Thursday, September 6, 2012

I freaked completely out!

Took a test online (last night) on the differences between International Rules of the Road and the Rules of the Rivers/Lakes. Failed.

I completely lost it! At five o'clock wednesday, I began all my courses again on an iPad which was hooked up to the Hampton Inn's completely worthless WiFi. It was looking really ugly, but since I was there, I may as well give it my best shot. Dinner was a half sandwich and I had three beers to help bring down the jitters. I went to bed at ten but was still unsatisfied.

My nerves woke me up every hour on the hour and finally, I got up at zero four hundred local (5:00am Eastern) and went for a crappy morning meal at one of the local Waffle House's. Back to the room by five forty-five, I began my courses again. Along with five cups of commercial coffee...

I arrived at the testing facility at 9:30, fully charged with caffeine and exam jitters. There was one other fellow there for the test and we both exchanged study stories. At 10:00 the test began, Rules of the Road. 70 question quiz, fail is anything less than a 90. I finished in about fifteen minutes. Next portion was Deck, which talks about everything from firefighting to knots, another 70 question exam. Afterwards is Navigation and finally Chart Plotting.

Chart plotting is kind of rough, you are expected to figure out where and when you are on a small chart and also the time of arrival at what ever place. This is the toughest part of the exam because it is subjective to where you place the marks on the paper, whether you are in the right place or not.

After about two hours, I turned in my Chart Plotting exam and sat down fully winded. My test Buddy finished a moment later and gathered his gear to leave, he was only going for the Six Pack License. I had another 70 question quiz for the Hundred Ton Master.

The Proctor asked me if I was ready to take the test. I asked if I was qualified to take the test, since I had no idea if I passed all the other segments.

The Proctor laughed, said I should have known I had done all right... I Aced the Rules of the Road and Plotting portions, scored a 90 each on the Navigation and Deck.

Wow. I was floored!

The Master Test was worse than I imagined, there were so many questions that I had to guess on. After an hour I gave up and turned it in, my day was through. I figured it was a success even if I had to return to retest at another day for the Master Qualification.

I waited patiently while the Proctor scribbled and I finally got the nerve to ask how I did; I missed seven out of seventy.


All I need to do is get a drug test, finish my paper work and submit my pile o' paper to the Coast Guard (Along with a couple hundred bucks) and I will be an Operator of an Uninspected Six Passenger Vessel and Master of a Hundred Ton (or Fifty Ton, depends on what they think of my boating resume) Commercial Vessel.

My Title will be "Captain", of course. I am whelmed. And caffeine tired, too. Have  fine Friday!


Bob said...

What, not "Skipper?"


Barco Sin Vela II said...

Why not Skipper?

Indeed, Little Buddy. I feel as big as the Skipper, but I would hate to be stuck on a three hour tour!

Richard said...


Ken n Cheryl said...

Congratulations! Sounds like a celebration this weekend!

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Welcome aboard, Richard! Thanks.

Ken and Cheryl; Thanks. we will be a bit subdued until I get the paperwork all completed.

Buck said...

Congrats, Cap'n! Do ya rate a salute now? ;-)

Bob said...

Now you need to get one of those signs: Marriages Performed By the Captain Are Only Valid For the Duration of the Voyage.