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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Meet the Dayskippers

Whoooooo yeeeeeeeh, so we did it, we passed our dayskipper theory course today. We now are the proud owners of TWO certificates. It says,
SHOREBASED COURSE RYA/MCA day skipper for sail and power craft.
This is to certify that Colin Williams has attended a shore based course of instruction and demonstrated a knowledge of theory up to the standard of RYA/MCA Day Skipper/Watch Leader
special endorsements.................................
Signed John D Parlane Date 28/02/10, principal chief instructor,
RYA Training Centre, Morcambe and Heysham YC
and then there's a big red ensign in the corner that tops it all off very nicely.

Can you imagine, we're both highly delighted to say the least, in fact we've just popped a bottle of bubbly to toast our delight. Congratulations Skipper, said Jackie, congratulations Skipper I said to Jackie, and we both grin from ear to ear.
I honestly don't believe how much NEW stuff I've had to cram into my brain over the last six weeks.
Isophasing lights, Occulting lights, they're flashing lights on beacons, the light is longer on than off then it's said to be occulting. I thought this a bit odd as the occult tends to be about the dark forces. But then I thought no, hang on, I've studied a bit of the occult and although it maybe a bit esoteric in the end they're searching for the light. So that's how I came to give the right answer to question 5a in todays exam. Oh and isophasing, that's equal dark and light, just to show off.

We know how to plot a course over ground, using tidal vectors, plot an estimated position and dead reckoning. We know how to spot a rock of unknown depth that's a hazard to shipping, a rock that's awash at chart datum, and even wrecks.
Oh chart datum, that's the lowest recorded tide, ever.

I find charts absolutely fascinating, I've always liked studying ordnance survey maps and charts hold the same fascination. So I've really enjoyed the chart side of this course. Yesterday we had our exam on chart work, and I must say I made a few boo boos'. However the mistakes were stupid, and as we did the workings out right, John allowed me to redo the questions, not making stupid mistakes this time. In the end we both passed with flying colours.

Todays exam was mostly about safety, and although there was a lot to remember about bouys, lights, man over board, sending out a distress calls and a basic meteorology, we both scored over 90%, maybe even 95%.

So that's it we're now both theory qualified Day Skippers, next comes the practical course in four weeks time back in Largs. John, our brilliant tutor, who works for the same company that we'll be sailing with at the end of March said that the practical is much more mind numbing than the theory course, so be prepared. OK, thanks for the advice John, but I say bring it on, we're both enjoying this so much that I'm sure we'll relish the practical, and we will add the practical certificate to our theory, and become fully rounded Day Skippers.

We are the Daaaaaaaay Skippers, Sunday sailors yeh, what took us so long to find out, but we found out (with apologise to Lennon and Mcartney).

Thanks John, it was a pleasure to be your pupil, and if you're thinking of following in our footsteps I can highly recommend