Level 2 Training Completed
During the first week in November I did my Level 2 training. As per the level 1 it was great fun and as comprehensive as before and yet again learned some more. On this course we were introduced to the spinnaker and more importantly how to pack the damn thing! The course was run on the modified Clipper 68’s that have just completed the 11-12 RTW Race.
As per the level 1 course the weather was fantastic for November, not too cold, no rain and wind about perfect! Couldn’t have asked for more. The only day it blew hard and hailed was the day we were in the swimming pool doing our sea survival course (see my separate blog on this bit of the course).
Level 2 was a step up from level 1 and started off with a revisit of the stuff we learnt in Level 1 over a couple of days. This was then followed by a days sea survival course in a local swimming pool – great fun and a real eye opener! The week was rounded off by 5 days offshore with a trip down to Wolf Rock (lighthouse off Lands End), run across to the Channel Islands stopping in Alderney for an evening, and back across to the Solent. It was in this period we were introduced to the spinnaker and the challenges of helming under kite in, what I have to say, was only a moderate swell – serious amount of concentration needed and not for the faint hearted! Over half this time was also spent in watches – 4 hours on/4 hours off during the day and 3 hours on/3 hours off during the day. During the race we will be in this sort of watch system for anything up to 5 weeks!
As a bonus we got to see plenty of dolphins who seem to home in on the boat from miles away and quite happily chase the bow for miles. I gather from the Skippers Standing Instructions though that Ben isn’t that fussed about being woken up to see them……. check out the rest of his instructions below.
Man Overboard (MOB) training was stepped another level up with the introduction of Bob (see photo). Basically this is a life size 50Kg dummy kitted out in sailing gear and life jacket that gets thrown overboard for you to rescue. This really demonstrates how difficult it would to man handle even a small casualty into a sling and get them back on board. It’s reassuring to know however that Clipper have worked out the best way to do this and train us in that way.
Unfortunately for Sam (Level 1 fame) nobody quite made porridge that rivaled hers – even Mick still remembers it! Although Steve and Justin gave it a good go. Making porridge with water for 20 definitely is an art form and needs to be added to my list of ‘other stuff’ to learn and practice.
Again a big thank you to the instructors – Ben & Mick.
My list of ‘other stuff’ to learn has inevitably grown and I identified some improvements in how to manage and organise my gear whilst aboard the boat.
Role on Level 3 which seems ages away now in May/June 2013!! Plenty of stuff to look at between now and then though.
More photos from Level 2 can be found in the gallery.
Finally a big thanks to the rest of the crew for making the course so enjoyable:
- Steve ‘Marigold’