Summer is just around the Corner..
And a USCG Auxiliary
Boating Course may just be the ticket
By Wayne Spivak, ADSO-CS
It's March, and the
weather has reversed itself. March is, if we believe in the old
adage, "in like a lion, out like a lamb", been playing
games with us. One day it was 25 degrees cold and clammy, and the
next day it was 55 degrees and sunny.
Warm weather days like
the one's we've been having make all of us think about
getting our boats ready. We start thinking of all the chores
involved in making our craft seaworthy for the upcoming season. But
of all the tasks that we have on our list, the one that never seems
to make its way toward the top is EDUCATION.
The art and science of
what we call boating changes with each new technological advance.
Just look at the boating bible, Chapman's Piloting
Seamanship and Small boat Handling. Through the years,
sections have grown and shrunk, been added and deleted.
Skills you may have
learned have grown rusty, new gadgets have changed the way we apply
our skills. But unless we update our skill sets, we may not be as
safe a boater as we might be. Educational seminar and courses are
the answer, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary is here to help.
The United States Coast
Guard Auxiliary, with its 34,000 members, provides the boating public
with fair number of boating courses. These courses range from
"Boating Fun - Adventure on the Water" for the kindergarten
child to the 3rd grader; to "Navigating with GPS",
for the adult who like his toys.
Here are some of our
Boating Fun - Adventure on the Water to teach the basic
safety concepts to children in grades K-3.
Waypoints - A Guide to Boating Safely for older children and
youths in grades 4-6.
Personal Watercraft for those who want a brief, very basic
introduction to the safety issues involved when operating a PWC.
Navigating with GPS for those who want a brief, very basic
introduction to navigating with GPS.
ABC -America's Boating Course- oriented toward hunters,
anglers, and beginning boaters who need to do home study.
Boating Safely oriented toward hunters, anglers, skiers and
operators of PWCs.
Boating Skills and Seamanship for both beginning and
experienced power boaters.
Sailing Fundamentals for both beginning and experienced
sailors (also known as "Sailing and Seamanship").
Basic Coastal Navigation an introduction to coastal piloting.
Advanced Coastal Navigation for serious boaters who want to
learn piloting techniques.
Not all courses are given
at all locations or all the time. The courses offered depend on your
area, and the volunteers that make up the Auxiliary. Check with your
local Auxiliary Flotilla or check the national web site at