Meet Our Team

Captain Dan at Navigation

Dan Kingery

SunRise Sail and Academy, FreeTime Sailing Fleet and SunRise Sail Brokerage Owner and Sailing Instructor.

Personally, I’ve been sailing for over 40 years. I grew up and learned to sail on the lakes of Central Indiana then 30 years here on Lake Lanier to chartering in the Caribbean, the San Juan Islands and BC. I love to sail and love to share the experience with sailors and non-sailors alike. It was only a matter of time before I started teaching. I am a Certified Instructor through ASA 218.

Our staff has over one hundred years of sailing experience and thousands of open water miles.  We have a wealth of knowledge to share with new and old sailors alike. I love sailing, whether racing or cruising, time spent with family and friends enjoying the art and excitement of the sport. After all of these years, it’s funny how I still get that feeling of anticipation backing out of the slip and getting underway towards another opportunity to make forever memories.

I’m sure that we can help you fulfill your sailing dreams no matter which program you decide.

Mike Pendley

Instructor, Mike Pendley is a local, born in Decatur, GA and witnessed the creation of the lake that we love. Mike holds Instructor Certification through ASA 218

After working his first career in the family business, Mike turned his MacGyver like talents to working on and sailing boats. (His first sailboat was a modified John boat rigged with a mast, boom and sail, rudder and lee boards). Mike is well known in our sailing community for his skills of commissioning and decommissioning vessels from the smallest Hobe Cat to ocean traveling 50 ft. yachts. Through Mike’s rigging business is how I got to know him but once I started my own Sailing Academy I learned of Mike’s talents as an Instructor. Mike has held a Certified Sailing Instructors card since 1989. Mike has also given dozens of new Skipper orientations to new boat owners through the years.

Mike’s sailing resume includes over 40 years and thousands of miles of on lakes, coastal and off-shore. From sailing as crew on race boats here on the lake to sailing to Bermuda. Mike’s trips have included sailing to the Abacos, from Pascagoula, MS to Sana Belle Island, from Pamlico Sound to Ft. Lauderdale and various trips on the Gulf of Mexico.

Needless to say that Mike’s talents far exceed the role of Sailing Instructor and he has the admiration of students and associated alike.

Sailing Instructor
Sailing Instructor

Captain Jim Peta

Instructor, Captain Jim Peta is originally from Liverpool, NY (the Syracuse area). After his Air Force days, he sailed a Lightning sail boat in the inland lakes of central New York. His first experience of sailing on Lake Lanier was in 1977 and currently owns a Catalina 30 berthed here on our dock.

Captain Jim has sailed over 17,000 miles on lakes, coastal and off-shore. He has sailed from the Chesapeake Bay around to the east coast of Alabama, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Bahamas to Cancun, Mexico. He has sailed as a Captain and as crew on various trips. Captain Jim has returned from the Bahamas five times on sailboats. He says it is a wonderful place to be and sail.

Capt. Jim has owned many vessels through 47 ft . and says this experience of sailboat ownership has given him the incentive to teach people sailing so that they can live their dream. His style of teaching is very energetic and practical. He loves teaching and he’s very patient with students of all levels. Capt. Jim is a USCG licensed captain 6 pack and with his experience his license is good for 100 miles off coastal shores. He has American Sailing Association instructor Certifications through Coastal Navigation (ASA 218).

Daniel Casteel

Fleet Manager and all around Good Guy

Last but not least, this is the guy that keeps us looking good and up and running. Daniel has been around motor boats for years (We are in the process of brain washing him). Another local, born in Decatur, Daniel brings to us his mechanical ability that really helps out around the dock.

Daniel loves working at the lake and you can tell. He loves to fish and boating of any kind. He always has a smile and willing to help any way he can .