Saturday, 27 February 2010

Yesterday I got by Marine Radio Short Range Certificate

Having got Moonfleet I thought it was time to get myself better qualified. I chose a 1 day RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate at our local International Boatbuilding Training College, hosted by Nick Tottie from Lowestoft Cruising Club. The day was informative and the diversity of people on the course outstanding: From young novice skippers through grey-haired sea-dogs who just needed to upgrade their old VHF certification.
Nick was an excellent tutor who bought everyone up to the required standard with a mix of real radio's and computer simulations. The simulations were useful when someone needed to play the role of coastguard.
His closed training rig using real radio's was brilliant because it allowed us to transmit real distress calls. This meant the receivers could get used to the alarms and planning their responses, especially useful for the dreaded Mayday Relay scenarios.
I was very pleased to finish the final test 1st and with a perfect score; This may have been because I bought and read the pre-course material Nick originally suggested Reeds VHF/DSC Handbook 2nd Edition. On the day he suggested another smaller and cheaper book from the RYA.
Nick also mentioned his favourite local supplier for VHF equipment Yachtbits who are based just over the lake.
It was a great day. Well done to Nick for running it so well and to everyone who passed.
One day soon Kevin, the proprieter, will see me in Yachtbits. Then, maybe, i'll work out a way to get my RYA Dayskipper.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Source of e-Books

Has anyone else been tempted to fill up their hard drive with loads of e-books? I have! This link Ebooks!

will hopefully let me download a few, some of which may be interesting :-)

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Welcome to Moonfleet

Moonfleet is a lovely old cruiser, guarded by a large owl. Moonfleet is also the completion of an ambition I've held since I was 5: To own a boat. Having lived within 3 miles of Oulton Broads for the last 4 years it seemed time to finally indulge my ambition.
The owl is an effective goose deterrent, explained by my co-owner, allowing Moonfleet to avoid the fate of other boats in our sleepy little mooring which are covered in goose droppings.
I really did buy a boat in January: Hardly the best time as my subsequent visits have been thwarted by snow and ice but we have enjoyed 1 short potter towards St Olaves.
My co-owner is an experienced seaman and has promised to train me to a sufficient standard that I do not bend our lovely little boat. I am competent but not confident with our dinky outboard-driven craft: My previous experience includes yachts and larger cruisers.
So .. if you see our little cruiser and it's owl .. give us a cheery hail. If we're moored we'll probably have the kettle on.
I want to get a 'cruiser mast' so we can fly my NSBA flag, as well as hold up the top navigation light.Despite Moonfleet being a fibreglass bathtub I have also joined the Vintage Wooden Boat Association because some of the most beautiful boats on the broads are wooden.
I have already got a number of further ambitions .. to get a VHF licence and a VHF radio: Not much call for it on the broads but a bit more reliable than mobile coverage and if I ever do accidentally go to sea or break something it'll be good to know how to call for help.
I already hold my RYA Competent Crew and am considering working on my Day Skipper.
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