Monday, 25 January 2016 10:43
I have just completed the 18 week Yachtmaster Offshore / Ocean course as an older person about to retire from her nursing career.
I have to say this was not an easy endeavour, but with the guidance of Alex Cousins and his great team of instructors and admin personnel, I managed to complete and pass this course.
The theory and practical instruction I received was excellent.
Each instructor had their own unique way of teaching the skills, whilst still following the principals RYA program.
The four thousand mile trip to St Helena and back was the journey of a life time.
One really learns to dig deep within themselves to manage such a a crossing.
It provides a lot of opportunity for reflection besides showing how to go about an ocean passage how to navigate using celestial navigation in case all your instruments fail and how to deal with problems that do arise when sailing.
It was also a lot of fun and morale was kept up by a great skipper and first mate!
Alex Cousins is an expert sailor and teacher.
He has surrounded himself with a dedicated team of professionals who are all passionate about sailing.
They all had an inordinate amount of patience and gave marvelous encouragement at each stage of the course.
I now feel ready and confident to go cruising safely, with my partner, in our own boat later this year.
Maria Gravett Cameron
Friday, 08 January 2016 13:21
Thanks to Yachtmaster Sailing School
The following is a review of my experience with Yachtmaster Ocean Sailing School - Cape Town, please feel free to use it for your website or anywhere else you feel appropriate.
What a whirlwind 18 weeks this has been.
18 weeks ago I was at Melbourne Airport Australia trying to to understand what had possessed me to pack up my life and start afresh, fly to Africa and attempt to attain the prestigious RYA accredited Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate. Being an absolute sailing novice I really didn't understand exactly what mettle and grit I would have to find within myself to accomplish this but full of gusto and bravado I had paid my fees, booked my tickets and was saying goodbye to my loved ones when those unfamiliar tendrils of doubt tickled at my stomach.
Nevertheless, on I went with a few transfers on the way and early September 2015 I landed in the windy but picturesque Cape Town to begin my new life.
The course was broken into modules, obviously starting basically and progressing in complexity, essentially with a theory component some weeks followed by a practical week of sailing afterward to apply those skills. As the weeks flew by I sat exams and received qualifications which only months ago I didn't really know existed, and mastered skills which also were so very foreign to me under the kind and patient teachings of several different instructors, all with interesting takes on the ancient art of sailing. The jewel in the crown was a 7 week passage to the remote Atlantic island St Helena, a testing but rewarding challenge. Being in my late 20's it is interesting to witness how an excellent instructor will adapt to teaching someone my age, and adjust their approach for some greener and younger people that obviously need more motivation, I know from experience it isn't easy to do!
It was almost surreal as three days ago I sat in an Ocean oral examination with an RYA examiner (A follow up to my Practical Offshore Examination two weeks earlier) and talked for hours about navigating celestially and what it took to be the Captain of the boat, me, who on my first day sailing almost lost my lunch from seasickness in a flat calm Cape Town Bay. Even more surreal was afterward, when my Examiner Robbie looked me directly in the eye and shook my hand and told me he was delighted to pass me and wished me well for my future endevours as the newest RYA Skipper.
To all my instructors, Andre Olivier, Andre Greeff, Edrick, Johann, Russell and Dale with a special mention to the impassioned efforts of an impressively enthusiastic Principal Alex Cousins, I say thank you. Whilst I am proud of my efforts and I applied myself to the task, it was through the expertise of many that I managed to learn so much in such little time.
To Diana thank you for your many kind words of encouragement, and the lovely ladies in the administration team who were always happy to answer any one of a dozen questions I had, I must also thank you profusely.
Finally my crew mates, it all went too quickly, thank you for your patience I know at times I am intense! I learnt so much from you all, it is with a heavy heart I say goodbye and move on to my next adventure.
With warmest regards
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 09:41
Thanks from a students Mum.
I am delighted my son Tim is loving his new profession and want to thank Yachtmaster Sailing School, Cape Town.
You are wonderful people (more like a family) and wish you all the best with your new students.
Hats off to your brilliant Instructors. Tim said they were all fantastic and so professional.
All the best and Thank You.
Jane (Tim's Mom).
Friday, 04 September 2015 13:40
Ocean trip to Madagascar
I'd just like to say thank you very much to all the people involved in the Madagascar trip I've just completed. I learnt so much from Andre and Dylan who took the crew under their wings and showed us things that I will remember forever. I'd do the trip again in a heart beat!
I'd also like to say thanks to Andre De Ridder who taught me more in my week of prep week than I think I've ever learnt. A great guy, an exceptional teacher and an around pleasure to have met.
Alex and the office staff were also so helpful, and accommodated my needs when I chopped and changed going out of their way to make my course a good experience.
I've studied at several sailing schools around the world and this school is leagues ahead of the rest.
Monday, 27 April 2015 12:12
Just thought I would touch sides with you.
I have made my way to the Caribbean and am successfully skippering from 44 foot to 60 foot catamarans over the last few months. The job is absolutely amazing and my training from Yachtmaster did not let me down.
I can happily say that the effort each instructor put in for the quality of training really came out once I was faced with the reality of running a vessel myself. I have so much faith in Yachtmaster Sailing and you guys can know that for someone who knew nothing, not even what a tack or main sheet or how to reef (ask Bruce for that inside joke) was.
You guys changed my life forever and made my dream possible. I have taken Alex's work ethic and his way of "if it's not the right way then do it again. There is no short cuts for success. It only matters if your boats is going to land up on the rocks or not". His long stories of wisdom are missed.
Alex is my role model and one day I hope to be like him. I miss him alot and I only hope he was able to see me now and his work being played out.
If you guys ever need anything please let me know.
Keep well until I return home !
Monday, 18 August 2014 12:25
Hello from Caribbean
I just wanted to say a big thank you again. Your school is definitely the best, especially when you see some of the cray unsafe sailing that other zero to hero skippers get up to.
I'm having a fabulous time. Louize and I got lucky one of the charter crew left and we moved off of the day sail boats straight onto a 58ft Cat. Since then we have been first choice for voyage charters guest and get to sail there newest and biggest boats if the fleet. In April we will be going on a 39day charter form Tortola down the windward islands (or down island as people refer to it)
Guest do not believe me when I tell them at the end of charter how long I have been sailing for.
The hardest part has been docking these gigantic yachts, but it is like anything it is just getting used to it.
Please send my regards to everybody.