From 1/18/01</font id=blue>
I can’t say that I recall the first time I drove a boat. I vaguely remember as a child standing on my tip toes to see over the console and Dad standing behind me while I ran the boat home after our fishing trips together. I also remember the countless hours I spent behind the wheel driving our boat through the narrow creeks behind Morris Island carefully maneuvering the boat ahead of a school of mullet while Dad stood ready on the bow with the cast net. When I got to eighth or ninth grade Dad would drop the boat in the water for me before he went to work and would let my friends and I take the boat fishing by ourselves. I was fortunate enough to spend most of my weekends and vacation days on the water.
A couple of years ago when I was working as an environmental consultant taking dredge and water samples aboard a company work boat, my employer offered to pay for me to go to Sea School to get my captain’s license. I took them up on the offer and enrolled in school. Having run a boat for over 20 years I really expected the information presented in the course to be elementary and boring. After sitting through the first five minutes of the class I realized I was wrong. The class schedules that the instructor presented mentioned topics that I knew would be interesting, informative, and challenging. At this point I realized that even though I had spent many hours on the water, and had been well educated by my father on good seamanship, there were some area of my boating knowledge that needed some work.
Obtaining a Captains license is a great way to further your knowledge of seamanship if you have spent time on the water and it can be beneficial to those who are new to boating. Some of the topics addressed in class include:
Laws and Regulations – an in depth look at the laws and penalties associated with pollution, and life saving regulations.
Rules of the Road (Inland and International Rules) – instruction on the different classifications of vessels, determinin