Brenda bought me a nice custom hat way back when we were sailing our Com-Pac 16. It was really neat, but it had "Cap'n Mike" stitched on it. Most people would think nothing of it, but didn't seem right to claim the title of Captain when I had done little to deserve it. Today I still feel that a person shouldn't use a title that others have done so much to earn. So, I won't wear that lovely cap until I have earned the right to do so. Then I will wear it with pride.
Well since I already have the hat, I might as well get working on the license to wear it. Do I need a Captain's license? No. I don't plan on doing any commercial work as a sailor, but it is something that I want to accomplish in my sailing life.
I found a study aid book by Charlie Wing, but it just didn't do the trick for me. Recently I downloaded an app called "NavRules" on my iPad. What an effective way to quickly study, review and test the information contained in the Colregs. It features a digital version of the rules, quizzes, flash cards, pictures, diagrams, definitions and more. It makes it fun and simple to spend a few minutes to an hour learning the rules.
I don't seem to be able to memorize large amounts of information like I used to. I require lots of repetition to organize and retain all the lights, shapes, rules of the road, distress signals, sound signals..... Way too much for us gentlemen of a certain age. I'll just need to keep working at it until it sticks somewhere in my ol' noggin.
I've started collecting all the mnemonics (Red Right Returning) I can find to aid my studies. I'll put them all on one page for others to use when I get a decent collection of them together.
If you are comtemplating getting your Captain's License as well, make sure you are keeping a log of all the days and nights you spend aboard. One of the biggest hurdles in the licensing process is the proper documentation of 360 days of boating experience. We have a log going back to August 25, 2007 and wish that we had started it earlier. So, keep a log even if just for fun. It will come in handy if you want to charter a boat as well.