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Navigating the Waters of RYA Qualifications

Embarking on the journey to become proficient in ocean crossings and handling challenging seas is no small feat. It requires not only a keen spirit but also arming oneself with the right qualifications. The vast sea of choices can be daunting, especially when trying to discern the essential qualifications from those that would merely be advantageous.

After careful research and introspection, I’ve resolved to tread the path laid out by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). While there are less expensive registered body qualifications available, the RYA’s reputation and comprehensive curriculum offer an allure that’s hard to resist.

One of the critical crossroads in this journey is the decision on how to tackle these qualifications. Should I stick to the systematic route, starting from ‘Competent Crew’ and gradually progressing to ‘Yachtmaster Ocean’? Or might there be merit in amalgamating some of the modular theory courses with the ‘Fast-Track’ options?

Being dyslexic, I also have to be cautious in my choices. While I’m confident about the practical aspects, theoretical modules could pose a challenge due to my hands-on learning style. Alarmingly, I’ve noted that the most prestigious schools don’t offer fast-track options, leading me to question the integrity and depth of courses that do. Could they be too condensed, hindering my learning process further?

As of November 2019, I’ve taken the plunge. Instead of deferring my dreams to a more ‘convenient’ future, I’ve decided to act. I’ve opted to forgo the ‘Competent Crew’ level, starting directly with ‘Day Skipper’. While online theory courses aren’t my preferred learning mode, I believe that with patience and persistence, I can surmount this hurdle. The subsequent step would be the ‘Day Skipper Practical’, after which I’ll re-evaluate my journey.

Currently, my sailing knowledge is embryonic. My experiences are rooted in childhood memories: solo sails as a teenager, gentle voyages on lakes in Cumbria, UK, and a few ventures on 25ft to 30ft cruisers. These fleeting experiences, though limited, have sown the seeds of a dream I’m now eager to nurture. The voyage has begun, and I’m excited to learn, adapt, and conquer the waves ahead.

OffGrid Fishing Awaits.

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