Several weeks ago (and in the post directly preceding this one) I told you about my experience taking my OUPV Captain's license exam. To quickly recap, it went fine, all things considered. I passed three of the four module tests easily, but I missed the Rules of the Road module by one stinking question. Well, I'm retaking the Rules of the Road exam Tuesday, February 13th. I'm also taking the Master's license upgrade.
The Rules of the Road exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions that one must get a 90% grade on. That means you can only get three questions wrong. Fair enough. The Rules of the Road are very important and deserve having a high passing grade.
I am working my ass off to be ready for my re-exam. The system I'm using is the Mariner's Learning System, and according to their own information, the questions that are in the book quizzes and online quizzes are the questions that appear in the test, so I'm cramming on all the questions that appear in the Rules of the Road module in their book and online system. (They can make that claim because they create the tests that are used for the exam.)
And how many questions are there? 315 in the Rules of the Road sections. And I've answered and re-answered them damn near every day for the last month, just like yesterday (2/10/2018). And how did I do on those questions? What was my score? I missed only three. THREE out of 315. For those of you keeping score at home, that's a grade of 99.36%. On the Master's upgrade, I scored a 98.43% -- 251 correct out of 255 questions. But the score for the Rules of the Road is the one that's important to me.
I need to pass the Rules of the Road module to earn my OUPV (Six Pack) license this time. That's the bottom line. That's the key. If I somehow muff it again, I basically have to go back and start over again, and that would suck. If I passed the Rules of the Road exam and failed the Master's upgrade, that's not quite as bad because the Master's exam is strictly multiple choice questions. To have to redo the entire OUPV exam would require that I do the entire damn thing over again from the very beginning. Quizzes, module exams, chart plotting, then take the whole exam again. It would be a lot more work, and I'm not exactly sure I have the gumption to go that route again.
But getting a 99.36% score on 315 questions ... that's good, isn't it? That sounds awesome. I should be able to go into this exam on Tuesday with full confidence I'm going to murder the damn thing. But I don't. I'm as nervous about this as anything I've done in the last ten years. Seriously! So, I'm going to cram and cram and cram as much as I can until the moment I have to climb in the car and drive to Boulder to take the exam on Tuesday.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Monday, January 8, 2018
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Yay! 2017 is over! The curse of the perpetual shore leave has been vanquished.
We are so happy to have flipped the calendar page to 2018. What a pain in the butt it has been. First, our house out here in Denver was heavily damaged by a freak hailstorm with baseball size hail. We had to go through contractor hell to get it fixed. (FYI, our insurance company, American Family, performed well. No problems with them. But those damn contractors...) Lisa then needed medical attention, and that glued us to Denver for the last quarter of the year. (Everything went well with her. And for those in the know, this had nothing to do with what she went through in 2015.) To finish up the year, we drove back to St. Louis to see sons Bryan and Kevin and their assorted broods. It was nice but cold, cold, cold.
As I write this on 1/3/2018, we are back in Denver so that Lisa can start her tax preparation work. She'll wrap that up at the end of March. We'll then put on a full court press to get down to the boat mid-April-ish to start our 2018 boating season. And just like we had planned last year, we are heading up the coast to start our Why Knot Great Lakes Grand Tour. It's a four or five-year mission to explore the Great Lakes that we're very excited about. More details coming soon.
But there's a new layer of interest for this season. That's a new endeavor I'm starting. It's an expansion of the On Board Life Youtube channel that I've been posting to for several years. I've been making videos seriously, but they've never really found an audience. Part of that is because I neglected the search engine optimization aspects of Youtube publishing. But another point is that I hadn't focused on what I was producing. They were, for all intents, a video library of our adventures; they were our record of our accomplishments. They were fun, and I kept them short so people wouldn't have to sit through endless scenes of waves and gulls, or images of what we ate. People who watched them liked them. But I thought I could do more.
The new The On Board Life Youtube channel is dedicated to newbie and wannabee boaters who dream of getting out on the water themselves. I think I have some things to say to them that will help them find their way onto the deck of their own boat and out onto the water. But the videos are going to be different than most of the videos on the subject. They're going to be shorter: four to five minutes max. And they're going to be formatted in a way that is popular and most effective on YouTube. You'll see what I mean as the videos come out. I know I can commit to publishing a video twice a month without breaking a sweat. I'll then publish more videos more frequently as we get underway.
I think they are going to be unique in the realm of liveaboard boating videos. And what kind of content will they have? Well, you're just going to have to subscribe to the channel to find out.
The first video, Liveaboard Boating – 5 Reasons Why Liveaboard Boating Is Awesome! is up and ready for you to watch.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO YOUTUBE>> https://goo.gl/k8EpQS
Thank you in advance for your support. Please, like, share, subscribe and comment.
Here are my contact links.
The On Board Life YouTube channel https://goo.gl/k8EpQS
Facebook – Skipper Darrell https://goo.gl/5D2cqu
The On Board Life Blog https://goo.gl/abkRx8
Twitter – @skipperdarrell
Friday, May 12, 2017
Remember the video of the hailstorm that I posted? The hailstorm that broke our skylights? The hailstorm that we were afraid was ushering in the apocalypse? We thought that only the skylights needed to be replaced. Their damage was obvious. We took the step of moving our departure to Florida from 5/15 to 5/23. We thought we could get those repairs taken care of on cruise control. Well, today the insurance adjuster showed up, and we were shocked at the extent of the damage that occurred. Our untrained eyes missed most of it.
The broken skylights were the tip of the iceberg. The entire roof needs to be replaced, both air conditioner units, chimneys, ducts, drywall in our covered porch, lights, and lots of other small detail pieces had the characteristic ding in their surfaces. But the biggest surprise were the windows. Almost all of the aluminum windows were damaged along the lower edge of the frames. And not just a few divots here and there. There are dozens and dozens of pips in them as if someone with a ball peen hammer had come along and meticulously popped the frames' surfaces. It was amazing.
The disappointing bottom-line is that the repairs are so involved, we have to cancel our summer cruising plans to oversee their completion. We have to postpone The Why Knot Great Lakes Grand Tour for 2017. It sucks big-time, and we're very disappointed about it, but it's what we must do. Lisa and I have never hesitated to invest time and resources into things of value so that we may enjoy the returns on those investments in the future. And so, again, we shall make such an investment.
But all is not lost! We are not going to be landbound. No, sirree. Jacksonville is only a 3½ hour plane ride from Denver. And there's still plenty of places to take short and fun cruises for a week or so. We can still easily jaunt up to Jekyll Island and Brunswick, GA. And maybe we'll even head down the St. Johns River and see what all the fuss about it is. Who knows!?
Anyway, we'll let ourselves be disappointed for a day or two. It will be sad to file this summer's float plan away until next year. But it's only for a year. I don't think the entire Eastern Seaboard is going anywhere.