After just a week on our live-aboard course we did pass both written and practical exams and it seems we are now certified skippers! we should be receiving our ICC (International Certificate of Competency) in the mail within the next 6 weeks or so to prove everyone that we know what we are doing.
it will be good to have this certificate as proof, because quite honestly I would not consider us experienced sailors by any stretch of the imagination. We did make a few mistakes on teh written exam but our instructor told us that he interprets the ‘competent’ part of teh ICC not in the way that we need to know everything, but that we know where to find answers when we need them. So with the internet available and a book by our side for most parts of the coming year we do think that we can find most of what we still think we need to improve on.
Overall I would recommend this course with Sea Trek for teh ones that either want a first introduction to sailing or really need to get the certificate (like in our case). However I would not say that this course would replace some of teh other courses available that obviously take much loner time to complete but will most likely also go into more depths on many of the subjects taught. for us we feel this is okay as we will (hopefully) have enough sailing experience once we are back on our island, but for someone wishing to start cruising right after this would not be sufficient in our opinion.
so, for now we can stop learning and we are off to do some island hopping in the Cyclades over the next two weeks!
So here we are in Greece on the island of Kefalonia. everything between our last post about signing up for the sailing course and now went flawless and the guys at Sea-Trek have been very forthcoming with information and helpful in the planning. while most of their clients are from the UK, where one just hops on a charter flight from London directly to Kefalonia, we had a somewhat more challenging trip, which involved:
Seaplane from our island to Maldives International Airport
Plane from Maledives to Doha and then from Doha to Athens
Overnight stay in Athens
Bus from Athens to Patra
Ferry from Patra to Kefalonia and one last bus to the yacht base.
Yes, this really was the quickest way to get from A to B!
but we did arrive and when boarding the boat, our home for the next week, the first thing I noticed: where is the steering wheel??? naive as I was I never considered that the boat we chartered might have a tiller instead. well, I guess something more to learn 🙂
the next challenge was for me to answer the question: what sailing experience do you have? As most people signing up for this course are complete novices it came a bit of a surprise when I told my instructor that I had about 1500nm under my belt, including a crossing of the Indian Ocean, hiding from pirates and navigating with not much more than an iPhone 😉
well, it was not quite that bad, but in principle this is what i had done not too long ago, so I still felt it would be good to learn a bit more and to get that much desired piece of paper confirming us as proper sailors 🙂
so lets see what the coming days will bring us.