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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Just call him Captain Dave

Yesterday we drove up to San Francisco, stopping along the way for lunch with Dave's Uncle Andy and Aunt Marie.  Then dinner with friends in San Francisco.  We arrived late at the home of Mike and Christina in Point Richmond.  Some might remember it was here on their dock that we stayed - precisely a year ago - on our way south through San Francisco on Apsaras.  Mike had a pitcher of sangria ready when we arrived.

Today was all about Dave studying for the US Coast Guard captain's written exam.  A month ago he started studying for the written test.  We purchased an on-line training package to help him study.  Purchasing the package was a bit of a fiasco though.  The school you choose will be the ones to administer the test, so we needed to find a school that would be giving the test in Seattle when we were home.  There was one school that claimed to offer a test location in Seattle and said they would schedule the test at any time.  Melissa sent email to request a test date while we were home.  They said they didn't believe he would be ready in 6 weeks time.  Melissa explained Dave's experience.  They sent him a quiz - supposedly to determine if he was qualified to purchase their $500 training course.  Dave completed the quiz.  Melissa then asked which test location she needed to put in the shopping cart - there was one for Bellingham, Friday Harbor, and Aberdeen, but not actually in Seattle.  Their response was, "if you need help figuring out how to operate the shopping cart then maybe an on-line class is not for you".  Seriously?!  We wanted to tell them to take a flying leap at that point, but they were the only on-line class with a test schedule that fit our needs.  Dave suggested that maybe we take another trip back to the US at some point when he could take the test in Florida or California or something.  So Melissa started trolling back through all the schools and when and where their tests would be given.  Low and behold, one school was giving the test in Richmond CA - less than 5 miles from where we are staying with Mike and Christina on the date that we had planned to be here anyway.  It would only give Dave four weeks to study and get ready though.  When we got to Seattle a few weeks ago we picked up the class materials and along the road Dave has been studying.  He actually only studied four evenings total for a couple of hours each night.  Then he did a bunch of practice quizzes today before the test.  And no surprise he passed with flying colors - passing two of the four sections with 100%.

What does this mean?  Well, getting his US Coast Guard captain's license is now only a bunch of bureaucratic paperwork away.  Getting his license means that he can carry up to 6 passengers for hire.  Not that we plan to start chartering our boat.  The most likely use for the license is that Dave might do the occasional boat delivery here and there for friends and some insurance companies like to see a licensed captain aboard.  None the less, it is a huge achievement to get this milestone behind him!

We were ready with a bottle of champagne and a new captain's hat when he arrived home!

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