Leg #4: Bahamas to Key West offshore
When: December 9th-14th
Distance: 380 NM
Vessel: Salina 48 Catamaran
Price: $2,450 (shared berths)
Leaving behind the beaches and reefs of the Abacos, you will head south across the Gulf Stream, following the Florida Keys, anchoring several times along the way to your final destination of Key West. While underway, you will takes turns standing watch, trimming sails and keeping a course with the camaraderie of your fellow crew, all under the watchful eye of a seasoned, professional delivery captain and RYA Instructor.
This voyage features an offshore crossing of the Gulf Stream from the Bahamas to Florida, but also includes coastal elements, opportunities to anchor along the way, and plenty of navigation practice. You will make landfall in Key West and celebrate your successful journey. Upon disembarkation, take in spectacular diving, historical sites, and the island’s unique cuisine and laid-back island vibe.
Along the route, you will receive constant training on weather handling, passage planning, navigation and interaction with vessels encountered offshore. You will participate in all aspects of blue water passage making including sailing, meal preparation, housekeeping and standing watch.
Prerequisites include online theory preparation course - either NauticEd’s RYA Day Skipper Theory course, or the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master, as well as practical sailing experience to be evaluated on an individual basis.
Price for a shared berth is $2450 inclusive of all training with RYA Instructor Capt. Mark Thompson, any certifications where appropriate, meals and snacks while aboard, water and soft drinks, towels and linens, fuel and moorage. You are responsible only for your transportation expenses, online preparatory courses and materials, hotels where necessary, meals ashore, and the alcoholic beverage of your choice, to be enjoyed upon making landfall.
The vessel is a fully equipped Salina 48 Catamaran. The Salina 48 fuses exterior elegance and interior comfort, finished with the unrivalled quality of the Flagship range. With an upwind sail area of 1410 sq ft, CST mainsail and central controls at the helm station, the Salina 48 is extremely easy to sail. The helm station is integrated with the cockpit for comfort and safety.
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Meet RYA Instructor Capt. Mark Thompson
RYA & NauticEd Instructor, ICC Assessor, Catamaran Expert
Mark Thompson with Yachting Education is the Assessor. He is an RYA Sailing Instructor with over 20 years of instruction experience. Mark's one of the best, is very patient and puts student at ease. While the ICC Assessment is pass-fail, Mark creates a positive and low-stress environment for candidates.
As the Principal and Chief Instructor for Yachting Education, Mark Thompson has a significant sailing resume including multiple Atlantic Ocean crossings and experience in Caribbean, Mediterranean, Australian and US waters.+ read more about Capt. Thompson
Mark's career has centered on charter catamarans including a 5 year captaincy aboard the luxury yacht S/Y Lone Star. At 85ft LOA she was at one point the largest charter catamaran in the Caribbean and after crossing the Atlantic, Mark and his crew hosted families on more than 100 weeks of charter.
Mark is a Chief Instructor accredited under NauticEd & RYA programs and has taught hundreds of students in the art of sailing and the nuances of running catamarans. One critical issue he shares is the ability to smoothly and silently communicate and operate theses large powerful vessels.
Mark grew up in Melbourne Australia and joined the maritime industry after a career converting inner city office buildings into trendy apartments. During a year spent traveling the world he discovered a sailing career while driving through Viareggio Italy and thought "you mean I get paid to sail?"
His love of sailing is infectious and his calm, patient demeanor has empowered hundreds of students to consider a bareboat charter and many to purchase their own boat. Whatever your level of expertise, the practical time spent with Mark will be enlightening and your certification will open up a world of sailing opportunities.