Meet and greet:
Although your course starts at 09:30 on Saturday morning, most people opt to arrive the evening before, accommodation is included on board and it makes flights more civilised. Upon arrival at Queensway Quay marina you will be introduced to the yacht, your home for the duration of the course, and given a basic safety brief. Dinner will be ashore if required. This is a great time to get acquainted with your instructor and other crew members.
During these 4 days you will study the theory aspect of the course in one of our shore based classrooms. Your instructor will lead you gently through the intricacies of passage planning, tides, safety management and collision regulations during this period, so that you will feel ready and able to sit the assessment papers on the final afternoon before heading out to sea. There is an element of homework on the theory course but this is essential to consolidate the knowledge.
Today, with your newly acquired navigational skills you will have a different outlook. The day will start with a few hours out In Gibraltar bay consolidating your knowledge and blowing away the cobwebs then moving on to position fixing and procedural exercises such as reefing and Man Over Board (MOB) drills. Skippering a yacht, large or small is about crew and safety management so from the outset this week, each and every student will be taking command of the yacht during numerous exercises and tasks. After a satisfying day the yacht will return to home port of Queensway Quay marina.
Over these three days you will be planning and executing passages to different destinations in Morocco and Spain while working steadily through the RYA Day Skipper syllabus. Each student will plan and execute at least one passage from one place to another and show their skills in dealing with an emergency such as a MOB. While this might all sound daunting, don't worry!
We believe that you learn best when having fun so we have a light hearted approach which will keep you smiling while soaking up the knowledge. Each day your instructor will de-brief and advise on areas to work on to help you progress effectively. Whenever possible your instructor will schedule some downtime to chill out and explore the local area if you wish. It is essential for sound learning to get some 'headspace' to allow knowledge to sink in
The last day! Today you will be heading back to Queensway Quay Gibraltar. By now you will be at or close to Day Skipper level and brimming with confidence. Despite it being the last day it is invariably super busy as there are always some last minute exercises and 'refinements' to do en route. Once back in Queensway Quay the skipper of the moment will ensure the yacht is secure and then after a clean down and final de-brief your instructor will sign logbooks and award certificates as appropriate. The course will be finished by 1600 hrs.
During the course you will cover at least 100 Nautical miles, weather permitting, and if possible, 4 night hours as per the RYA Syllabus. Sometimes during the summer months night sailing is not easily possible but at most other times we cover it. This sets you firmly on your way along the RYA training path.
Jolly Parrot supply breakfast, lunches and snacks for the entire practical course along with two evening meals which can be scheduled in as your instructor sees fit although many students prefer to step ashore and sample the local fare whenever possible. During the Theory phase you are welcome to cook on board or eat ashore in the many bars and restaurants Gibraltar or neighbouring Spain has to offer.