Discover the joy of being on the water with American Pat Henry, one of the first women to sail around the world alone, and an international group of dynamic women cruisers with more than 300,000 ocean miles among them.
Coming About, Any Woman's Sailing School takes the mystery out of sailing and adds the fun on our beautiful - and what Henry calls underutilized—Banderas Bay, which boasts ideal conditions most of the year.
The seven-year Vallarta resident and author of "By the Grace of the Sea: A Woman's Solo Odyssey Around the World" says the courses appeal to independent women longing to bareboat charter, those who somehow wound up with a boat and lack the confidence to enjoy it, "and the countless wives leaving tracks as their husbands drag them kicking and screaming over the horizon, while failing to provide them with even the most basic knowledge they need - like where the tools are in the boat."
"Truth is, any double-handed boat can become a single-handed one in a second," she says. "So, we prepare you to handle the unexpected
She says that whenever the school motto is announced, "When we anchor, the only sound is the chain," eyes light up in recognition. "As every cruiser knows, perfectly sane, loving couples can switch to some pretty explicit language the minute they approach an anchorage."
The core, nine-day, bareboat charter captain program has a maximum of five participants per instructor, the Southern Cross 31 she sailed around the globe part of the fleet.
The mornings of days one through four are spent on tierra firma learning terminology, theory and basic skills. Afternoons are for practicing what you've learned, everyone working every position and getting an equal chance at the helm. Days five and six are spent entirely on the water, refining skills and discovering the nooks and crannies of the bay. On days seven through nine, students move up to a 40-foot boat and enjoy a fabulous three-day live-aboard cruise, developing team skills as crew and individual skills as captain.