Archive for June, 2009

Plotting and Drawing

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The first days we spend with a lot of chart work. Dead Reckoning and Course To Steer. For both we need the tide vectors. Working that out is tedious, starting with getting the hour before/after high water, which gives the vector bearing and two speeds for spring tide and neap tide. These speeds need then to be interpolated using the Computation of Rates graph using the tidal range of the corresponding day and time.

After doing a rehersal of Lights and Shapes and taking the test on them, we got into the topic of Passage Planing. It’s even more work of looking up details from the almanac / cruising guide and collecting these in the passage plan. Time zone conversion was subject to long debates: Converting the time of high water looked up from the table of (fictitious) Victoria kept in UT into a place on (also fictitious) Southern Peninsula running on SP DST.
The “home work” took then about 2.5 hours after class (still sitting the class room). At least afterwards we got out for a few beers and some decent food.

Traveling

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Checking in at the United counter with almost no people waiting, the lady behind the counter took my boarding pass I already printed via online check-in and said, “today is your lucky day, I’m upgrading you to business class”. Sure I did not argue. After getting through the security gate, just having sat down comfortably at the gate, a United representative announced that the flight is overbooked, and they are sorting out who can get on this flight. A few minutes later they announced a first list of names and my name was among them. The United representative at the gate counter took my boarding pass, gave me a new one and mumbled something “because I’m a good United customer”. Soon thereafter, I could board while they were still looking for volunteers to fly the next day.
The flight was pretty uneventful. I ate too much and trank too much. I have to confess that even the business class seats are still away from being optimal, i.e. I didn’t sleep too well. The arrival at Heathrow was quick in terms of bagagge, immigration and customs.
I then made the mistake to take the Heathrow express train to Paddington, connecting to Waterloo by Tube to finally connect to the train to Portsmouth Harbor. My two bags were quite heave to carry around. I should have taken the coach from Heathrow to Woking as I initially had in mind. The train was a little on the small side and I had to put my bags into the bicyle compartment. The overhead compartments in the passenger cars were too small. The final leg to the water taxy was just a few meters from the train station. I arrived while the Clipper office was still open. Carol offered me a cup of tea and took the Clipper forms I had filled out before.
I headed to Blackadder Clipper, at the close-by dock. It is my local accomodation for the next days until training module A starts.