Well, it seems I dunnit! Subject to receiving my bit of paper in the post, I have been certified. Day 2 of the course was fun. We spent an hour or so on rescue stuff and enjoyed playing with throwing lines and all that palaver. It convinced me it would be a good idea to practice every now and then, as I didn’t get it right every time. Then we took the good ship Samson up to Clitheroe lock and practiced dropping crew off at the lock steps, then entering the lock and going up, then picking up crew, turning round and doing the same going back down. Here’s one of the others taking the boat up the lock, we each had to do it so the whole rigmarole was done three times.
I was beginning to get the hang of this peculiar craft by the end. It’s perhaps not as quick to respond as a tiller steered boat, but the level of control is good, especially in reverse.
One of the big differences of course is the propulsion screw, seen here hoisted up and turned through 90 degrees. (I fear that pink bit at the top is a bit of my finger.)
The free end of the screw when in the water faces away from the back of the boat and the whole thing swivels left and right to effect steering, so no rudder required. Although this one has a plastic back stuck in the little gap behind the screw, it does affect the steering. The screw itself very rarely gets fouled they tell me.
I liked Samson very much. A good floating workshop and it even had a cosy little space for tea / lunch breaks or to shelter from storms.
And there’s a flushing loo too! I’m really glad to have had the chance to do the RYA course on such a different boat.