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Sailing Story: Sara Vargo


Sara was already a seasoned traveler before she found sailing. However, sailing appealed to her as a novel way to explore more places around the world. 

“In a catamaran, you can basically go anywhere there is water,” she said. “and that’s the majority of the earth!”

She booked a catamaran trip with friends in the Caribbean and she was hooked as soon as she stepped on the boat. “I loved it right away,” Sara explained. “I fell in love with the water.”

However, the trip Sara booked left her feeling like she was still missing something. 

“It wasn’t a teaching experience,” she said about the chartered trip. “As I started to like sailing more I wanted to learn how to do it on my own.”

Sara started looking into sailing lessons but found they would book up quickly in the DC area where she lives and works. However, this didn’t deter Sara from signing up for a course.

“I’m an avid traveler so I started hearing about these trips where you could get certified while taking a little vacation as well,” she explained. “I was looking at the ASA school listings and I stumbled upon Go Sail.”

Sara loved that Go Sail was a woman-owned business and also the proximity to the U.S. Virgin Islands from D.C.

“Even as a seasoned traveler, it was nice that it was close,” Sara said. “I didn’t have to go halfway across the world. It was a 4 hour flight from DC to get to St. Thomas. It was so easy to get there and we got to see some amazing places.”

Sara found Captain G’s demeanor and teaching style a perfect fit for her to become a more confident and competent sailor.  

“She delivered in every sense, building up my confidence,” she said. “It takes a special person to be a good teacher. To teach it in one way, realize not everyone learns that way, and teach it another way.”

Sara was surprised to find that the stressful parts of sailing that she had noticed on her Caribbean charter were actually calm and relaxed learning moments on Captain G’s boat. 

“When you are sailing the most anxious points are when you are finding your place where you are going to anchor and dock— and when you are leaving,” Sara explained.

“Previously that time had been a lot of yelling,” she laughed. “[but] In Captain G’s course we talked about what we were going to do. We had a plan. We had a conscious plan of what we were going to do before we did it and that made it so much less stressful.”

This experience taught Sara a lot about what’s most important when it comes to confronting difficult situations on the water. 

“[Captain G] taught the importance of communicating, talking, not getting frustrated, and taking that breath,” Sara said. “Mooring doesn’t have to be an event where someone walks away crying!”

Armed with sailing knowledge and communication skills, Sara now feels ready to take on new adventures in the Caribbean and beyond.  

“Captain G’s course really set me up for success,” she said. “I have a trip list that’s probably 15 or 16 different destinations!”

Thank you Sara for sharing!

Captain G