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Cruisers College – April 2018

Offshore Cruising Seminar

with John and Amanda Neal

Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Singles – $145 / Couples – $275
Register HERE.
Worldwide cruisers and instructors, John and Amanda Neal, will be joining the 2018 Cruisers College program with their well regarded “Offshore Cruising Seminar.” Considering an extended cruise to the far corners of the world or the Inside Passage to Alaska? John and Amanda’s program is a day full of tips and techniques starting with selecting a cruising boat to how to equip it for safe and fun cruising. Boat and engine maintenance will be covered along with provisioning and cooking, medical info, and how to communicate and stay in touch with friends, family, and business. The course fee includes their 260-page book Offshore Companion (normally $60).
John and Amanda spend seven months of the year teaching couples and crews how to cruise the world aboard their Hallberg-Rassy 46 sailboat Mahina Tiare III. This one-day program is based on their knowledge of a combined 645,000 miles of cruising experience all over the world.
Seminar Program:

7:45  Registration

8:30  Introduction

9:00 Boat Selection: Design and Construction Criteria – what makes a boat safe and comfortable for offshore voyaging

9:40  Getting Started in the Cruising Life: Understanding your partner

10:20  Break

10:35  Priority Equipment:  Outfitting with the gear you REALLY need 

11:30  Engines: Spares and Maintenance

11:40  Galley Essentials:  We’re not talking about camping out!

12:00  Lunch Break

1:00  Anchors and Anchoring:  Five anchoring techniques

1:15  Seamanship: Self-reliance, awareness, and responsibility

1:36  Storm Survival Tactics: Details of ten specific tactics

2:05  Optional Equipment:  Outfitting with the cool gear that makes cruising more comfortable

2:45  Break

2:55  Rigging and Sails: Keeping the mast up and sails set

 3:15  Medical: Common problems, preventions, and treatment

3:35  Communications: Realities of staying in touch

3:50  Psychological:  The nuts and bolts of keeping the balance

4:05  Break

4:10  Cost of Cruising: How much will this cost? Working while cruising.

4:15  Managing Your Escape: Piracy, firearms and security issues, insurance, pets, keeping a home base

4:40  Clearing into a Foreign Port: Procedures and courtesies

4:50  Leaving your boat in a Foreign Port

5:00  Worldwide Cruise Scenarios

5:30  Graduation Certificate: Questions and answers

6:45  Optional No-host Dinner: Wear your wildest, brightest tropical attire!

Register HERE.
Join Us for the Entire Cruisers Weekend
Sail Rigging and Maintenance with Andy Schwenk – April 6, 2018 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Price: Singles $125 / Couples $200
Diesel and Electrical Troubleshooting for the Offshore Cruising with Mike Beemer – April 8, 2018 – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Price: Singles $125 / Couples $200

John Neal

John was born on the banks of Africa’s Blue Nile River. At the age of 22 his love of adventure and travel fueled a desire to sail to the South Pacific from Seattle aboard his 27′ Vega sloop. Log of Mahina chronicled his voyage and adventures and became a best seller. To answer the frequently-asked question, “How can I find and prepare a boat for ocean voyaging?” he conducted the first of now 156 Offshore Cruising Seminars in 1976. In 1990, to meet the requests for hands-on offshore instruction, John established Mahina Expeditions with the goal of sharing his knowledge of ocean voyaging in a safe and supportive environment. John has conducted 171 sail-training expeditions aboard his Hallbery-Rassy 42, Mahina Tiare II, and Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III, sailing 342,000 miles in the South Pacific, Caribbean, Patagonia, Antarctica, Atlantic, Scandinavia and the Arctic. John and has rounded Cape Horn six times under sail and holds a USCG 100-ton Master’s and private pilot’s licenses.

Amanda Swan Neal

Amanda grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and sailed to Sausalito, Seattle, and Vancouver as a teenager aboard a 38′ sloop she helped her parents build. Upon returning to New Zealand, she became a sailmaker for Hoods and transferred professions to rigging with Noake’s Rigging in Sydney, Australia then Southern Spars in NZ. In 1990 she completed The Whitbread Around the World Race (now The Volvo Race) as rigger aboard Maiden, the first all-women Whitbread boat. Amanda’s 300,000 miles of ocean sailing include two Sydney-Hobart Races, numerous international regattas and seven Cape Horn roundings intermixed with a ten-year involvement in tall ship sail-training. Since joining John in 1994 for Mahina Tiare’s Cape Horn and Antarctic expeditions, Amanda has co-skippered aboard Mahina Tiare. She is the author of The Essential Galley Companion and since 2005 has written the monthly Galley Essentials column in 48 North magazine. Amanda enjoys introducing women to the joys of the cruising lifestyle and her personal interests include Celtic step dancing, photography, triathlon training, and sewing. She holds an NZ Commercial Launchmaster’s license.

Amanda and John spend seven months at sea sailing 10,000 miles annually. When not at sea, they enjoy winter kayaking from their island home at Roche Harbor, 8 miles east of Victoria, B.C. Their website is:

Magazines Contributed to: Blue Water Sailing, Yachting World (UK), Australian Yachting, Cruising World, Cruising Helmsman (Australia), 48 North, Latitude 38, SAIL, Sailing, Yachting, Ocean Navigator and Practical Sailor.

Books Authored: The Essential Galley Companion (Amanda), Log of the Mahina, Mahina Tiare, Pacific Passages (John), Offshore Cruising Companion, Offshore Expedition Companion, Storm Survival Tactics (John and Amanda), Selecting and Purchasing an Ocean Cruising Sailboat (John).
Books Contributed to: World Voyage Planner, World Cruising Survey by Jimmy Cornell, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, fourth edition, by John Rousmaniere, Surviving the Storm by Steve Dashew, NOAA-PVS Safety Manual, Voyager’s Handbook by Beth A. Leonard, Sharks of Tropical and Temperate Seas, R.H. Johnson, Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die by Chris Santella.
Videography: Heavy Weather Sailing (1981) (contributor), Sailing to Cape Horn (1995), Sailing to Antarctica (1996).

Areas of Experience: Caribbean, Mexico, Atlantic including Azores, Canaries, and Madeira, Patagonia (Chile and Argentina), Cape Horn (six roundings), Antarctica to edge of ice pack, Brazil, Uruguay, Pacific including Galapagos, Panama, Juan Fernandez, Cocos, Clipperton, Easter, Pitcairn, French Polynesia, Cooks, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Wallis, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Alaska, British Columbia. Europe including the Med including Balaerics and Malta, Ireland, England, Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Spitsbergen to edge of ice pack, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Click HERE for interviews and podcasts.

To check out interview of John & Amanda in December issue of Blue Water Sailing, click HERE.

Living Legends: 10 Questions with John & Amanda Click here to read more!

All seminars are held at the NW Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology in Anacortes.

Address: 1606 R Ave. Anacortes, WA 98221

Take the R Avenue exit off of Highway 20. Proceed North for about 1 mile. The MTC will be on your right noted by the stainless steel sculpture of two joggers (across from The Market grocery store). Make the next right on Seafarers Way, then the next right into the parking lot for the MTC. There are restaurants and motels nearby.


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