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Sailing Story: Jed Huseby

a group of people wearing costumes

 

Jed Huseby can vividly recall the first time he saw a sailboat, the first time he set sail, and more recently, his experience introducing his children to these “firsts” as well. 

 

“I first got interested when I was a kid up at Fort Peck,” he explained. “I saw a sailboat and thought ‘oh that’s cool!’”

 

However, this small town Eastern Montana boy never could have imagined he would one day sail and own his very own boats. That adventure began 15 years ago on the waters of Minnesota with his wife.

 

“She was the first one who took me out,” he laughed, explaining his introduction to sailing with his wife on her family’s Sunfish. It didn’t take long for Jed to then become fully invested in the sport. 

 

Five years after his wife took him out on the Sunfish in Minnesota, they bought their own boat, a San Juan 21 with a swing keel. “[I still] sail that one to three times a year on Canyon Ferry [near Helena, Montana].”  

 

Yet, Jed knew he wanted more. He wanted to share his love for sailing with his 14-year-old son, Sorin, and 18-year-old daughter, Ida. 

 

Jed’s plan was to take them on a 10-day charter through the San Juan Islands and into the Canadian Gulf Islands. However, before setting sail he wanted to make sure he had the formal experience to make the trip a success.

 

In June, he made the trip from his home in Bozeman, Montana to Flathead Lake for ASA 101, ASA 103, and ASA 104 courses with Go Sail Flathead Lake. 

 

“[Captain] Jon just did a fabulous job with those courses. It was a thorough, in-depth, good time on the water,” he said about the course. Most importantly, Jed felt he learned the skills he needed to successfully navigate a 10-day charter with his kids. 

 

“I finished [the ASA course] Tuesday and started the charter Friday,” he laughed. “[Completing the ASA courses] really facilitated the charter. It’s hard to express how much it did.”

 

In fact, Jed noticed the impact of the ASA courses he took with Go Sail Flathead Lake as soon as he stepped on the charter boat. “My orientation didn’t have to go through most things,” he explained. “The only thing we really had to go through was navigating through tight quarters.”

 

Once they set sail, Jed’s confidence continued to grow. “I used [information from the course] regularly during the charter and it gave me confidence,” he said. He even remained calm when issues with the engine cooling system arose, was able to troubleshoot them, and felt capable of dealing with any situation the journey threw at them.  

 

For Jed, even more exciting than growing his own love and confidence for sailing, was seeing his children do the same. Jed was particularly impressed with how quickly his son took to the trip.

 

“I was worried about how that was going to go sailing [with teenagers],” he laughed. “But that ended up being fabulous.” 

 

So fabulous that his son took a leading role in navigating the trip. “My son navigated it all — he took all of the responsibilities on,” Jed explained. ““We stopped doubting him because he ended up being right all the time,” he laughed as he explained his son’s navigation skills.  

 

Over all, Jed doesn’t think his kids first introduction to sailing could have gone better. “We had a blast. The kids were engaged all day, every day,” he said. “And with the ASA [knowledge] we just clipped right along.”

 

“This [photo] seems to say it best,” he explained. “I hope the eye will be drawn away from me, and onto my more photogenic son, Sorin, who here very well may be discovering a love for sailing. It is June 19th, and we are heeled over on a close reach, sailing Amarantha, a Catalina 36-2, up the Swanson Channel for Ganges, in the Canadian Gulf islands, BC, and making good headway.”

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Thursday/Friday – Day 1/2 – ASA 101, Keelboat Sailing 1

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