Oh Captain, my Captain!

(in a happy way!)

Last Wednesday was a proud moment for this First Mate! Rick passed the Coast Guard Captain’s license exam….with flying colors!

He’s often been called “captain” along our Loop as dockhands routinely called out “Stern to port, captain” or “Six feet to go, captain” or “Spring line on, captain.” In those settings even a novice boat driver merits the title of Captain, but now, Rick has earned the title!

Early this year during our stay at Faro Blanco Marina in the Florida Keys, Rick set a goal to study for and obtain a Coast Guard Captain’s license (more accurately, an OUPV license – for Operators of Unlicensed Passenger Vessels). After months of intermittent online training and two weeks of intense test prep, last Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Michigan he sat for and passed the examination for a captain’s license. The test had four modules: Rules of the Road, Deck General, Navigation General, and Piloting Navigation (chart plotting, distance/speed/time, and course calculations – true north v. magnetic north, etc.). A lot of information to learn or relearn. He even knows how to plot a three bearing fix (whatever that is)!

There are still a few things to check off the list before he’s an official captain….Coast Guard required first aid/CPR training, DOT drug test, TSA background check, and medical examination, but the largest obstacle is safely astern!

Meanwhile, R&R (the boat) remains safely moored in its slip in Fort Myers, Florida while R&R (the people) enjoy a beautiful Michigan summer.

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