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…all stations….this is Cat Maudy with a mariner alert on Channel 16 for the Chesapeake Bay….there’s a new captain in town….OVER

Since we wouldn’t be traveling south on Cat Maudy this winter, it was time to fill up my “free” time with Plan B activities. Captain Pat thought it might be a good idea if there were TWO captains on Cat Maudy. hmmm…maybe I could learn how to tie a knot correctly? maybe I could learn how to plot a route (without using the GPS!)? maybe I could learn how to answer my own navigation questions? maybe I could be a USCG Captain? maybe I could get a pay raise?

Ok. maybe not the pay raise, but the COOL factor was pretty high about getting my USCG Captain’s license, so it’s time for total immersion. For the first 20 days of December, I was living and breathing Sea School study materials, including navigation aids, rules of the “waters”, emergency situations, knots, weather patterns, practice tests and plotting courses, set & drifts around Block Island Sound. It was not easy, ranks right up there with learning how to swim in 3 weeks for a triathlon. But, the material was interesting, I was learning tons, and completely captivated with new knowledge.

So, for two FAT weekends (each weekend Fri-thru-Sun – 30 hours) I attended classroom instruction by our FAB teacher Steve – a retired ex Commander with the US Coast Guard. Sea School’s Instructor Steve interjected all sorts of interesting sea experiences, stories about his days with the Coast Guard, and he even managed to control the crazy macho fisherman in our small class of 6 students.

12.20.08 It was finally TEST day. The day of reckoning. After 3 hours, I walked out…having PASSED my OUPV (Operator of Un-inspected Passenger Vessel 6-Pack) exam. whew! Within a few weeks, once all forms have been completed…I’ll be submitting paperwork to the USCG for my official Captain’s License. And, maybe get that pay raise too?


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