Posts Tagged ‘yachtmaster’

(Please note: Explanatory notes are in red.)

13th December 2008.
“An 11m (metre) sail training vessel with 7 PoB (persons on board)on a Yachtmaster course had left Eastbourne marina bound for Gosport in the morning (correct time was about 2pm) in what may be considered inappropriate weather conditions (SE 45 – 50 knots)(Winds had been Gale Force 9 or 10, 41-55 knots, in the morning but we estimated had diminished to Force 8, 35-40 knots by early afternoon). (more…)


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Severn class lifeboat of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute - the same type that came to rescue us.

What probably happened is that we hit something hard as we fell off a big wave — maybe a length of stout timber or a log.  We soon realized there was more water in the boat than had come down the companionway and that it was still coming in.

We started bailing and looking for a broken hose or other source of the cold sea water. It was already night, the seas were big, the wind strong and the air cold. With four strong men bailing continuously with a bucket and a big saucepan we seemed to be keeping up with the water coming into the boat. But with the boat rolling as she was lifted on each wave, sea water soon flooded our batteries. At any moment we might lose all electrical power – lights, radio, navigation equipment and our ability to start the diesel engine. So we immediately started the engine –while we still could. Once running, diesel engines need no spark. (more…)

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Stern of HMS Victory, Portsmouth, England

Everyone has different notions of what is success for them – money, more “stuff”, skills, status or contribution, etc. – and I don’t dispute the importance of any of them.  What interests me, and maybe you too, is figuring out, firstly what constitutes success to me personally. And secondly, how to achieve it.
I suggest the line separating success from failure is a lot thinner than we sometimes like to admit or even recognize. In fact, I think we often live hop-scotching, dancing, zig-zagging backwards and forwards across the line.  Sometimes we may experience failure as a bleak, lonely, isolated place from which we will never escape; a form of despondence that saps all our energies and resolution. And with success can come a sweet sense of invulnerability, a sense of standing proud on the mountain top, separate from all other endeavours. After four months of intense sailing training in the English Channel and Solent in winter time, and a final 25-hour practical exam, my own experience is that personal failure and success walk very closely together. (more…)

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In response to the article Achieving Personal Success, Michael Litzkow sent me this welcome caveat: “The story is inspiring, and your description of the “Triangle of Fire” is very helpful.  However, I would like to suggest one additional consideration which comes out of my own experience at setting and achieving goals. (more…)

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Dawn over Portsmouth, the Spinnaker Tower on the left.

Only one more month of the RYA fasttrack Yachtmaster course to go before the final exam.  The challenge in these last weeks is to keep focused and 100% engaged despite being very familiar with the sailing area (The Solent) and the manoevres and navigation.

I’ve had the privilege of crewing for four other candidates during their exams (3 passed, 1 unfortunately failed) which has allowed me to see how the exams are conducted, and the demands and the pitfalls.  The biggest dangers are exam nerves and complacency. (more…)

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