Capt Dave's Tips            

It's been said that "April Showers" bring "May Flowers", but I suspect we're all thinking about a different kind of ending.  You're right, the rainfall since January has been great to Lake Lanier.  Please keep this a secret because so far this season no one but us has discovered the wonders of sailing Lanier without the crowds! 

It seems that the first 3 months of 2008 have been blessed with great winds and regular rain fall.  Only a few times have we had the threat of rain during our outings, but those who were aboard on those occasions have acquired some valuable experience.   The Spring is the absolute best time for sailing and we've had several weekends of winds in the high teens and low twenties.  Again, some valuable experience for those who participated on those outings.  Don't forget that the purpose of training is to learn to sail safely in threatening conditions; unless you'd rather learn those valuable lessons without an instructor aboard during your first storm!

We have worked hard to add some new and exciting programs to the 2008 season.  A quick tour of our web site reflects several new programs that typically aren't offered at other schools.   We're excited about our new Radar Navigation class and hope to add others like it in the near future.  We have added more on-the-water clinics than ever before!  We've added more FUN sails for those of you who wish to spend 2 hours doing what YOU want and going where YOU want.  Although not intended to be instructional outings, a staff member is always aboard in the event you have questions or require assistance while you merely kick back and enjoy the satisfaction of running the boat without instructor input.  We also have one mid week instructional outing each month from May thru September.

I encourage everyone to take some time from hectic and panicked schedules this season to spend some time doing something for YOU.  The world can wait while you escape for a few precious hours of self indulgence on the lake.

See you on the water....


     So What's NEW!
This Season's Clinics Announced
Spring Training Isn't Just For Baseball Players!

No matter how long you've been sailing or whether you've just started out, join us in our clinics for specialized focused training in an area of your choice! Step off the "Corporate Treadmill", dust off your sailing dreams and update your plans to get you where you dream to be by this time next season!

This Season's Clinics:

Anchoring I Single Anchor  
Anchoring II Multiple Anchors  
Maneuvering I Power Stopping, Holding Position Against Wind/Current, Picking up Moorings  
Maneuvering II Use of "Prop Walk", Confined Space "K" Turns & Pivots, Backing and Filling  
Docking I Determining Stopping Distance, Docking/Departing Basics and 45º Approaches  
Docking II Backing Docking, Solo Docking/Departing and 90º Approaches (Storm Docking)  
Spinnaker I Spinnaker Theory and Basics (No Mainsail-Takedown/Sets on same side)  
Spinnaker II Spinnaker Theory and Basics (w/ Mainsail-Takedown/Sets on opposite sides)  
Crew Overboard Crew Rescue Using Figure-8 and Deep Beam Reach Maneuvers  
2005 Crew Overboard Symposium Recap

If you've read a sailing magazine during the past couple of years, you've seen varying accounts of the findings from the massive effort in San Francisco to assess the effectiveness of various crew overboard recovery devices and maneuvering procedures.

In June of 2006 John Rousmaniere, author of Annapolis Book of Seamanship, published his findings and opinions from the symposium.  If you have a high speed internet connection you can download the 1 meg report. (Click Here)

Fifteen different boats ranging from 21 to 53 feet participated, including a dozen sailboats and three powerboats, making this the largest ever crew overboard/rescue trial with a representative range of American boats.

At issue was an attempt to determine whether the Quick Stop, Fast Return, Figure-8 or Deep Beam Reach crew overboard recovery technique was more effective, easily executed, and provided the greatest margin for safety across the broadest spectrum of skill sets, boat designs and sea states. 

The winner was...... well it just depends.   It depends on crew experience, season, sea state, condition of the victim, water temperature, physical ability of the rescue crew and the type of life jacket the victim was wearing....or not.

As a result of these findings, A.S.A. and the U.S. Sailing Association have recently approved the inclusion of additional crew rescue maneuvers.  New this season you'll see our staff introducing the Deep Beam Reach approach in addition to our Figure-8 instruction.  One could make an argument for any of the techniques, but our staff unilaterally agree that the Figure-8 and Deep Beam Reach techniques best represent the most effective and efficient recovery techniques for our local waters.  You may want to review the entire report so that you can become familiar with the advantages/disadvantages of each technique and develop an appreciation for why we've selected the two "Point of Sail" maneuvers instead of the two "Turning" maneuvers.

Basic Coastal Cruising; at the coast
Come join our coastal certification classes.  Unlike Basic Keelboat Sailing, "Coastal Cruising" certification implies that you can successfully and proactively command a sailing vessel in coastal waters and understand tides, currents, coastal weather systems, navigational buoys and navigating commercial traffic like professional sailors.  DON'T BE FOOLED by programs offering minimal preparation for certifications.  We could offer Basic Coastal Cruising certification programs on Lake Lanier, but a lake cannot provide the opportunities to gain relevant experience from which sound judgment is acquired that prepares students to safely sail at the coast.  There is a world of difference between lake sailing and preparing for the coast.  The reputation and quality of our programs are not intended to meet minimal certification standards.  Minimal training might not provide the safety your family requires.  The choice is yours, but don't lose sight of your primary objective; safe and knowledgeable boating for you and your loved ones. Come join our 4/16-4/20 program for $475 for 20 hours of real Coastal Cruising or $800 for Bareboat Charter training; at the coast!
Ready To Go Chartering But Can't Afford The Boat? 
  Windsong has students who own sailboats in charter service with Conch Charters and Sunsail Yacht Charters around the world.  

Each yacht owner is allotted several weeks charter at any Sunsail base around the world!  Often owners find that they are unable to use all their time and make unused weeks available to other Windsong students at considerable discounts.  

This program is explained on our web site under the heading
"Bareboat Charter Discounts"

In order to qualify for these discounts
initial contact must be through Windsong,
NOT through Sunsail or Conch Charters.


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     Windsong Events
Our Instructors Take Honors!

Jim Chambers and his crew aboard
Snowfox won FIRST IN CLASS
in the St Petersburg National
Open-Water One Design
Championship in February. 

Last year's Dogwood Regatta was
won by Jim Chambers with
Tom Broome among his crew.




Bill Rountree took FIRST IN CLASS
at last season's Reggae Regatta
in his Melges 24.



Join Us For This Season's Sunset Cruises!


May 17th

Corporate magician Joe M. Turner ( will entertain us on our May cruise.  Joe’s combination of sleight-of-hand and mental magic has been featured everywhere from Massachusetts to Maui – and has put him in high demand by like Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Pratt & Whitney, and hundreds of others.  Joe’s application of magic to corporate messaging was featured on CNN Headline News.  He performs at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, the Dickens Parlour Theatre in Atlantic City, and in his own one-man show, Shenanigans, at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta.

With Joe’s warm, witty personality and world-class sleight-of-hand skills, this will be a cruise to enjoy and remember!

June 14th

Bill Kahler ( will be returning for his fourth season by popular demand as one of our Sunset Cruise entertainers.

Bill is a singer songwriter who has been compared to Van Morrison, James Taylor, John Hyatt, Kenny Loggins and David Wilcox.  Bill has shared the stage with Branford Marsalis, Joe Sample, Three Dog Night, Paul Reisler, Darrell Scott, and Matthew Kahler, to name a few.

Bill has written several "nautical" songs per my request and they're all quite good! His warm vocals deliver the lyrics of well crafted, earthy, heartfelt songs performed by guitar, sax, mandolin, accordion and piano.  Bring some cash because you're going to want to take some CDs home with you in memory of the delightful evening.


July 3rd

Each year we participate in a unique opportunity on Lanier to observe the Fireworks Show conducted by University Yacht Club on Lanier.  This is one of our most popular outings. Participants experience the brilliance of the spectacular show from our boats situated in the bay within excellent ear and eye shot.  If you've never experienced a fireworks show while on the water you've missed the best seats possible. The reflection of the explosions light up the waters around you and the percussions of the show echo across the waters. 

Since this annual event occurs the day before July 4th there are no traffic jams or crowds to contend with.

You do not want to "Miss The Boat" for this event.  Make your reservations TODAY!

July 12th

Jesse Milton will be returning to amaze us again for his third season with his unique mental abilities.

When Milton is around, some unusual things happen. The belief in the impossible is kindled and intuition is ignited.  Everybody has a great time.  Milton is a cerebral entertainer who can:

  • Discern names, numbers, and important years from the past
  • Intuitively predict mental images, and perceptively discover things about individual personalities
  • Show participants how their own intuition can be set ablaze

Milton is NOT a mind reader, but his engaging and light presentation is filled with surprises, bizarre phenomena, and audience participation.  The audience will warm up quickly, and will find out things about each other they never knew.

Sept 13th

If you prefer the melodic sounds of nature over those human engineered, this is the Nature Sunset Cruise for you.  Great scenery, some quiet sailing, snacks and conversation are the highlights that set this outing apart from the others.  If you're looking for some quiet escape time behind the helm, trimming the sails or merely sitting in our special "Couples ONLY Seats" area at the bow of our boat, this trip is for you!


October 11th

Whether you believe in Ghosts or not you'll want to join our annual "Ghosts of Lanier Cruise" in October!

The fourth annual "Ghosts of Lanier Cruise" is a unique sail down Lanier while participating in Ghostly games and stories.  Come enjoy this unique 3-hr evening on Lanier and enchanting sail tales of the history of Lanier and that era prior to the construction of the dam. You don't want to miss this event!  Bring your own creative minds and participate in the story telling!    


     So What's Been Going On?

Upcoming Classes
We have several seats available over the next few weeks of classes.  

You can click on the class description below for more information.

Ground School Classes:

  4/29 & 5/1 Basic Keelboat Sailing Theory
  5/19 & 5/21 Basic Coastal Cruising
  6/02 & 6/04 Bareboat Chartering
  4/15 & 4/17 Advanced Coastal Cruising
  6/23, 6/25 & 6/30 Coastal Navigation_a
  7/19 Coastal Navigation_b
  4/21, 23, 28, 30 Celestial Navigation_a
  5/10 Celestial Navigation_b
  4/13 12Volt Marine Electronic Systems
  5/04 Engine Maintenance
  5/05 & 5/07 Marine Meteorology
  9/08 Meal Preparation & Safety
  5/18 Radar Navigation
  7/20 Buying The Perfect Boat
Sailing Outings: (Check the web site for availability, dates and exact times)
       T-Shirts & Hats

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            your sport





Ever noticed that all official Windsong emails have the word "WINDSONG:" in the subject? That's so that you can use an email filter or rule to intercept and redirect Windsong emails into a dedicated folder based upon this trait.  That way we won't ever wind up in your SPAM folders or accidentally deleted.  This is actually a two-way street.  Any replies from you will automatically contain the same identifier in the subject and we can prevent it's accidental deletion as well.  So any emails from you to us should contain the word "WINDSONG" in the subject or you risk censure by our anti spam software.  Daily we receive just over 800 SPAM emails and find the use of filtering software imperative.  Don't risk losing our emails, filter TODAY!


Friends don't let their friends go through life
without experiencing sailing!

Invite someone to join you today!


                We're listening!!

Many times students' suggestions are implemented on the spot!  We pride ourselves in our customer service and attention to the needs of our students. If you have thoughts or ideas, drop us a line or give us a call.  All things are possible; you simply need to ask. 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our students for their loyal support through the seasons and encourage everyone to bring one new friend along each year as you sail.  As we grow and expand our operation, we want to make our products and services available to all who may be interested, but someone has to make the introduction.  Share the love of your sport with those who may be interested in our unique collection of programs.

You'll be glad you did and so will they!