Report by Kirsten Dwyer
Boat Handling Course – 4/5 March 2017 – Photos
It was a bright, sunny, warm morning when we met up at Vicky’s Café to start our Boat Handling Course…….(if only) …. actually it was cloudy, wet and cold. Still the intrepid trainees Charlie, Steve and I turned up for two days of fantastic training delivered by Andrew and Julian.
We started the first day at Andrews house “doing the theory”, which included understanding the boat and its equipment, driver responsibilities and boat handling basics. We were keeping an eye on the weather, because the wind was starting to get up and there was a concern that we wouldn’t be able to get out to sea this weekend. Once most of the theory was done we went to the Marina to learn about our boat. We all learnt something new even though we had all been on the boat as passengers before. Once prepped we then set off down the river and out to sea. The waves were really high, but Charlie and Steve managed to control the boat and gave us a smooth ride (apart from when the big naughty wave hit us and caught Charlie out). I decided I wasn’t ready to face the big waves yet. We came back up river and did some mooring exercises and then back to Andrews to finish the theory.
On day two we met at the Marina and got the boat prepared by ourselves. We knew we weren’t going out to sea today – too rough. Then it started raining (again) so we did our GPS lesson in the Laundry room! At least it was warm and dry. Next was rope lessons – which was no problem for “Fisherman” Steve, but Charlie and I need to practice more. By this time, we could launch the boat and we were off up the river this time to practice Man Overboard, waypoint finding and shot deployment. All good fun despite the wind, rain and hail. After a quick lunch at Andrew and Jenny’s (big thanks to Jenny for lunch), we were back in the boat doing mooring, three point turns and practising getting the boat back on the trailer. We all managed to get on the trailer – hooray!
We still need an extra day to get out to sea and do some more skills, but I think a good weekend was had by all – and we learnt some stuff too!