to sign myself up for the ASA 103 class. The ASA 103 class includes an overnight stay on the sailboat.

Couple reading a sailing training manual on a boat

We took the Alissa Joy with our new members, Ralph and Paula, to the Menominee Marina. Paula was taking the 103 class with me. In the 103 class, I learned some new things. This class wasn’t all about the sailing terms and how to tie knots. We learned that in 101.

Instead, I learned about a diesel engine. Paula and I even took turns docking the boat.

Although our classroom was on the water, it wasn’t just learning. We also had a fun trip with a beautiful view. After we got to the marina, there was live music playing in the park nearby. We walked around town and went to a nice restaurant. It was much more like a vacation than taking a class.

The next morning, Captain Bill said we needed to have a plan on how we were going to leave the dock and head back home.

And if you were wondering, I did pass the class and receive my ASA 103 certification. Contact Captain Bill Wons, 920-371-5599, to schedule your sailing vacation aboard the Alissa Joy (a Beneteau Oceanis) or Leah Helen (a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey).

SailTime member sitting on a bench at the docks