Random Jottings

The courses go on......and on.......and on.......

As part of my retirement plan I do hope to run the occasional dive trip around the islands but to do it you need a licence.....

So you think, 'how hard can this be?'

Having had a RIB years ago with my dad and owning a RIB now I do have a bit of experience and thought that getting all the ticks would be easy, ohhhhhh no!

Getting a 'non-commercial' license is relatively easy and after a few days at Puffin Dive Centre near Oban I had the licence. They weren't too keen that I leap in at an advance level but were more than happy with my skills etc and after the practical and theoretical exams it was looking good, or so I thought.

To get a commercial endorsement you need to cross other hurdles, some easy, others a chew on......

Next was to sit and pass the course to own/operate a VHF radio, this is easy and quite illuminating in so far as how the real world simply does not reflect the taught protocols. Some of the calls for help to our local Humber Coastguard over the summer have been terrible and from the questions asked by the coastguard on channel 16 I might not be surprised to find that people have bought the kit and not bothered with the course. Oh this certification is valid for life so no need to worry about renewals!

Then first aid, the course operated by RYA is very intense and lasts only a day. Having been on courses before it was noticeable that the course briefed out by Red Cross in two days can be compressed but only in very small groups, this course was at Royal Northumberland Yacht Club at Blyth and I wish that I had been in a position to buy their club-house.....an old oak built light ship! Ahhh this certificate lasts 3 years so must make a note to renew.

What else you think? Hey guys we are just started!!!

You now need to complete a ML5 medical, a 'seafarers medical', now this looks straight forward and nothing too 'hard' for a GP to check, they check for colour blindness then as long as you have nothing that would impact driving on the road away you go. Unfortunately you need to pay for this certificate and there are not many GPs that will do the medical even though it's good cash.....hey ho I had to travel 50 miles, pay for the experience and then repeat in 5 years, so another certificate with a renewal date.

Yes, sea-survival another day spent at a leisure centre getting in and out of life rafts in a track suit, good fun but another day, more cost and you know what?

Not done yet!!

Next is a professional responsibilities course, again not difficult but another day another certificate..................and

We are nearly there apart from experience!

If you are looking at getting a commercial endorsement you need to log distance motored, days on board etc. To that end you should buy either the RYA log-book or the Power-boat course syllabus to religously log your days afloat.

And then you can apply to RYA for a commercial endorsement!

It's a rather long process but should weed out the nutters so guys if you are thinking about taking paying customers diving from a boat plan for at least a year of courses and logging experience!

You know what it's easier in the water!

Dive safe

RichW

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