Ahoy there Seaman Staines…

As part of our preparations for Brazil, I signed up for a 2-day powerboating course on Lough Erne. Unfortunately the only available course was over our last weekend in the house – 28th/29th – but it had to be done, and anyway we were pretty much on top of things. So off I went…

It turned out to be a fantastic experience. The course content itself was interesting enough to keep us all (6 students) occupied, particularly as most of it was practically orientated and involved us mucking about on RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) all day. The weather decided to honour us by giving us wall to wall sunshine, and although the winds were fresh, this just stopped us overheating in our lifejackets and wellies.

Being completely inexperienced around RIBs, the tasks were challenging enough, although by assessment time on day 2 we were all doing our high-speed maneouvres with relative ease, and were finally able to do our Man Overboard routines without chopping the buoys up with our propellors or knocking them senseless with our bows, which no doubt was reassuring to the assessors.

The whole thing was quite inspiring, and has reassured me that I will be able to look after my passengers (mostly Naice and Ozzie, initially anyway) and my boat once we get to the Amazon. I also managed to learn my bowline, round turn & two half hitches, clove hitch and sheet bends for real, and have now even put them to good use (albeit in quite un-nautical circumstances, but that’s the way it goes).
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