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Boat Heaven - Boat Heaven

my new adventure

February 9th 2007 02:00
My new adventure:

I have started a new adventure in my life. I have decided to leave the dubious comfort of living aboard my yacht and head off overseas to Tasmania! The reason for my withdrawal from life on the mainland is to do a maritime course that supposedly increases my chances of obtaining real work in the industry. Instead of loafing along teaching people how to sail yachts and dinghies, how to park and anchor their motor cruisers, delivering newly bought boats along the coast I will become a ship’s captain.

A master under 500 ton . This enables me to captain a vessel under eighty metres in length anywhere on the planet. So if you thought you were safe from me by keeping well offshore watch out! No simple course and a lot of work to reach this far. First do a coxswain’s course for which quite a few sea hours must be on hand before being able to be licensed. Then master 5, master 4 and so on. The current course is master 3, which has been renamed. If I like what I am doing I intend to go all the way to master 1.

AT this point let me say that passengers and freight will be quite safe from me. To be able to take steps forward in my career I also have to have a certain amount of experience on the ships I would like to drive and I don’t think that all my time on small (they call twenty metres small in this industry), ships will be sufficient to get a full skipper’s license.

The best place to do this course is in Tasmania at the Australian Maritime College, Launceston. (Pronounced locally as Lonceston.) As the course is nine months in duration, full time I have decided to take a room on the campus rather than rent accommodation in town. I notice that the majority of students doe the same.

To get to Tassie I packed my beat up old Ford Falcon with barely room for me to squeeze in. I had of course checked the water, oil, lights and tyres and off I went. Of the twelve hundred or so kilometres I managed exactly one hundred and forty before the old girl blew a head gasket. The repair was going to cost more than the value of the car so the car was unceremoniously declared a wreck! I managed to badger the caryard that sold it to me into giving me a loan car to finish my trip. Herein lies another story as the car had been mine for almost five years and was close to finishing a million kilometres on its second engine. Some car dealer are not all bastards!

I arrived in Melbourne four hours early after driving through sweeping rain storms from the Victorian border on. I felt obliged to try out as many waterfront bars and pubs as I could before driving onto the Spirit of Tasmania 2. What a great looking vessel and what a pity that our future is not tied up in these kinds of ships and shipping. But being an island state Tasmania at least needs to keep these vessels running to service their commuters and industry. All day they had been loading containers of goods for the island and in less than two hours had about four or five hundred cars loaded as well. Now for my first crossing of Bass Straight!
To be continued.

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1 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Anonymous

February 9th 2007 07:50
a delightful read, its by someone who loves the sea and with the gift of the you have some irish in you? Looking forward to the continuing story.Dew.

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