Lake Erie School Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for Fair Wind Sailing School’s Lake Erie week-long Instant Bareboat sailing lessons. While destinations are subject to change based on weather, student preferences or Captain’s prerogative, this is representative of our week-long journey.
Day One - Saturday
Welcome to Fair Wind Sailing School Lake Erie! We meet at the yacht Saturday afternoon at Battery Park Marina in Sandusky, Ohio. After introductions, we’ll work to fully understand your goals and objectives. Then we'll begin teaching trip preparation, route planning and conduct a few fun exercises to introduce you to the boat and its safety gear. Finally, we’ll provision the boat for our voyage, get you settled into your berths and still have time to enjoy the pool at the marina, grab some ribs from Damon's or take an evening stroll through the charming town of Sandusky, Ohio. Enjoy your first night aboard and get ready to shove-off tomorrow morning!
Day Two - Sunday
After our morning safety at sea lecture, we'll complete our final boat checks and set out on our first voyage. We will perform drills under power, raise the sails and do our first sailing in Sandusky Bay. After a full day on the water learning the helm and proper sail trim, we’ll do our first docking practice and still have time for an evening review session and swim in the pool.
Day Three - Monday
Today we'll venture out of Sandusky Bay, past Cedar Point and out into the open water of Lake Erie. With the open water of the lake in front of us, we have lots of sailing options. We'll transit the passage to the famous Lake Erie Islands. On the way, we’ll sail through all the points of sail, begin tacking practice, hold lectures on rules of the road, the lateral buoy system and proper sail trim. Once there, we'll drop the anchor for the first time at Kelly's Island and with luck, we’ll have time for a swim in the warm lake waters. Finally, we’ll celebrate our first night "on the hook" and count the shooting stars.
Day Four - Tuesday
We sail in and around the Erie Islands today. Lots of tacking practice, man-over-board drills and navigation practice fill the day as we round South Bass Island and head to Put-In-Bay. If conditions are right, this is the perfect time to practice putting reefs in the sails and shaking them out. We’ll pick up our first mooring ball here – a skill that you'll know well by the end of the week. Our nice long sail up will be followed by a relaxing night with an evening lecture on plumbing and electrical systems. There's time to explore the charms of South Bass Island (you won't believe how calm it is on a Tuesday).
Day Five - Wednesday
Today’s lectures focus on preparing for and preventing sea sickness, minor engine repairs and anchoring challenges. Since tonight's destination, Middle Bass Island, is nearby, we'll have lots of time to stay out on the water and practice our sailing skills. By now its time for down-wind sailing with practice reaching, running and gybing. We’ll heave-to for lunch outside off Cedar Point and hear the screams from the roller-coasters and then finish the day at anchor off Middle Bass Island. Finally, we celebrate passing our ASA 103 exam with a great time grilling down off the back of the boat.
Day Six - Thursday
We'll begin with an early lecture on VHF radio operation, weather and dinghy safety. Then we set sail and away we go. Today we perform quick stop man over board drills and more down wind sailing technique on our way back to Put-In-Bay -- boy will it be different tonight as the music and bars both heat up! We'll have the chance to practice picking up another mooring ball here and for a moment you'll think you're in the Caribbean.. Once our yacht is safely secured, there's time to enjoy the music and atmosphere as we spend another relaxing night onboard, practice some knot tying, and review for the final exam.
Day Seven - Friday
We begin day seven with final sailing drills followed by docking practice as we head back to Sandusky Bay and the charms of Battery Park Marina for the final review and exam. Congratulations are in order as you pass your bareboat charter exam and earn the right to do your own bareboat charter! As we wrap up, it will be difficult to say good-bye to new friends, but you'll leave with the confidence that you have become a capable sailor and the knowledge that your next trip will be as Captain!