|CrystalblueoceanSailing and Diving Around the World|
sailing and diving around the world
If, like me, you haven't acquired your VHF radio license, you'll need to before you can get the Yachtmaster, Coastal, certification. You also need to have a valid First Aid certification. I'm doing the Yachtmaster, Coastal, Theory Course, online, so I was able to order the VHF/SRC Radio Online Course, from the same website- oceantraining.com
You simply click the 'RYA INTERACTIVE COURSES' button on the left of the homepage, and it takes you to a page where you can order any of the courses that you need. Once I paid for the courses, I received and email from Paul Harrison, from sea-voicetraining.co.uk, notifying me that he is my support tutor, and welcoming me to the course. He sent me a link, through email, which allowed me to access part of the training material, and he instructed me as to how to obtain the VHF Radio ebook, which entailed downloading the RYA Book App. He provided me with a voucher code, which, once filled out, activated the ebook for me, at the RYA online bookstore. Once I downloaded the RYA Book App, I whisked through all the pages they have there, til I found the VHF ebook I was looking for. The price, which is normally displayed at the bottom of each book, had been replaced with 'owned.' I simply clicked it and downloaded it to my ipad. It was easier to download it to an ipad, instead of my laptop.
If you have any questions about the course, simply email Paul Harrison. You can see Paul in some of the VHF radio videos he's posted, at http://www.seavoice-training.co.uk/page/105/VHF-Radio-video-tutorials.htm. Of course, the RYA website is chock full of study material.
It's a really fascinating course, actually. By now, if you're ready to tackle the Yachtmaster exams, you'll have used a VHF radio hundreds of times. But there is so much to know about how they work. One of the things that has really helped me so far, is the Mayday, Pan Pan, and Securite procedures. The study modules, sent to me by Paul, in his initial email, is interactive. You click on the talk button, on the VHF radio animation, and you can practice sending out voice distress calls, and you can also practice sending out DSC distress calls. I was flustered after the first 5 or 6 attempts, but now it's as natural to me as making a cup of tea :) I have a deeper respect for the Captains who were able to stay composed when forced to send out mayday calls. After doing the distress signals part of the module, I searched for mayday distress calls on youtube and, unfortunately, the first one I came across was a mayday call, put out by a Captain that went down with his vessel. However, his three crew members survived, as a result of the his mayday call, and were rescued by helicopter. Doing the mayday practice, and then listening to the Captain sending out his mayday call, left me in a state of awe. When Captain Royer made the mayday call, his vessel was on its starboard side, 90 degrees to the water. My thoughts go out to the very brave, Captain Robert Royer, and his family. It's a heart-pumping experience, but if you want to listen to the call, here is the link
The course covers: How the radio works; Rules and Regulations; Radio Operation; VHF Channels (simplex vs duplex, international and private channels, American channels, channel 70, ect); Voice Procedure, for routine, distress, urgency &safety calls; GMDSS (Global Maritme Distress & Safety System, ie, EPIRBS, Navtex, satellites, Doppler positioning, SARTSs, etc); Digital Selective Calling (DSC).