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.