Loyal Offshore Sailing School Alum Goes Offshore


Sam Hahn of New York City recently returned to Offshore Sailing School on Captiva Island, Florida for the Fast Track to Offshore Passage Making course – our highest level cruising course. He found it “the most challenging course, but also the most rewarding course!” Want to try it? Here’s what he wrote to Steve and Doris Colgate after returning home . . .

Challenging and Rewarding

The Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passage Making course was by far the most challenging course, but also the most rewarding course!

Awesome Instructors

First, both Captain Jeff Werner and Randon Finkelstein were awesome instructors! Captain Jeff’s knowledge and experience were great. Celestial Navigation is by far the hardest course I’ve ever taken, but he did really well teaching us how to work with a sextant and find our position in sessions ashore and then on the boat as well.  He taught and shared his experiences and coached me through my first open ocean offshore sail.

Standing Watch Overnight for the First Time

Randon helped me get through my first over night shift. Night sailing is so different and his coaching was invaluable as he worked with me through the night, making me aware of how boats behave to waves and winds. This particularly helped a lot when we did night time crew overboard (COB) exercises. Randon challenged all the students on sail trim and improving boat performance.

My First Open Ocean Sailing Experience

This was my first open ocean sailing experience and I was glad both instructors were there to teach and coach us throughout our days at sea. When we departed from the dock, we felt really prepared and confident because of all the thorough prep and planning we went through.

Now I’m In Another Sailing Level

It’s hard to explain, but I felt this course put me into another level of sailing!  Experiences we had during this course was like a day and night difference compared to previous sailing experiences. Sailing over 700 nm and experiencing all types of conditions you read about in the textbook was a great experience.  Combining astronomy/celestial navigation and ocean sailing was the best sailing experience I had!

We were small group of three students and we stuck together, working really well together as we sailed back!  I really enjoyed the company and how we worked so well as a team!

Two Really Special Benefits

We had a visit from dolphins which means good luck!  LOL. And Jerry the Sparrow stayed with us for half a day when we were 250 nm off the coast.

B. Sam Hahn


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