The class is taught in two parts:
(1) Classroom sessions are held in May which cover the skills and knowledge that offshore sailors must have in order to safely and comfortably sail across oceans. The classroom training part of the course is taught as a regular face-to-face class for people who live in Utah but it can also be simultaneously broadcast over the internet as a two-way fully interactive “webinar" for people who live outside of Utah.
(2) The sailing portion of the class is held in July. This is where participants take the skills and knowledge that they acquired in the classroom and put them to use in an open ocean sailing trip covering many hundreds of miles, or possibly even thousands of miles. (The destination differs each year.) During this trip participants rotate through all crew positions from acting skipper to navigator to deck hand to galley slave. Please note that "pampered tourist" is not one of the crew positions available.
The offshore sailing trip can last anywhere between one to three weeks, depending on what the destination is for that particular year. In previous years Offshore Passage Making class trips have been done from Virginia to the Bahamas, from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico, from Puerto Rico to Martinique, from Martinique to Grenada and back, and from Puerto Rico back to the Bahamas.
For 2019 the plan is to sail from the Florida Keys to Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. The exact dates are still to be determined, depending on the preferences and schedules of the people who sign up for the class, but expect to embark in Florida sometime in early July and disembark in Virginia sometime in late July. Several days… up to one full week… can be set aside at the beginning of the trip in order to leisurely explore the Florida Keys prior to casting off for the big passage up to Virginia if participants have enough free time and are interested in doing that. Participants who can’t take that much time off work may join up after the Florida Keys “play time” is over, right before we cast off for Virginia.
Main Text: “The Voyager’s Handbook” by Beth Leonard, published by McGraw Hill
Alternate Texts (Highly Recommended):
"Heavy Weather Sailing", by Coles and Bruce, published by McGraw Hill
"Storm Tactics" by Lin and Larry Pardey, published by Pardey Books
"World Cruising Routes" by Jimmy Cornell, published by McGraw Hill