Training for Nichola and I is in full on go mode right now. An early start on Friday 14th March to get down to the Hamble School of Yachting for 3 days of intensive training starting with the 1 day RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety Course, followed by the 1 day First Aid Course, and the final day being the Sea Survival Course.
Day 1 – Offshore Safety
The RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety Course covered areas including Care & Maintenance of Safety Equipment, Storm Sails, Damage Control, Crew Routines, Man Overboard Prevention and Recovery, SAR Organisation and Methods, Practical Fire Precautions and Fire Fighting, and Distress Alerting and Survivor Location Aids.
All in, a very practical course. Setting off flares and fire extinguishers was very practical and hands on, as was winching a Man over Board up using a Handy Billy and Sling. With the Handy Billy rigged to the main halyard on one of the boats, Nichola was easily able to winch me up over the side of the boat. We use the MOB Mat and can see this is pretty handy kit that will make sense for us to get, as well as the Handy Billy.
Nichola being briefed on how to do MOB recovery:
The kit that we decided would be sensible for us for a MOB recovery – a helicopter sling, handy billy all in a waterproof canoe bag.
Day 2 – First Aid
Day 2 was a very practical first Aid Course. For us this is just the taster before we both do the 10 day Ships Doctors course. I suddenly realise it’s been 12 years since I did my last first aid course. A useful reminder.
Day 3 – Sea Survival
Day 3 was the Sea Survival Course – the first half of the day in the classroom covering life rafts, hypothermia and recovery. The second half in the pool in foulies climbing in and out of a Life Raft and swimming up and down the pool. 14 years since I did this prepping for the BT Challenge (in the same swimming pool as it happened). It all comes back fairly easily – we all hope this is the last time any of us have to climb into a life raft!
All in, 3 good solid days of training – excellent instructors and some great people we met on the courses. Just the start of the training, Weather, Boat Maintenance, Rigging, Sails & Ships Doctors all to come.