With a commercial sail boat on our hands, we needed to have one of us with a commercial coxswain’s license. Base and I both enrolled to do the course study by correspondence, together.
The Coxswains is an entry level commercial ticket and it allows you to skipper a vessel 12 meters and under in the local waters where we live in Fremantle. This means we could run a charter businesses or a sailing school on Charade. What we didn’t realise is that we because of the state laws, we couldn’t just take the boat out for a casual sail if we didn’t have the commercial ticket. This meant our honeymoon phase after buying the boat was restricted to having drinks on her in the pen.
So in studying the coxswains we had our eyes on twilight summer sails and trips to the local islands nearby as well as the future business ideas running through our heads. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.
Two weeks later I am trying to learn how a 2-stroke diesel engine works, the lights of fishing vessels and the international collision regulations, to name a few.
Base was still working full time and working away too, this meant his time was limited and he was the one making the money to pay off our recent purchase of Charade. So I then find myself head high in nautical studies on my own.
The study was no problem. It was the practical exam that started to give me anxiety.
I’ve only been reading about it all in textbooks, doing it is another story. Then there is the engineering practical, I broke out into a cold sweat trying to name all the parts of multiple engines (only having just learnt how an engine works).
Somehow I managed to pass. I got my coxswains on paper.
The next phase is to get the sea time so I can sit the oral exam and then finally get the ticket. 245 days of sea time is what I needed. I had quite a bit from all of our time sailing on Gremlin. Base definitely had a leg up on me with his sea time. His sailing in Greece and across the Pacific left me feeling like I needed to get more time on the water, so I could pull my weight. I started to investigate my options… to be continued.