Mar 8, 2018

Guysborough Sailing SchoolKate Tompkins from the Guysborough County Sailing Club sent us this information about their new sailing school.

“We are dedicated to operating a top-notch school that is known for the quality of its sail training, at all levels. We plan to grow steadily, and to gradually offer higher levels of instruction leading eventually towards preparation for off-shore cruisers.

Guysborough Scaling SchoolWe are a not-for-profit organization registered with the NS Registry of Joint Stocks Companies, with an active volunteer Board. The Guysborough County Sailing Club enjoys a close relationship with the Municipality of the District of Guysborough.

The Guysborough County Sailing Club and our boats, Allegro, and Sassy Lassie, have been subjected to rigorous inspection and have successfully passed all of Transport Canada’s stringent regulations for a sailing school and for a sail training vessel.

Guysborough Sailing School 3All instructors contracted by the Guysborough County Sailing Club are certified, licensed and insured by Sail Canada, and have many cruising miles under their keels.
The village of Guysborough is lucky to lay claim to a lovely, protected harbour, with passage to Chedabucto Bay, where seals and whales are often seen. A set of community docks is home to both power and sailing craft.

Guysborough Harbour has a rich sailing history. In the late 1700’s and the 1800’s, Guysborough was a Port of Registry because of the number of sailing vessels built on its shores for the thriving international shipping industry. No fewer than 6 shipyards graced its shores. Originally settled in the 1600’s to be the capital of the British North American colonies, Guysborough was one of the economic drivers for Nova Scotia’s economy prior to Confederation. Once the era of sail gave way to steam-powered shipping, and to Confederation-fueled tariffs, the golden age of sailing faded from its former glory.

We aim to make Guysborough a sailing attraction again.”

Here are brief descriptions of some of the courses being offered:

Start Keelboat Sailing

This is a cost-effective entry-level learn-to-sail course. Check out the sport of sailing in a keelboat. Even if you have never even seen a sail boat before, this is your opportunity to get the feel of the wind in your sails, without a lot of written course material to study and no stressful exam. Start Keelboat Sailing students use a brief workbook but no weighty text.

If you have sailed in a dinghy, you understand the basic mechanics of sailing. But step up to a keelboat and learn how a larger boat handles and prepare for the wonders of cruising.

Sailing School 4Sailing as Healing

This is a special customized program, combining the hands-on skills of the Start Keelboat Sailing for Women course, and activities designed to support participants in their journey to heal from the emotional turmoil their lives have brought to them.

We can develop a curriculum to meet the specific needs of your clients or participants. Your group’s facilitator, therapist, coach or support person can join in too, to better support your clients, if you wish. We can also help to arrange accommodation at a local B&B or inn.

Sailing instructor Kate Tompkins is also a psychotherapist, group facilitator and adult educator, with many years experience working with women who are on healing journeys.

Basic Cruising

This is the gold standard introduction course for those who want to become serious sailors. It is also the prerequisite for the Intermediate Cruising course, which is the usual requirement for bareboat chartering.

If you intend to be heading outside the protected confines of Guysborough Harbour and do some trip planning, learn to do it safely and professionally. The Atlantic Ocean coast can be challenging to navigate and demands the respect of those who cruise her. This course gives you the sailing skills and confidence and teaches you to be both Skipper and Crew for coastal cruising passages.

This course includes an overnight excursion: learn your hands-on skills during a 24-hour cruise to a nearby location. The class will split in two after the third day with 3 or 4 students in each half, to allow for lots of room aboard and lots of time at the helm. Choose either the first or the second overnight excursion. All on board will contribute to communal meals during the overnight excursions.

Basic Coastal Navigation

The first in a series of navigation courses, this introductory course introduces navigation techniques for sail cruising.

ROC(M): VHF with DSC Endorsement

The Radio Operator’s course. Even if you have an older Radio Operator’s License, you need to upgrade to the latest version.

The ROC license is a Canadian Federal government issued card that allows you to operate a marine VHF radio. ROC stands for Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate and is required by anyone using a marine VHF radio or other marine radios (each person on the boat who will use the radio needs their own card). There are significant fines if you are found using a VHF or marine radio without your card.

Pleasure Craft Operators Certificate (PCOC)

(“The Boaters’ License”)

PCOC is the “Boaters License”. Everyone who operates a power-driven boat in Canada needs proof of competency — something that shows they understand the rules of the road and how to safely operate a boat. Sailors need the PCOC too: you need proof of competency if the sailboat is fitted with an auxiliary motor, even when under sail.

Standard First Aid

Not only is an up-to-date First Aid certification required for completion of the Intermediate Cruising course, it is just good common sense to have these skills under your belt.

The Instructors

Kate Tompkins

Kate TompkinsKate has been a cruising sailor for close to 40 years. Most of the sailing miles under her keel have been single-handed explorations of out-of-the way remote anchorages away from civilization. She has sailed in Great Slave Lake, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Kate is an adult educator and specializes in developing curricula for teaching entry level skills to give new sailors a solid start. Kate is the Commodore of the Guysborough County Sailing Club.

Kate is also a Registered Psychotherapist with an active counselling practice.

 

 


Grant Gordon

Grant GordonGrant has sailed for more than 25 years and been teaching sailing for the past 12 of those. He is an RYA Yachtmaster and holds a commercial endorsement, allowing him to serve as captain or mate on sailing vessels of over 100 feet. He is also a Sail Canada intermediate level instructor.

When not busy with his day job as a sailmaker he is an active club racer and long-distance cruiser. Grant has logged over 20,000 ocean miles including three trans-Atlantic crossings and has spent two seasons living aboard in the Caribbean.

The Training Vessels

Allegro is a Northern 25 who spent most of her life on Lake Ontario before moving to Nova Scotia. She is a stiff boat with a full keel, which makes her an excellent boat for beginner cruising. She is stable, safe and sails beautifully in light or strong winds.

Allegro has passed all of Transport Canada’s stringent regulations for a sail training vessel.

Sassy Lassie is a Paceship 32 built in Mahone Bay and most recently sailed out of Bayfield, NS. She is a performance cruiser – stable but capable of kicking up her heels with a bit of wind. She is well set up for cruising, comfortably sleeping 5 below decks and 2 more in the open-air cockpit.

Sassy Lassie has passed all of Transport Canada’s stringent regulations for a sail training vessel.

To receive the course calendar or register for any course, please contact Kate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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