So tomorrow I am back at sea delivering the RYA Intermediate Powerboat Course. Tomorrow looks windy and after extreme weather over the weekend there will be a lot of detritus on the water. Combined with cold weather the conditions will be challenging to say the least. So why go to sea? That is a question I often ask myself. I will be delivering the Intermediate Course, where the students attending will have gained experience since taking their Level 2 Course.
They are all aiming to become commercial skippers and will be taking the Advanced Course then the Advanced Exam, so these next few days will be an introduction to passage making in potentially inclement weather and all the challenges posed by doing so.
They will need to be kitted out appropriately, with drysuits and extra clothing. We will be carrying extra equipment on board for a longer passage, and looking closely at the weather conditions to see when we should be returning back to port.
All this is excellent preparation for a skipper who is looking to make a career at sea.
A key element of this course will be to see what their decision-making skills are like? Do they just go for it or do they consider making the passage at a later date in the week? Have the prepared bolt holes in case the weather is so bad we cannot return? Do they have a cut off for wave height and swell? I will be looking closely at their planning to see how the next two days progress.
I look forward to this my favourite of all the RYA powerboat courses.