Date: 28 February 2020
Geographical position: 31°26.7N / 067°59.3W
Position: kurz vor Bermuda
The training record books
We have about six weeks left, six weeks to improve our knowledge of sailing.
During the first Atlantic Crossing the captain handed out the TS Pelican of London training record book. The books are designed to add value and enjoyment to our sailing experience. By offering us opportunities to develop our skills and confidence levels whilst on board the ship.
It gives us the opportunity to achieve the RYA watch leader certificate.
This training record book is divided into 3 levels:
- Level One: Pelican Crew Award
- Level Two: Pelican Leading Hand
- Level Three: Pelican Watchleader
In each level you will be asked about different aspects of the topics safety, seamanship, navigation & bridge work, sail handling & theory, engineering and domestics. Once you feel you completed a task, you will be tested by an officer who will then sign it.
If you are not able to answer the questions properly, you get a little lesson about it. So you can try it again another day.
But what are we learning exactly?
One of the most important things at sea is safety, because there is not always a quick way to get medical assistance. Or, in case of a fire, there is just the ship and the ocean to escape.
So we are learning every single step of different procedures. In different emergencies as well as where all our equipment is and how to use it.
We are for example going through MOB (man over board) situations, fire drills or helicopter rescue.
“Knowledge of all LSA (life saving appliances) and FFA (fire fighting appliances) carried on board.” In general LSA means our life rings and life rafts, life jackets, emergency suits, flares, but also our medical locker or a special breathing mask in our engine room. These are just some examples of a huge topic.
Seamanship and Sail Handling
How do you set the spanker? That is one of the questions of our Lost Property Quiz. But this only describes one aspect.
We need to know what all the sails and also all parts of the sails are called. Also how we set and handle them and what their effect on the ship is. Another aspect of these two topics is the general understanding of orders given during deck evolutions, for example assistance when anchoring.
Furthermore, in seamanship, you learn how to tie different knots, how to stich sails and other techniques to maintain the the ship.
Navigation & Bridge work
You can’t just sail away without having a plan of where to go and how to get there. Because you have to keep many things in mind that can influence your possibilities.
Also, at sea, you are constantly doing navigation and bridge work. The weather forecast, ocean currents and wind, other vessels around, rules of the road, look outs, lights and shapes of other vessels, the IALA buoyage system…
Thats a huge topic and requires a lot of studying, because there are a lot of official rules that apply to every vessel at sea, and you will have to know all of them to get the signature.
So the situation on board: 32 students trying to fill the gaps, annoying the officers with a lot of questions… Our engineer has about three people waiting at his cabin door at all times, during the watches people are waiting in line to get quizzed and the bosun department is doing extra lessons.
Honestly, it is quite cool, because we are learning a lot of new things and the watches are passing by a lot faster than before.