July 29 was the 41st anniversary of obtaining my Sea Plane rating from the FAA. Since 1966 I have held Private and Commercial Licenses with ratings for Land, Sea, Instruments and Multi-Engines. I have well over 10,000 hours flying time in many parts of the world. The last three years I have owned s/v Shambhala, a 37' Zeeland Yawl, built by Mooreman in Schiedam, Holland. We have sailed to La Ceiba, Honduras, Marsh Harbor, Bahamas and many times to the Keys. I figure if something goes wrong on the boat, I've already got it half licked I'm already on the surface and I'm not going to crash into it. If I do crash into anything, I'm only going six knots and not 106 knots. The boat and the aircraft are in the same weather I just can't go around or over anything in the boat. Of course things have gone wrong on the boat and in aircraft. I'm happy to say that I'm here to tell you about it and I still get to use the boat and the aircraft again. I've seen some well educated and licensed Captains react badly in a crisis. Seems they can't train for that.
So, I thought it would be good to get a "Captain's" license from the Coast Guard. I enquired with a school that does a lot of advertising (that they take care of the USCG red tape) and got the following response:
"We are unable to accommodate your request. We suggest you follow-up on the matter with the USCG to determine the possibility of licensing considering the Code of Federal Regulation regarding physical standards. We do not believe that they will waive the physical requirements, and the matter would be put to rest. If they waive them for you, they would also have to waive multiple requirements and constraints placed on us for classroom procedures and instructor qualifications. We are not prepared to request the waiver from the USCG unless and until it would be appropriate to do so."
Obviously written by an ex Coastie. I can sue the school under the ADA and I can sue the USCG under Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974. But I will be 90 years old and will have circumnavigated the globe a couple times by the time I get a license that way. I have 60 years experience accommodating myself with oral skills, hearing aids and tons of assisted listening devises. English is my second language, American Sign Language is first. However I speak better than everybody in Texas. (Probably Georgia also, but they might be offended if I said that, Texans don't care.) I can sail any where.
Where is the closest place to Sarasota where I can get a RYA or some other certificate?