We received this letter from Peter Schloss who completed his third ocean training cruise with us in November 2007
Capt. Tom Tursi
Re: ASA 108, Offshore Passagemaking, Nov. 2000,
Dear Tom and David.
month I completed my third passage with the Maryland School of Sailing and
Seamanship (MDS), from Norfolk to St. Thomas. My first passage was under Tom in
2000, second was under Jeff Papps in 2004, and the most recent under David this
year. In the course of this last voyage David remarked that my repeat enrollment
was unusual, but not unwelcome. He asked why I was reprising the experience for
the third time, and whether I would likely do so a fourth time. I hope that this
letter provides some explanation and insight into my reasons.
of all, I had assumed that there must be other students that have completed an
ocean passage with MDS more than one time. MDS had not discouraged my repeat
enrollment, indeed, I was welcomed each time. Second, an open ocean passage in
November, spanning nearly 2 weeks is a unique “once in a life time”
experience that does not have to be limited to “once” in a lifetime!
Finally, each of my journeys, though with similar itineraries and curriculums,
were distinctly different.
passage included a unique blend of sailors. Each of my shipmates brought onboard
their distinctive life experiences, sailing skills, and personalities. In each
voyage the way the sailors coalesced into a crew was beyond prediction.
Furthermore, my contribution to each crew was as dependant upon my skills as it
was upon the needs of the other members. We each “grew” to fill the needs of
the vessel and trials of our voyage. In each voyage we encountered different
challenges of climate, navigation, and equipment. Therefore, I have not repeated
the same voyage three times. Rather I have enjoyed the challenge of three
distinctly different voyages which were each titled “ASA 108, Norfolk to St.
this particular ASA 108 “class” also provides an opportunity to my family.
On each of the occasions that I sailed with MDS, my wife has flown down to St.
Thomas to meet me. We then were able to reunite in “paradise”, our near two
week separation having “made the heart grow fonder”. 12 days at sea provide
an opportunity to reflect and evaluate land based priorities. I have found that
the voyage refreshes appreciation for many things that I might otherwise take
for granted. Suffice it to say the week that I have spent with my wife on St.
Thomas/St. John after each voyage has been intensely romantic… a great
“gift” to a marriage already blessed by 30 years. This last occasion my wife
was accompanied by two of our adult children and their spouses. We all had a
fabulous time, “making memories”.
you both for your contributions to my learning and experiences as a sailor.
Thank MDS for the opportunity to complete a real ocean passage, not just once in
this lifetime, but three times. If you will have me, I will be back for a fourth