During February we studied for our Royal Yatching Association Day Skipper theory exam.. exam?.. yes exam. We would need this to allow us also acquire the necessary certification to allow us to cruise in foreign waters. We were advised that we would need at least 40 hours of study – this was an online course with assessments built in, with an exam at the end.
There is also a practical aspect of the exam which of course has to be carried out at sea – we would address this when we got to Hull.
The course was hard – it is always harder to learn new things the older you get, and this terminology was totally new to us. We closeted ourselves away for several full days and did study hard, almost fell out on a couple of occasions.
I didn’t know that north could be magnetic or true, which way is latitude and which is longitude, planning courses, estimating positions making allowances for tides and weather. Learning about safety is a big part, knowing what different buoys look like and what they mean can make the difference between making your destination in one piece or not!!. Finally we took and passed the final exam – we have the certificates to prove it but no doubt the practical course will put our ‘classroom’ learning to the test.
We ticked this off our ‘to do’ list and felt a step closer to our departure time, but there was an unseen enemy out there who had other ideas.