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Virgin Islands to California via the Panama Canal, March to June 2019


NauticEd Rank attained upon passing competency evaluation:

Competent Skipper or Competent Bareboat Charter Master* or Competent Captain**

* Bareboat Charter Master and Captain ranks requires 50 logged days of sailing. Prior sailing experience can be logged retroactively, and the days from this course count towards the requirement. This requirement makes a sailing resume with this rank immediately acceptable by most bareboat yacht charter companies, unlike many certifications offered by other companies.

** Practical assessment for Competent Captain rank requires making a passage of at least 250 nautical miles. This is only possible on some of the legs of this trip.

We are excited to offer the opportunity for students to join us as we sail a 2013 Helia 44 from St. Thomas, USVI to Ensenada, Mexico via the Panama Canal. Opportunities to embark/disembark will be at St. Thomas, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Receive training on passagemaking and cruising from a skilled sailing instructor with extensive personal experience in outfitting cruising sailboats for comfort and safety, preparing for long passages and safely sailing offshore over long distances.

Elevate your sailing skills by learning how to plan longer passages, sail safely at night, handle the boat unassisted, and get into and out of anchorages without relying on an engine. Learn advanced galley management techniques including long passage provisioning, food safety and storage skills, and advanced meal preparation. Begin to understand the tools and equipment you need aboard for long passages (including smartphone apps and safety and navigation tools), as well as how to use them. Gain experience troubleshooting problems that could arise while at sea.

We will use weather routing software to plan for our passages. These passages will be long enough to necessitate a watch schedule, and some of these passages will require night sailing. We will practice the skills necessary for you to pass the competency evaluation at the end of the course.

Segment 1

St. Thomas, USVI to Aruba

  • Stops in St. Croix, USVI – Bonaire – Curacao

  • Fly into St. Thomas (STT) March 27 and fly out of Aruba (AUA) April 7

  • 12 days in total (including the travel days)


Segment 2

Aruba to Panama City, Panama

  • Stops in Colon, Panama for the Panama Canal transit

  • Fly into Aruba (AUA) April 7 and fly out of Panama City (PTY) April 21

  • 15 days total (including the travel days)


Segment 3

Panama City, Panama to Liberia, Costa Rica

  • Stops in Cobia Island, Panama – Cavada Island, Panama – Gamez Island, Panama

  • Fly into Panama City, Panama (PTY) April 22 and fly out Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) May 2

  • 11 days total (including travel days)


Segment 4

Liberia, Costa Rica to Antigua, Guatemala

  • Fly into Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) May 3 and fly out Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) May 9

  • 7 days total (including travel days)


Segment 5

Antigua, Guatemala to Acapulco, Mexico

  • Fly into Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) May 10 and fly out Acapulco, Mexico (ACA) May 18

  • 9 days total (including travel days)


Segment 6

Acapulco, Mexico to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

  • Fly into Acapulco, Mexico (ACA) May 18 and fly out of San Jose del Cabo (SJD) May 26

  • 10 days total (including travel days)


Segment 7

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to Los Angeles, California

  • Fly into San Jose del Cabo (SJD) May 26 and fly out of Los Angeles, CA (LAX) June 7

  • 13 days total (including travel days)

Your tuition includes:​

  • Provisioning the boat with food for meals on board

  • Mooring and docking fees

  • Fuel and water for the boat

  • Online log book

  • Automated online sailing résumé generated from log book

Not included:

  • Meals ashore

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Optional NauticEd courses ($175 for Bareboat Charter Master, $307 for Captain)

  • Instructor gratuity (at your discretion)

Please note: We've built a buffer into the schedule using conservative speed estimates but there may be delays out of our control due to weather or mechanical issues. We'll do our best to stay on schedule and get you to your flight on-time. However, safety is our primary consideration and we cannot be liable for change fees associated with weather and maintenance delays (like with all the other transport industries). We appreciate your understanding on this matter.

Pricing Per Cabin

50% downpayment required to reserve

3 - 6 days

Single Occupancy: $400/day

Double Occupancy: $700/day

7 - 14 days

Single Occupancy: $350/day

Double Occupancy: $600/day

15+ days

Single Occupancy: $300/day

Double Occupancy: $500/day

Contact Us

Please contact us to let us know the time frame you're considering. We will work with you to find a plan that works given our availability.

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