UKCC Level 3 Coach Core

 A rapidly rising River Dart

For the last 3 days I have been undertaking the UKCC Level 3 Paddlesport Coach core training at River Dart Country Park run by Plas Y Brenin. It was a mix of theroretical input and practical, both being coached and coaching. The weather was attrocious at times an you got wetter on the bank than in a boat.

Wet Rock

Back with Level 4 Bridgwater College students this week for introduction to Rock Climbing. Although the forecast was bad we headed to Goblin Combe where where spent the morning looking at belya set ups, gear placement and climbing risk assessments. As it appeared to be drying up, we got on the rock in the afternoon to look at belaying and lowering. Over the next few weeks we will be visiting different venues and the students will be managing themselves (with some guidedance) for a days climbing.

Dartmoor Cycling

Over the weekend I have been out on Dartmoor with a Silver D of E Cycling Group. We experienced Hail, Rain, Wind and even a few minutes of Sun. The team of boys did well and made reasonable progress but extremely wet conditions underfoot (undertyre) slowed them down and made for hard work at times. As soon as I got back to school at lunchtime, I collected 8 of the boarding students and headed straight back out onto the Plym Valley Trail for a couple of hours cycling in yet more rain.

Exmoor Ramble

Back out with the Foundation Degree students today on Exmoor. It was their chance to walk the routes they has planned yesterday and practice their navigation before we tackle more remote area over the next few weeks. A short sharp shower of hail tested their waterproofs (or not so waterproof for some of them) out and for some strange reason caused two of them to buy an ice cream. The afternoon dried out and turned into a lovely day with stunning views of the coast and across the bay. Unfortunately I forgot my camera today so apologies for the lack of pictures.

Low Rope Challenges

I was back working with Bridgwater College today and started with the Foundation Degree students who had been out with Dan yesterday. We spent some time planning for tomorrow's walk and then headed out onto the low ropes course for some team challenges and leadership exercises.

"Sailing, I am Sailing"

What a morning! At 8:45 I powered out to the breakwater in very still conditions but once outside the breakwater with maximum sails up I managed between 0.8 and 1.2 knts out toward the Yealm Estuary. After a while the wind picked up and I sailed in excess of 4.5knts on the way back to Cawsand. Due to having lots to do and the forecast for F6 - 7 winds later in the afternoon, I headed back in and was back on my berth just before 2pm. A great mornings sailing doing about 15 miles and the B&Q 2"x2" did its job.

RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased (and a short sail)


Minor Problem

 Motoring back in (with half a tiller)

Bit of B&Q 2"x2" as temp measure

For the last 6 days I have been in a classroom (arrrgh) undertaking the RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased Course with Plymouth Sailing School. This is an intensive course looking at Buoyage, Lights, Signals, Weather, Pilotage, Passage Planning, Chart Work, Tides, Tidal Streams and any other yachting theory that you could think of. It is fair to say that this much theory in a week was a lot of work and I did want to be elsewhere on a number of occasions but I learnt alot and I am looking forward to doing the Yachtmaster Practical exam in the future.

I then got out this afternoon for less than an hour before I snapped my tiller and had to return to the marina to effect some repairs whilst being watched by some swans.

Big Tides today

Low Tide

Clean Decks

 High Tide

Today I was pottering on the yacht, scrubbing, cleaning and gerenally making her look good before I take my parents out for a sail tomorrow.  It was a very impressive tidal range today with low tide and high tide being a  5m+ range.

PADI Rescue Diver

As part of my change from BSAC to PADI, the last 2 days have been spent in the water at Brixham with Somerset Divers completing the PADI Rescue Diver course. This is all about rescue scenarios so not a huge amount of time under water but did include underwater searches and bringing people up from the bottom. In addition to this were a lot of tows and rescue scenarios on the surface.

No Gale so had a Sail

Motoring out from Torpoint

 Under Sail power

 Running from the rain

Today my sister and I were supposed to be Scuba Diving but this was cancelled due to a weather forecast suggesting winds of 35mph+. As this wind didn't materialise (infact it was very light wind) we headed out on the yacht into Plymouth Sound and a sail out to and around the Breakwater. This is the first time I had sailed her and she performed well and we managed 4.5knts. The weather started to turn so we raced it back into the marina on a flooding tide and moored up for a hot drink.

Maiden Voyage

Today I arrived at the Boatyard and sorted out the last few important jobs on the yacht. I then hovered like an expectant father whilst the guys at the yard put some strops on and craned her up into the air and onto the water. A quick check in the bilges to make sure she wasn't sinking and I was off under power out from Stonehouse Creek, past Mayflower Marina and Devonport Docks to my new home at Torpoint Yacht Harbour. My first journey in her and a grand total of 1.8nm. I even managed to cuise into the berth without crashing.