Well we had got to the final day……. It was moderation day, the format is similar on the moderation day in that we would be given a task and a level to pitch it at, then we would folow up with a debrief and then a debrief of the debrief, you know the score by now.
Andy jumped on board for breakfast a quick chat about the format for the morning and it was my turn first, I was to brief the guys on how we were going to leave the berth at comp crew level, Jasper had snugged us in beautifully last night but miraculously another boat appeared making the task of leaving the raft that bit more tricky…. especially as the tide had just started to ebb. Briefing over and tasks issued we slid out of the raft and threaded our way through the boats out into the Hamble, time for the debrief… in the usual tradition of the week, full and heartfelt praise and critisism was doled out by the lads and then Andy debriefed the debrief….. it sounds tedious but you get a lot from it and by the end of the week it comes as second nature.
Andy was up next, the other one, and it was berthing manouvers with tide at Day skipper level, aftre this Dave and Jasper had their turns. Unfortunately by the time Jasper took us through the man overboard proceedure Impala was having a hissy fit on the raw water stakes again…… it had been like it all week! So we had to do the MOB pick up under sail until I managed to coax the thing to actually work, whereby after a successful pick up under engine during the debrief it stopped sucking water up again!!!
By this time though we had completed the tasks Andy the assessor wanted us to do, so we set the sails and beat back up Southampton water into the Hamble where we managed to sail all the way up, it was a fitting last sail to what had been a great week. It was however time to put the boat back in the tight spot we had come from earlier….. under sail – I don’t think so!!! – It was bodge time again then, I filled the kettle and a couple of saucpans with water and parked myself in the Starbourd aft cabin next to the raw water filter….. starting up the engine I filled the raw water tank and srcrewed the lid on, this did get the pump to pull some water through but it soov dried out again, so repeat until dry again…..etc etc you get the picture. We got the wounded boat back in alongside and Andy then left us to meet up with Toby and Craig the Cheif Cruising Instructor for the RYA…. now it was time to be nervous! had we made a complete pigs ear of it?
Well we set about getting all the kit off the boat and giving her a clean up, shortly after that they called Andy in for his verdict…… Pass One! then it was Jasper’s turn….. Pass two! we had been told at the start of the week that there was usually a 50 – 60% pass rate Mmmm was this not boding well for Dave and I? well Dave was up next….. Pass three, never mind I thought it could only have been a minor issue that I tripped up on so in I went thinking well I can come back in february to finish it off, but no Pass four!!! for the first time in 14 years of assessing Toby had had a 100% pass on the boat. I was a Yachtmaster Instructor!!!!!!!!!! I was chuffed to bits as were the other three lads, the perfect end to a fantastic week, the feeling of acheivement is huge, I was at the top of my game YMI.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my adventures of the YMI course, sailing is the most rewarding pastime ever, teaching people how to sail is one of my enjoyments, I can now take people to the top level, Yachtmaster Offshore, I am looking forward to the new season very much.
Tim – YMI