Here are a few unsolicited testimonials from my sailing students, as well as a few from Google's comments page
The following is from student Tommy. He and I have become friends since his class a while back. He is a good sailor
I know this is late but I was just thinking about you and our adventure in learning to sail. From the first day, when we set out and suddenly encountered a storm with rain and 50 knot winds. It was at that time I knew, without a doubt, that you were a competent sailor. Well deserving of the title, "Captain". Calm, cool and collected you directed Ben and I through the proper steps. We brought down and stowed the sails, started the engine, and plowed through the waves with the little diesel purring away. Waves coming into the cockpit and splashing all over me. My jeans were so salt encrusted they stood in the corner by them selves. I viewed it as a rare experience that not all are privileged to have while learning to sail. Sense then I have always had confidence when ever I have encountered those conditions. I have always remembered those calm instructions you gave that day and everything has always turned out fine. The week we spent cruising, the marinas visited, the dolphins, the wind and the rain were all intertwined into a once in a life time experience. The course instruction was excellent and well defined, and you were always there to encourage us through the rough spots. Anyone that is wanting their ASA certifications can do no wrong in selecting Captain Chris as their instructor and mentor. I highly recommend him to everyone.
And remember, " it's only six screws, Chris. "
Best Wishes, and if you ever need a hand on a delivery, let me know.
The following is an experience a former student had while on a delivery with me. I frequently use students as crew during boat deliveries. It allows them an offshore experience and it provides me with crew whose abilities I'm already familiar with, plus they are cheap.
The trip from Port A Jetty to the Galveston Jetty normally takes about 30 hours, depending on the boat and weather, plus another 4 or 5 hours to get up to Clear Lake. This trip had a spell of light air plus a real rip of an ebb, (3 kts or more), going out the Galvestion Jetty. We ended up anchoring in Galvestion Bay that night to wait for the tide to swing. What follows is his experience.
Edmund C. Sailboat Delivery August
Captain Chris is an exemplary sailor and instructor. You either love him or hate him. Either way you're going to learn your stuff. He takes on all the burden physical and mental to make sure the crew is safe. And he is human. He can get emotional when is comes to the rudiments of sailing i.e. anchoring, handling an outboard, windward/leeward approaches and staying within markers just to mention a few.
Sailing at night was the most surreal experience I had ever had. 30 miles out in the Gulf from Port Aransas to Seabrook (Corpus to Houston) All I could think to myself is, "If I make one mistake, it could kill me and my crew." Captain Chris had faith in me but I know he's learned to sleep with his eyes open. The highlight was when I had the 4:00p.to 12:00a. shift and the winds picked up and the waves grew the highest and we went the fastest than at any other time during the 3-day 2-night experience. I was following the stars and watching for unlit oil platforms. The next day...Doldrums! Not a wisp of wind until 12:00 noon. Hell, we finally decided to use the outboard motor after a couple of hours, even though we were on a limited fuel supply. (It was a calculated risk)
When we finally got to the marina, and I jumped off to secure the line to the cleat, I never appreciated steady ground as much as at that moment. I can now say that I have sailed. The next step is to do it solo. That'll be the day!
Thank you Chris,
Jim & Ruth
Jim and Ruth, (AKA John, Judy & Julie) took a Fast Track class in September. I need to preface his comments. Jim is a retired Marine and a very straight talker. He doesn't mince his words or beat around the bush. Thank You Jim & Ruth
Chris - Feel free to post this on your web site as a testimonial. I want to first say thank you for everything. I know we were customer's and student's...,but you made us feel like much more!! We felt like friends at times, family at other times and step-children at other times (when I would jibe at the wrong time! Ha ha!!) We had a GREAT time and I would not have changed a thing! The weather was a little rough at the right times and relatively calm at other times. Just the right amount of everything in regards to conditions, shipping traffic and other things that made the learning environment perfect to prepare us for more grueling conditions than we may face. As you know, we will likely only use our certification to sail the BVI (where the conditions are ideal 95% of the year) - but, because of you, we believe we are prepared and confident if things go haywire there. For the purpose of this letter I will tell the reader that I have crewed several boats and am not totally a rookie and I took the course with my girlfriend to get her trained and give me a refresher and both of us certified (we took the "Fast Track" 5-day course.) Although I had been on several boats as part of the crew, I learned an enormous amount of information during our time together and at times felt like a TOTAL ROOKIE!!!! And, I highly recommend that if someone is considering taking sailing classes - think twice about taking them anywhere else. Although other instructors may or may not be as proficient at Capt Chris...I can assure you that you will likely not be as prepared for future sailing if you take a course on (for example) Lake Travis, Lake Texoma or other inland lakes (I've sailed Lake Texoma.) Chris will put you though the rigors of sailing in less than ideal conditions and situations. DO NOT PLAN on a walk in the park in the Fast Track Course! But, DO NOT be intimidated at what I am writing...when you are done you will be more than prepared. Again Captain Chris - thank you for everything! FROM: "Jimmy John Jibe" and "RT" Julie, Judy and Ruth (you had to be there to understand all of that...but truly there were only two people in the course (Jim and Ruth)
(Liz also took a 5 day liveaboard class. A portion of her e-mail is below)
Subject: Photos from our Sailing Course
To: Captain Chris
It is so nice to finally hear from you. I loved, loved, our sailing course!
I am glad we were all lucky enough to meet you and have you as our instructor. I still cannot believe how much we covered. You did a great job of keeping us all coming along together as a team. For that, I thank you!
Is there an instructor evaluation form that you could send us? I would like to recommend deleting the Hamburger Helper from the menu. ha! Really, I would like a chance to send that form in your behalf for your file.
Thanks again. We look forward to sailing with you again soon!
Thanks for the instruction Captain Chris. Anyone in our area wanting to learn how to sail would be foolish not to take ASA Certification lessons from your school. I signed myself, my adult daughter, college age son & highschool age son up for 101 and the 103/104 live aboard combo. We had 6 days on the water & it was awesome. If you want to learn more than just how to sail then ASA Certification is the way to do it and Captain Chris and his associates are the instuctors of choice. Learn the boats & how to sail, how to navigate and how to come back to shore safe & sound. Study, take your tests and get your certification. Learn it all and have a great time.
Thanks Cap and ASA.
Bill McGehee & Family
(Larry took an ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising Sailing Class, I've transcribed a his hand written thank you note. During his class we developed a little bit of engine trouble and sailed the 38' Catalina into the dock at Joe's Crab Shack.)
Thank You for a most enjoyable and highly instructive experience weekend before last. You obviously know your stuff, and more importantly know how to teach it. I meant to donate to the Seaman Benevolent Fund at the end , but didn't in the confusion of our dead stick landing.
Hope to see you again
(Tom took the ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Class)
Chris, Thank you for the wonderful job you did as our "baby sailor" instructor. You demonstrated great interest in making sure that we all understood the basic / fundamental concepts of Sailing, Points of Sail . . . and you made it fun too! You are a very good communicator and made it easier upon all of us to understand the many, many new concepts which we were introduced to.
Thank you again.
P.S. I had no camera, hence no pictures to share
(Lindsey took a 6 day set of classes; a two day 101 followed by a four day 103 / 104 combination class.)
Subject: Hey Cap
To: Captain Chris
I am sitting down to write a review for your website. Here goes:
"I knew I must take the class, but as someone whose sailing experience was limited to capsizing my son's homemade skiff, my excited mind was full of concerns. Will I enjoy sailing in practice as much as I do in literature? Will the instructor be patient and capable enough to help me learn? Is he the kind of person I could live with happily on a boat for several days? To all similarly concerned, may your fears be allayed. Learning to sail with Captain Chris was more fun than a whole high-school summer vacation, with an educational value arguably greater than that of a freshman semester of college. He not only taught us how to navigate the seas by looking to the skies, he himself is an experienced professional, fully capable of navigating the murky waters of a newbie sailor's mind. I'm hooked for life and can't wait to get back on the water. All I need now is a boat."
(Carey took a 103 / 104 combo class)
I lost your e-mail I wrote down, but if you send me it again, I will send you those pictures I took during my sailing course. Also, below are my thoughts on the course. You can post it on your website under Student Comments. Thanks again for an amazing course. I recently took the ASA 103/104 course with Learn to Sail Texas. I have to say that the four days and three nights I spent with Captain Chris on the 31’ Hunter, was absolutely an amazing experience. I started the course with a lack of confidence in my sailing abilities and many concerns about what the trip would hold. I knew nothing about navigation and had never sailed in winds greater than 10 knots until this course. Sailing in the Gulf of Mexico with 35-50 knot winds and 5-8 foot waves was exhilarating. Captain Chris’ pati! ence and guidance gave me the confidence I needed to sail in many different kinds of weather and sea conditions. Being that I took the course during the heat of the summer, I very much appreciated that we were able to dock each night, had access to showers, slept comfortably in air conditioning, and ate like kings. Captain Chris even accomadated my food allergies. I can’t wait to get back out on the water and feel like Captain Chris gave me the skills that I need to charter a sailboat anywhere in the world. Thank you Captain Chris for such a memorable experience. Carey
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