Ronan at the helm, BVIs

Developing the Boys’ Mariner Skills: Part 2 (by Theresa)

Last year while cruising around the British Virgin Islands (BVIs), we spent a significant amount of time developing and honing the boys’ maritime skills. (April 17, 2015 post, “Developing the Boys’ Mariner Skills”.)  The BVIs is an excellent cruising location to advance one’s mariner skills as all but one of the islands are within eyesight of one another. It was here that Ryan and Ronan mastered picking up mooring balls, keeping their dock lines neat and how to safely maneuver the 25 hp dinghy.

Wow, what a difference a year makes! With each passing day, the boys have been devouring their marine environment, learning about all of the various systems on board. While they are still adept at previously learned skills, they are now more interested in how to run “the big boat.”

They are planning routes and plotting courses between the islands. They navigate the vector (digitally created layered charts) and raster (scanned paper charts) charts with ease and are more familiar with the Rules of Navigation and crossings than some of the adult boaters that we have encountered.

Ryan & Randy changing the oil in the generator

Ryan & Randy changing the oil in the generator

When not running the boat, they are often tinkering about in the engine room helping Randy with some boat project or another. After taking on fuel they are responsible for managing and running the fuel polishing system. They also help with basic maintenance projects such as changing the generator oil and filter, changing the water maker filters, and washing down the boat after a day at sea.

As our world revolves around the weather, monitoring sea and wind conditions has become routine for us all. While the Caribbean is mostly sunny, every good mariner has foul weather gear close at hand.

On sunnier days, the boys get a charge watching our battery voltage increase from our solar panels. They understand how the solar power is harnessed and distributed throughout the boat. They also now wholly understand the mechanics of the patent pending solar powered picnic table catamaran in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola.

This is not how any boater wants to return to the dock

This is not how any boater wants to return to the dock

Ryan and Ronan routinely monitor the VHF radio and listen to transmissions between the Coast Guard and vessels in distress. They know that having capable crew on deck is important to running the boat safely and efficiently. Having witnessed other vessels in distress only heightens their safety awareness. Nobody ever wants to return to the dock like the boat we saw being towed in on air bags in Nanny Cay!

As the saying goes, “all work and no  play makes Jack a dull boy.” Hence, as we have been cruising around the BVIs, honing the boys’ mariner skills, the boys have also been honing their having fun skills. They have reconnected with friends met during our previous stay in the BVIs, as well as having made some new ones.

We have thoroughly enjoyed cruising the British Virgin Islands, and are grateful, once again, for the maritime lesson opportunities they have provided for the boys. Alas, weather, time and immigration restrictions have us pressing on. We have discussed our go forward cruising plans and have decided that at the next appropriate weather window we will be continuing our Caribbean journey heading south towards Grenada where we will ride out the next hurricane season. Our next port will be in St. Martin where we will post additional updates.

 

5 thoughts on “Developing the Boys’ Mariner Skills: Part 2 (by Theresa)

  1. John Davis

    Theresa & Randy – this post (like many previous) is permeated with so much of what’s important in life: family, mentoring, motivating, leadership, values, and (as I’ve lately come to strongly believe) memories.

    John

    On Sun, Mar 27, 2016 at 9:01 PM, pilotsdiscretiondotcom wrote:

    > Theresa posted: “Last year while cruising around the British Virgin > Islands (BVIs), we spent a significant amount of time developing and honing > the boys’ maritime skills. (April 17, 2015 post, “Developing the Boys’ > Mariner Skills”.) The BVIs is an excellent cruising loca” >

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  2. Rick Odato

    It sounds like those boys will be a shoe-in for the USCG Academy when the time comes. Keep in mind that the USCG Auxiliary has an “AIM” program (Academy Introduction Mission) that can possibly be of help.

    Fair winds and calm seas, my friends.

    Semper Paratus

    Rick

    * Capt Ric**hard (Rick) Odato, ATP, CFI* Sarasota, Florida U.S.A. Email: rick@odato.com Phone: (941) 730-4461

    Official Matterport Service Provider Visit our website at: http://www.suncoastskyview.com

    On Sun, Mar 27, 2016 at 9:01 PM, pilotsdiscretiondotcom wrote:

    > Theresa posted: “Last year while cruising around the British Virgin > Islands (BVIs), we spent a significant amount of time developing and honing > the boys’ maritime skills. (April 17, 2015 post, “Developing the Boys’ > Mariner Skills”.) The BVIs is an excellent cruising loca” >

    Like

    Reply
  3. Sylvia Steeves

    What a fabulous education you are giving the boys! They have to be two of the luckiest kids on the planet!!! Priceless!! And you two are lucky to have such wonderful boys!! Continued happy sailing to you all!!

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    Reply
    1. Theresa Post author

      Fingers crossed Sarah! I’ve emailed you our itinerary. If we cannot make it work in St. Maarten, let’s shoot for somewhere else for sure!

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