Saturday, April 1, 2006

Got our captains licenses

1st Apr 2006
We are both captains now

Last month we took classes at Capt. Roy's Marine Training in Seabrook, TX. We highly recommend Capt. Roy's classes if you are thinking of obtaining your USCG captains license. We attended class for 20 hours each weekend for three consecutive weekends. We both passed all our exams and our physicals. Now all we have to do is bring all the paperwork down to the US Coast Guard Regional Center; and we each will be granted the use of title of Captain. We did the OUPV (six pack) licensing. Both of us know that we could also pass tests for Masters license if we attended the additional days at Cap. Roy's school, but we don't have time to do that before we move aboard May 1st. Besides, the OUPV captains license is sufficient for us. We just wanted to have something in writing as proof of competency when entering foreign countries, and the USCG is recognized worldwide. We also hope that this entitles us to a discount on insurance. How will life be on a boat with two captains?

Bill's sister, Helene, moved to Houston at a most opportune time. She was burned out with the traveling of her previous job, so she quit and accepted a position with a business in the Houston area. Rather than move all her furnishings from Dallas, we gave her furniture and kitchen items to furnish her new apartment. This way, her son gets to continue to use her furniture in Dallas; plus we will still have some of our furniture if and when we return to a land-based home in Texas. Good deal for all of us.

Bill also attended the Mack Boring classes in February for our Yanmar diesel. He lucked out because we must have a slightly unusual model Yanmar engine. In these classes, you must disassemble your model engine and reassemble it and it must run correctly. Bill was the only person working on the Yanmar 100hp. There were 7 other guys working on two engines -- having to share the work. I think it was a far better experience for Bill to do all the work solo rather than work with 3 or 4 other guys on one engine. Only disappointment was that they did not have a 100hp turbo diesel, just a standard Yanmar 100 hp diesel. So Bill did not have the opportunity to work with the turbo part of the engine. Mack Boring gave him some additional manuals, so hopefully he won't have difficulty working on whatever problem might arise.

Bill has also passed the exam for Element 3 for his HAM General Technician license. All he needs now is the Morse code. I have given him 2 CDs of Morse code training. He plans to listen to these while driving to and from work for the next 3 weeks, 45 minutes each way daily. The local ARRL will offer a Morse code exam the week before we move aboard. Hope he can accomplish this. Still cannot believe that the US is the only country in the entire world that still requires Morse code for the HAM license. So ridiculous; so obsolete. But it is their game so we must play by their rules.

Our flight down to the boat is one month from today!! We still have much to get rid of or to move to storage in Bill's brother's attic or to his sister's storage room at her apartment. As we have dwindled down our belongings, I am finding it more and more difficult to decide what should be discarded and what should be kept. The movers will be here next Saturday to move our china cabinet and bookshelves to our younger son's home and our bedroom furniture and buffets to our older son's home. Those two rooms of furniture were just too expensive and irreplaceable to sell or donate, so our kids will use this furniture during our absence. Or forever if we chose not to return to a dirt dwelling.

My brother is buying my car, and a business acquaintance is buying Bill's car. Each of these will go on our last weekend in town. Only large item left to dispose of is a really nice, huge desk. Need to find a home for that. I hope to have a final garage sale on Saturday, April 15, to get rid of as many final items as possible. That will give me 3 days to take the remaining items to Goodwill or somewhere as donations.

I go to the Offshore Medical Training in Connecticut the week and weekend of April 22. Then the final week at home; Bill's "Sail Away" luncheon on April 28; final inspection of our house with new owners on April 29/30; and we are out of here early Monday morning, May 1st. Just wish Bill's employer would get everything settled so that we could leave free of job obligations instead of having that hanging over our heads. Bill will probably be required to travel back to Houston for business, and I will be left alone wherever we are anchored for awhile.

Guess we really can't complain since we will be in sailing paradise. The job situation just is what it is. Far better than not having a job at all.


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