Friday, 1 February 2008

RYA Day Skipper

My head is full of buoys, lights, anti-collision rules, safety briefings, types of flares, true north and magnetic north compass deviations. I've been swatting up for my RYA Day Skipper Course which continues in the morning. So far we are two days into a six days course and quite a lot of the stuff is coming back to me from my days as a member of Tees Sailing Club. Of course in those days I sailed dinghies or small keelboats, neither of which had a chart table or required me to worry too much about tide tables, navigation and procedures for helicopter rescue. The radio we had on board was one of the CB rigs (remember them) and I don't think we carried flares. We did however always wear life jackets, so we weren't totally irresponsible.

I do remember one day when we had been racing and it had all gone pear shaped. I must have been about 15 or 16 at the time and my younger brother was crewing for me. On the way back into harbour we were both blaming the other for our dismal performance and we got into such a massive fight in the boat that I actually threw him overboard and even hit him with the paddle when he tried to climb back in. I then sailed off and left him to swim ashore. Happy days!

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