Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and I am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's Battery marina in the Barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises together.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

RYA Day Skipper course

Day 1: Cycled 6 miles to course - took 25 minutes - not bad I suppose. Covered basic chart symbols; bearings (true); distances and directions. Looked at safety briefings; covered buoyage. Buoy lighting codes fried my brain.

All good fun in a masochistic kind of way. Very good course tutor; nice course group. Big issue for me is I know dinghies but not yachts; its geared for yachts and motorboats so some stuff I need to swot up on.

early morning view down river towards the Cattedown

across to the cattedown wharves and Theatre Royal rehearsal areas

getting to grips with chart work 

trying to look as if I understand something about the day

Day two and three focused on chart work, plotting courses, calculating courses to steer; getting to grips with bearings, transits and drawing estimated position plots. Throw in safety issues, anchoring issues, engine checks and what to do in helicopter based rescues.  

Pilotage, passage planning, SOLAS, using chart plotters, creating waypoints, using almanacs, tidal curves.........challenging but boy does your head hurt.

End result? 
I passed RYA Day Skipper theory. To all my former students, after five days of 9 - 5 classroom based learning followed by 2 - 3 hrs evening homework doing practice exercises and creating revision notes, if I failed to show you sufficient empathy, sympathy and patience, I am truly, truly sorry. 


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Well done... I did the same several years ago, and Coastal Skipper theory (??) the next year... two things... Coastal Skipper I remember being simpler... and second I remember little or nothing of what I learned in either!

steve said...

Hi Steve.
Found it really helpful but memory is definitely a big issue!