17.05.- 24.05.2014 RYA – Training in the Solent

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Skippper: Andi
Crew: Peter, Ruedi, Marc
Position determination

Position determinations at all levels – That’s what we were letting ourselves into this trip! We already guessed in advance that our RYA training week in the Solent would be no relaxing ride, rather it would be rather hard work ….

The subject was clear from the dozen or so books that we received last autumn from Andi Flückiger containing the relevant theory. Some of the books we ploughed through over the winter, others still looked unused at the commencement of the tour.

In the days before the commencement of the tour Andi explained to us that our RYA training week would consist of a four-day practical exercise, followed by the hardest bit, a RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exam on Thursday. The aim of the week was set by Andi Flückiger, Crew member Peter Ruedi and I, as well as the CCS and the Motorboat group: Where CCS-Motorskipper stood in relation to the RYA_Yachtmaster. and above all we hoped to pick up some practical exercises, ideas, tips and tricks from the English pros- just and competent outside view.

After taking over “Rolling Swiss II” on Saturday May 17, 2014, in Portsmouth, in the best condition. The tour started and the provisioning for the 4 of us skippers was done in a flash. Today, we wanted to make a quick trip to Cowes to familiarise ourselves with the boat before the instructors arrived. Cowes was already filled with sailing ships, on this first beautiful Saturday, but we were still spontaneously allocated a place. A short time later, a small sailing boat rafted up by the side of us. The Skipper took our warning, that we planned to leave at 7:00 the next morning, with typical English composure.

Then we went back to Portsmouth on Sunday morning early, where we picked up coach Andy Cross, on time. Then off we went: Extensive safety instructions, where all through-hull fittings, How to fight a fire, etc. That was the start of four extremely instructive days with Andy: Many practical exercises, always peppered with questions of theory to the KVR, passage planning, weather, ship technology and seamanship. The Tide and current calculations were getting easier, because there was hardly an exercise in which the water depth and flow conditions did not play a role. So we practiced Pilotage, both day and night, single-engine manoeuvring, ” blind navigation” Always knowing how the wind and current was affecting our Rolling Swiss II with regards to lay lines and bearings. Several times we continued the exercises until around 2:00 in the morning – then take a quick breather then sometime around 3:00 we all slumped exhausted into our bunks.

And then the exam on Thursday. The frustration of the previous day gives way to exam stress. At 9:00 in Hythe, we took Rob, our RYA examiner onboard. Only after 17 hours of testing, at 2:00 on Friday morning did he leave us. There were ups and downs for everyone. The tension was palpable throughout the exam and Rob’s warning, “we should not let up until the very end” really proved to be a major challenge. And Ruedi unfortunately didn’t quite do enough during the night exercise. He said that what the most important thing for him was, how much he had refreshed and learned during this week and he looked forward to using his new knowledge on the next trip.

Peter and I felt like freshly baked “RYA Yacht master Offshore (Power)” as well: All together we have learned a lot, and introduced to a whole new side of the “Pleasure boating”. Our nautical English improved and we maintained a great camaraderie. We all will all increasingly incorporate such practical training elements into our tours, that, we have promised Andi.

So on Saturday we all dragged ourselves on home. Probably, each of us has slept through Sunday …

Many thanks to Andy Cross, the so-patient and despite our English, so tolerant instructor of Marine Matters (www.marine-matters.co.uk). and “our Andi Flückiger,” who during the week, coached queried, motivated again and again, cooked for and also observed us. CCS MY will get together with CCS to see how provide interested skippers a similar training. I maintain that everyone will have fun with it!

08-2014-21, Marc

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