OK, it’s been a while since I have written a post and I’m now 44. Yep, time is flying. So let me tell you what’s evolved since my last post besides Christmas and my birthday.
The biggest step towards the dream I’ve taken to date is the acquisition of an intermediate vessel, a sailing vessel to get some more experience and get my companion of my life adventure, Aurora, motivated in the world of sailing.
“Pandora Hormiga” is a 1989 Beneteau Oceanis 350 now based in the Ría de Vigo, Galicia, Spain. She comes with only one set of sails, a Genoa and a Main, an Autopilot, VHF with SOS button, a house battery and an engine battery, GPS, fridge, although the Clipper Marine wind indicator and depth sounder have issues still. Her 28 horse power diesel engine works and the clean hull puts her at up to 6.5 knots. Very good speed for this size and category of sail boat. With the sails, we managed a max of some 7.6 knots. I can only imagine, apart from a clean hull, that the recently replaced shaft and propeller may be slightly oversized so I’m careful on the engine.
So during the Easter school holidays, Aurora and I rented a place for a week near the mooring with our four kids, my younger brother Robert visiting from Australia with his eldest daughter Amalie. This first full day trip outing was quite an adventure, but more about the outings in an upcoming post.
So in line with my targets, I’m getting more experience and I’ve also been studying my next boat licence up in Spain – Patrón de Yate – which basically will allow me to navigate Zone 2, 150 miles form a coast or protected waters. Here I’m a little frustrated. After letting go of some good hard earned money for an online course with email support and being promised up to date content & information, I didn’t get what I paid for.
The prestigious school, Cenautica, left me high and dry. Nearly one thousand euros for online material from the 80’s and a self printed book, which is NOT updated to the current legislation. Worse yet, my emails and online messages were ignored. I sat the exams in April and needless to say I’ll have to redo the Navigation exam although I did well on meteorology, legislation, safety, etc, with little thanks to the school but more on my own research and experience as a pilot and previous boating studies. In June, I’ll be sitting the Navigation exam and that should be this licence complete. I definitely won’t be doing the “Capitan de Yate” studies with this school.
I’m yet to decide on options, if look for a good online school (I travel a lot for work so online is my best option) or I find some good books and self study and go on my own. I’m open to ideas here if you have experience.