Bloody hell, it's been a very long time since I've did one of these. So what has been going on since? Well as you may not remember I had successfully completed the GMDSS course. Well the following weeks after that I did a load of 'short courses'. They are as follows:
Proficiency in Survival Craft & Rescue Boats
Efficient Deck Hand
Advanced Fire Fighting (With Oil & Gas fire training)
Advanced Medical First Aid
Bridge Simulator Course
Now these were all good fun to do. Doing personnel transfer between boats at speed, tackling fires, launching lifeboats and learning more about first aid. I learnt alot from these courses. However I failed on the bridge simulator course. I was doing alright throughout the week considering we had not learnt to make a passage plan before but we somehow were expected to know this already. It happened on the last exercise of the week where I was sailing an large oil tanker through the Singapore Strait where on my watch I had a course alteration, radio report, position plot and two vessels either side of me all at the same time. What did I do? Nothing. I suffered from information overload and I stopped working. For that I was failed. That will probably cost me something around £500 to retake to do the 1 and half day resit. So that is still outstanding. So after all those short courses I had resits from my previous college phase back in 2012. I passed two (Stability & Compass) but again fail the Celestial exam, that was due to not enough revision. So that will need to be done again. Then after that it was back to regular lectures for the next few months. Nothing exciting, more ship stability and passage planning. Came the new year and things are stepping up, we had a assignment for Stability which will go towards hopefully getting a Masters & Chief Mates exemptions. Now I'm putting in my Notice of Eligibility (NOE) to the coastguard which means I'm ready to take the final exams. The Coastguard has to check my training record book and my required certificates before accepting my NOE. If that happens then I'm going to be sitting the final written exams which are nasty. They do but in trick questions and the fail rate is high. Those are in 6 weeks time, then after that it's a another few months till around May/June time and it's the big one, the Orals exam. The end is in sight, but there is so much to fail on from now till then. So as you can imagine I'm now a very busy guy. I'll try to update when I can, but for now...