Chapman’s School of Seamanship

Jan 6th started a new phase of my retirement “GAP” year and a half plan.  I am enrolled in the 2 month course for Professional Mariners Training at Chapman’s School of Seamanship in Stuart, FL  My goal is to increase my confidence and competence for taking WhimSea on the Great Loop. I had dreams that this course would also increase your confidence in me as your Captain, if you decide to join me on some part of the adventure. (Yes I know my brother Dave said, “This is your dream not mine”) but this course promises to cover all of those areas where I lack knowledge – like maintenance. Most of the folks in this program are quite young and here to pursue a maritime career with the intent of getting a Captains license endorsed by the Coast Guard.  There is a bit of intensity related to the tests and licenses since for many this is new career make or break, and it is easy to get caught up in that pressure. Most days the classes are set up with 1/2 day formal classroom training and 1/2 day practical at the helm training. That is a lot of time on the water doing repetitive exercises, docking, backing, turning in all types of wind and current conditions. The repetition on all types of vessels is working!

Initially I wasn’t too nervous about the helm part of the training until the first day on the boats.  Literally the first step I took was a disaster! I went to get on the boat, my foot slipped on the wet boat deck, my body slammed into the dock and I got the breath knocked out of me. Still not sure how I didn’t end up in the water.  But OMG did I hurt my ribs and side. My self diagnosis was cracked ribs and I read WEB MD till I was certain,  I had internal bleeding and would expire soon. Fortunately it is day 4, and thanks to the miracle drug Ibuprofen I can actually stand up and walk mostly upright. (For those of you screaming at me that I should have gone to the ER (Yes I know who you are) there is really nothing they can do for this type of injury but I promise to go, if anything gets worse. I promise.  While my body heals my pride may have taken the worst beating and is not healing so quickly. I have had to swallow my pride, ask for help  getting on and off the boats, and actually say there are some exercises like hauling achors that I can’t do at the moment. And worst of all ,I have had to admit that at 57, I have more limitations than I care to admit. An unexpected but great lesson from this training is learning to be gracious in asking and receiving help.  I hope to have a better report next week.

8 thoughts on “Chapman’s School of Seamanship

  1. If anyone can do it, it will be you! As I continue to learn myself, life provides all sorts of lessons; not just the ones we are hoping for or expecting. A wise woman regularly told me during mentoring sessions, “If you are not uncomfortable, you aren’t growing”. (SMILE)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry to feel about your fall, but hope you are healing, and continuing with the course. And just think: you get to look at maps all the time! That has to be fun – enjoy every minute.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s