Michael Arntz, our Head Instructor, is a US Air Force Veteran. Michael began sailing in 1992 and quickly became a volunteer instructor and then a Cruising Skipper at the Cal Sailing Club in Berkeley. His passion for sailing instruction led him to become a US Sailing Certified Sailing Instructor and a US Coast Guard licensed Captain at OCSC, Olympic Circle Sailing Club, in Berkeley from 2008 to 2021, when OCSC closed due to the pandemic. The photo above is of Michael at a mooring in Jost Van Dyke. He has sailed in the British Virgin Islands every year since 2013.
Michael co-owns a 36’Cruising sailboat on which he sails the San Francisco Bay, Delta and near coastal waters. Michael has skippered multiple cruises in the British and US Virgin Islands and has sailed on the West Coast of Mexico. He teaches Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising as a US Sailing Certified Sailing instructor. He is also US Sailing Adaptive Sailing Instructor. Adaptive Sailing blends skill mastery with adaptation for students, so sailing is accessible to them, for their circumstances.
Eric Wittig is our Master Saiing Instructor. Eric began sailing at the age of ten on El Toros on Lake Merritt and continued to sail on dinghies out of St. Francis Yacht Club on the San Francisco City front. In 1987 Eric jointed the Cal Sailing Club in Berkeley and quickly developed a 4-5 day a week habit of sailing with an emphasis in teaching sailing. In 1997, Eric began teaching sailing professionally, as a US Sailing Instructor and licensed US Coast Guard Captain at OCSC (Olympic Circle Sailing School) where, except for a 2 year stint as a flight instructor, he remained a full time sailing instructor until the Covid Pandemic closed them down in 2020. Over the years Eric was a Captain in OCSC flotillas in the South Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean. Eric is also a windsurfer.
Charlie Deist didn’t discover his passion for sailing until his early twenties but has been making up for lost time ever since. He began sailing dinghies at the Cal Sailing Club, but soon graduated to keelboats – spending most of his spare time over the next several years single-handing a Columbia 24, and frequent sailing across the Bay to the St. Francis Yacht Club for their Wednesday Yachting Luncheons, where he became further enamored with the culture and cutting edge of the sport of sailing. Charlie also regularly crewed on the former America’s Cup contender USA 76, as well as the west coast’s largest passenger schooner, Bay Lady. He has taught Basic Keelboat and Coastal Cruising for Spinnaker Sailing in San Francisco, and runs a six-passenger charter aboard Sun Kiss – an Islander 36. He lives in Berkeley with his wife Emma, and daughter Clare. He has a background in radio/podcast production work and volunteers at the San Francisco Sailing Science Center, Charlie brings the added benefit of his background as a master-level “natural movement” trainer to his sailing instruction.