Okay, so this weekend, Rick and I were each scheduled to test for the Navigator position in a CPM class. We would have been performing that role on two separate boats, which we will soon do, but at this point we were offered the opportunity to do a dry-run as navigator by serving as navigator for our friend Eric. Eric was in the very last stage before obtaining his CPM US Sailing Certificate: to charter a boat without an instructor, and tag along with an instructor boat for the weekend. A crucial part of his success was that his charts had to be perfect, and that was Rick’s and my job. So we felt all the pressure of performing as navigators, without actually having to be tested as navigators yet. I took the navigator role for Saturday and Rick took it for Sunday; we also had another great guy along, Anthony, who navigated Friday night, and helped in millions of ways all weekend long.
We all got to the docks in Alameda early, with the intention of finishing up early whatever maneuvers Eric had to demonstrate for the instructor before heading over to Sausalito for a nice meal (Eric’s treat) at the Sausalito Yacht Club, followed by mooring at the Club and meeting up Saturday morning with the class boat we were tagging. Unfortunately, the instructor would have none of it. We were delayed sufficiently in leaving Alameda that we arrived way too late in Sausalito to dine out, and then we were instructed to anchor out instead of tying up to the mooring ball.
With a heavy-weather weekend in store, there was some discussion of whether we would go to Half Moon Bay or Drakes Bay, so Rick and I prepared detailed navigation plans for both. To our disappointment, Drakes Bay was chosen, which almost surely meant a wicked night on the hook, and we were proven correct. We had 30 knot winds all night long. Even before that, the class boat was having some difficultly navigating and we were required to stay withiin 5 nm of them, so our path to Drakes Bay was somewhat eratic. In addition, some ill-advised rafting-up in heavy winds and seas in Drakes Bay caused some damage to both of the boats, fortunately at no fault of Eric’s (we were double-anchored), so the weekend was quite the experience. However, the good news is that Eric passed his tag, both Rick and I got some great feedback on each having completed a navigation and charting job well done, we got a dry run on not only navigating but also on what a tag is like, and we met another great guy in Anthony who we’d boat with anywhere.