ABLE SEAMAN (AB) Class this week. Yesterday I arrived 30 minutes early, got registered and took a seat and then waited for everyone else to register. It took about 45 minutes as they also had a 100T captain course going on upstairs and all of those students were also registering.
Class finally started and we jumped right in with “Rules of the Road”. Lucky for me, I’ve been exposed to all of this stuff before and I’ve been staying pretty active with it for the last few years. The people who have never seen it before have the glazed look in their eyes. The other students in our class come from a wide background of nautical experience. Some were Ordinary Seaman, others were on small cruise ships, coastal freighters, commercial fishing, etc. One guy was a communications officer on an MSC ship for three years, but he said there was no pathway for advancement from there, so he was back tracking to start over as deckhand. None of his previous three years of sea time as comm officer would count towards anything!
Four people in the class, were only there for Monday and 1/2 of Tuesday. They were taking the RFPNW Course. Of course I was sitting there learning / reviewing everything they had to, so I walked into the office and asked if I could pay the course fee and knock that course off my list (RFNPW is a course that will be on my list soon and I will need it sooner than later). Unfortunately, the USCG doesn’t allow for that and I will have to come back at another time and take the first 1.5 days of the AB course again. Govmint for ya.
The rest of today, we did line breaking strength, safe working loads, helm commands, etc. I’m enjoying the lessons, but I always enjoy nautical stuff.
Here is an eye splice I made in class. The hardest part was getting started correctly. I used Animated Knots for reference showing step by step.