san juan cruise learn

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Learn while Exploring the San Juan Islands

Sailing + Learning + Adventure

Explore a world-class sailing destination while training with local and veteran instructors Capt. John and Kathleen Salinas on Alethea.

The 3-day course departs from Friday Harbor, explores the San Juan Islands and students train with some of the best instructors in the NW. This is a truly unique sailing opportunity to sail, cruise and learn:

- 3-day small-group Cruise & Learn in the San Juan Islands
- Earn NauticEd crew or bareboat training and certification with TWO veteran and top-rated instructors.
- Explore the San Juans with experienced and local sailors intimate with the area.
- Gain confidence and skills with "big boat" sailing, anchoring and navigation challenges.
- Enjoy the best of what NW sailing offers: sailing, kayaking, hiking, whale watching, and more.

The San Juan Islands

With literally hundreds of marinas, islands and bays to explore, the itinerary is infinitely amendable. The Salinas’ work with the guests to plan an itinerary that best fits everyone’s expectations. And, cruising is incomplete without time for relaxation and exploration: hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and kayaking…. Sailing and anchoring overnight in the San Juan’s offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural and human history of the area. We often find ourselves in the presence of a pod of Orca whales or sailing past a group of Stella Sea Lions perched on an isolated rocky shore.

After a day a sailing, while anchored in one of the many harbors, conversations turn toward the early explorers, the history of the natural resources, and the possibility of an evening or morning hike on the nearby trails which take us through 100+ year old native trees. With John and Kathleen (both science educators) your sailing certification course becomes a field study of the Salish Sea!

Some favorite spots include:

- Anchoring near Rosario resort for a tour, hike, swim, concert and ice cream.
- Beachcombing along the sandy stretch at Spencer Spit
- Whale watching along the southwest side of San Juan Island
- Hiking to Turn Point Lighthouse on Stuart Island
- Spending a cozy evening watching the sun set at tranquil Otter Bay
- Kayaking around smaller islands Sunset watching from secluded harbors


Bareboat Charter Master (+28’ sailboats)

Requirement : Skipper Large Keelboat Certification (or equivalent training or experience), either prior or in parallel with Bareboat instruction.

Practical : Minimum 3-days on-water Bareboat training, Instructor Competency Verification: includes ANS (American National Standards-Sail) Assessment and International Yacht Charter Competency Standardt

Online Knowledge : Bareboat Charter Course, Coastal Navigation, Electronic Navigation, Anchoring

Experience : Total 50 sea days sailing (including before, during or after class and the 50/50 rule)

Qualified Crew

Practical : Minimum 2-days on-water Training with Instructor Competency Verification

Online Knowledge : Qualified Crew Course, OR completion of the Skipper course.

Experience : Total 4 sea days crewing (before, during or after class)


Price: $900 per sailor

What's Included:

- Online Courses for either Bareboat, Skipper or Crew certifications
- 3 days Small Group Instruction
- Basic Provisioning Included
- 2 days (limited) Free sailing, Free Tracklink ios App
- NauticEd Certification once all certification requirements are achieved
- NauticEd Membership and online resume

Students can optionally stay aboard the night before or after: $50/night (depending on availability)

Additional Sailing Days:

Do you want to sail longer and further explore the San Juan Islands? If available, students may be able to sail additional days for $200/person/day.

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.


5/5 rating. I had a great experience with John as my Bareboat instructor. His boat, Alethea, was the perfect yacht to learn on, as well as gain knowledge and confidence.
kevin m
Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
5/5 rating. John and Kathleen were phenomenal- very knowledgeable as well as both patient and accommodating. A great trip!
Clint v
Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
5/5 rating. Valuable and enjoyable experience while on the S/V Althea. John is knowledgeable, a good teacher and coach.
Philip f
Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
5/5 rating. John is an excellent instructor. Knowledgeable friendly, nurturing and also appropriately demanding and challenging. John expects his students to give their best and I believe I'll be a better sailor because of his mentoring. I love the S/V Alethea.
Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
5/5 rating. Awesome instructor and a great cruise.
james b
Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
5/5 rating. John and Kathleen are probably the nicest people on boats in the San Juans, if not anywhere. Thanks so much for the great trip and the great instruction!
calden c
Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas

For more reviews visit our NauticEd reviews.

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