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Logbook:  Fall & Winter 2002

When Fall rolled around, we continued to work on boat projects, but it was also time for us to brush up on our study habits since we signed up for a few courses. 

Our first class was Gordon West's Ham Radio School, which was scheduled in early October.  We wanted to get our General Class licenses, which would allow us longer range communications over the ham radio.  This license required that we learn Morse Code at a speed of 5 wpm.  Let's just say we're glad that we no longer have to listen to the tapes with dots and dashes. 

Just after the ham radio class, we started a weather class at Orange Coast College of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach.  We attended weather class once a week for a total of 12 weeks (six weeks in late 2002 and six weeks in early 2003).  We learned a lot about high and low pressure systems, fronts, clouds, weatherfax and hurricanes.  Our instructor, Michael Neumann, did a tremendous job!

In early December, we had a break between our weather class sessions, but we had other things to do.  We scheduled ourselves to attend Maritime Institute's Captain's License training classes.  The schedule was pretty intense - two weeks of classes, 8-5 Monday through Friday, with lots of homework.  The classes were in Long Beach, and we didn't really want to commute from Marina del Rey to Long Beach every day in addition to the school.  So, we got a slip in Long Beach for the two weeks and took the boat.  It was great - we were a two-minute walk from the classroom!  It was a good decision, as we both passed our Captain's license exams with flying colors.  Having our Captain's license (or our "ticket" as they call it) enables us to run charters and/or do boat deliveries, and therefore earn a living as we cruise.