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Sail Monterey Bay

Advanced Coastal Navigation & Piloting

The Advanced Coastal Cruising Course is a four day sailing expedition that will offer advanced sailing and local challenges on the Monterey Bay and Pacific Ocean.

Click here for great pictures of our last Advanced Coastal Cruising Course: http://jk-e.co/CoastalNav.m4v

(Please see testimonial description below).

The first day we will review Coastal Navigation and sail to Monterey and get a slip or anchor out. The following day we'll head around Pt Pinos, and head down towards majestic and rugged Big Sur Coast. That night will be anchored in Stillwater Cove, Carmel off of one of the most prestigious golf courses in the world, Pebble Beach. The next day we will head north west and experience some real ocean sailing and then turn northeast to Moss Landing Marina. The last day will not only be challenging navigation practice to get back to Santa Cruz, it's usually a beat back home which will really fine tune your sailing skills.

Blue whale

Any segment of the course requires good sailing skills, patience, and teamwork. The weather conditions can vary, from brilliant sunny skies with 20-30 knot winds to navigating in a thick advection fog where you can barely see the bow of the boat. This four-day trip gives you the chance to experience the ever changing mood of the omnipotent Pacific Ocean, further develop your sailing and navigation skills, as well as coping with any adversity the seas and weather present.

Your classroom will be one of our larger, 36 to 46 foot boats equipped with all necessary safety and navigational equipment. Our USCG Licensed instructors are the best in the country and have done this passage many times. Our instructors have all sailed to many foreign ports around the world and enjoy sharing their wealth of sailing knowledge with students.

As in any sailing passage, destinations and schedules may change due to weather and crew conditions. The cost of the course covers all food and non-alcoholic beverages on board. Meals ashore will be at the students' expense. The provisions supplied are simple, hearty and easy on the sailor's stomach. If you have special dietary requirements please let us know ahead of time so that we may cater to your needs. As part of this cruising experience, students are expected to participate in cooking and/or clean up duties. There will be ample opportunity to savor meals ashore as well. There is nothing better, at the conclusion of a coastal voyage, to sit down at a restaurant and be waited on.

If you are (or think you might be) susceptible to seasickness, please obtain and use a prescription (e.g., scopolamine) or over the counter remedy, or pressure point wristbands (available at drugstores and marine supply stores) before departure. Please don't wait to find out if you are susceptible to seasickness. The Northern California Coast isn't the place to test this stability factor.

We are confident that this passage will be a memorable and safe voyage for you. We hope you will benefit from this experience and use the skills you'll learn to sail many coastal passages.


Format: 4-day/3-night, liveaboard program from 9:30am on Day 1 to 5:00pm on Day 4

Prerequisite: Intermediate Coastal Cruising and Basic Coastal Cruising or special permission from Pacific Yachting Staff.

Group (3-4 students) - $865/person / Member $810.per person
Private (2 students) - $1,235./person

Course cost includes instruction, all food onboard, mooring and docking fees. Any meals ashore are at the student's expense.

Deposit:$100. due no later than two weeks prior to beginning of class. Balance due first day of course. If, due to adverse weather or other unexpected circumstances, Pacific Yachting & Sailing needs to cancel the course, all course fees will be refunded.

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Recommendations & Testimonials

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Feel free to contact us to find out more about our sailing courses or to sign up directly.

(831) 423-SAIL
(800) 374-2626


Four Amazing Days
By Ann Krieg Levine
Pacific Yachting and Sailing Student

Anticipation, adventure, awareness, amazement, and advancement are all words that accurately describe four stellar days of sailing in Pacific Yachting and Sailing’s Advanced Coastal Cruising Class.

It was time to take my sailing skills to a new level and to challenge myself further. The anticipation built as I wondered what it would be like to sail beyond the familiar confines of the mile buoy, the cement ship, and Natural Bridges. What would it be like to sail into the dense fog that frequently hovers just beyond Santa Cruz? What beautiful boat would we be assigned to? Who were my classmates going to be?

Our adventure was safely guided and professionally taught by Captain Frank Brauch. There were four students in the class. We were assigned to the 46-foot Beneteau, Zazen. The student’s first experience of working together was in the creation of our menu, shopping list, and trip to the market. Onboard, we not only did the usual thorough inspection of the boat and safety equipment but we actually filled the water tanks. Now that was a sure sign that this was going to be an adventure!

The moment we left the Santa Cruz Harbor, awareness was heightened. We started taking readings for plotting our course to Monterey. With that done, we disappeared into the fog. We were more aware of the importance plotting a course, holding a course and correcting a course. We were aware that we were relying on equipment, skills and teamwork. Thanks to the awareness of those on board, we were also able to see fantastic wildlife. Not only did we see the usual sea lions, seals, otters, and pelicans, but many other sea birds and schools of different kinds of jelly fish as well. We thought that we were fortunate to see such wild life but there was more. We met a family of Risso's Dolphin. After that, a wayward inland forest bird rested on our speader before trying to make its way back to land. We saw a large sunfish at the ocean’s surface. But, the best of all has to be put in the next category under “Amazement”.

On day two of the sail, we departed Monterey and were on our way to Still Water Cove. Out in the ocean we met a gam of humpback whales! They were only about 50 yards away from us! We could see their spouting, hear their sounds, watch as they displayed fins, flukes, and humpbacks. All five of us on board witnessed a humpback shoot up and out of the water. As the whale breached, we could see the details of its underside. It then crashed back into the water, momentarily turning the ocean a vibrant aqua color. None of us could believe what we saw! It was like a live National Geographic special. We met these whales again on day three after we left Still Water Cove. Seeing the whale breach was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity that none of us would have experienced had we not been out on this advanced coastal cruising class.

The four of us students came from various sailing backgrounds. Some were already bareboat certified and wanted to hone their skills, one was preparing to charter a boat in the Caribbean. I was just progressing through the Pacific Yachting and Sailing course. Our instructor not only taught the curriculum of the course, but also addressed each of our personal sailing challenges and goals. A more intangible advancement is the increased feeling of respect for Mother Nature.

Other Highlights
At one point our knot meter stopped working. In port and under the guidance of our instructor, I took out the plug for our knot meter, cleaned it and put it back in. Yes, the seawater momentarily entered the boat!
It was fun entering new harbors (Monterey and Moss Landing) and trying to find our assigned slip for the night.
Three of the four students fought against motion sickness. It is hard to avoid when one is below deck, staring at the tiny print of a chart and trying to plot a course while the boat is rolling in the swells. Definitely take precautions.
We found inflated birthday party balloons out in the ocean, which we went back and picked up so that sea creatures would not mistake them for food.

Four Amazing Days
What a wonderful experience. The highlight for me was meeting the whales.
I recommend Advanced Coastal Cruising to any of you who have even thought about taking it, or retaking it. Each sail is different. There is always something new to learn. I thank Pacific Yachting and Sailing, and my instructor Frank, for four of the most amazing days of my life.

Best Regards,
Ann Krieg Levine

Certification: Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA106)

Cancellation policy: Seven-day advance notice, 100% refund. Sorry, no refund with less than seven days notice.

Recommended text: Annapolis Book of Seamanship, John Rousmaniere.

Certification: Practical skills demonstrated in class and written test. ASA Advanced Coastal Cruising Certification (written exam) costs $25.

Schedule: Check our calendar for upcoming classes. Additional courses can be scheduled based on student demand.