The first day of class was a Friday. And because we had 4 people (Fred had joined the party, although he would not be able to play Pirates of the Caribbean with us) we would have the class to ourselves. We were met by instructor, Mark, who introduced himself, asked us about our sailing experience, and passed out the exams for ASA 101! Okaaaay... Glad I studied as much as I did.
Fortunately we passed and were immediately hustled into a 22' Capri sailboat. Out of the harbor. Raise the mainsail. Hoist the jib. Man overboard! Wait. What? Mark had tossed one of the ship's fenders off the stern and we had to rescue it. Shout, point, litter. Figure eight manuever, and grab the clumsy fender with a boat hook. But no sooner did we get him aboard, than the clumsy air bag fell over again! By the fourth time overboard we started to wonder if maybe the world might be a better place without this particular fender.
That evening we settled onto the 36' Catalina that would be our home for the remainder of the course. Sue and took the forward cabin, which, we discovered did not receive the heat allotment that the main saloon did.
The next three days were an intensive, yet enjoyable, blur of sailing, charting, and testing. With the occasional meal and sleep break thrown in. Mark was a personable crewmate, but it seemed that sometimes his instincts as a sailor overrode his role as an instructor. While we were under sail he would frequently be adjusting the traveler or one of the sails and every time he did we would have to ask why he did whatever he did. Finally we just told him "Teach us to make those adjustments! That's why we're here ".
We docked one of the nights at Friday Harbor, moored at Rosario Resort on Orcas Island for another, and finally returned to Anacortes for our final exam and the trip home.