Competent Crew Course Review by Jamie Farquharson

I spent the previous summer working as a tour guide in Greece spending a lot of my time on boats….I soon discovered my passion for the sea and decided to act upon it. I researched all the courses available with the RYA and decided that with my limited knowledge I would try and test myself with the competent crew qualification. When I moved to the North East for the winter I was fortunate enough to come across Melvyn’s website Northumbria Sailing online.

As I was a little unsure as a novice, before I booked the course I rang Melvyn who very kindly took time out of his busy schedule to meet me for coffee. After this meeting I was convinced that the Competent Crew qualification was for me.

My course with Melvyn took place from the 5th to the 10th April with 3 others that were doing their Day Skipper qualification. The entirety of the course was extremely enjoyable, and although it was also hard work I gained a huge amount from it. I also learned a lot of the Day Skippers syllabus which will give me a head start when I come back and book again to do the next step with Melvyn.

Include in the course were all our meals and drinks (apart from one night out in an amazing restaurant!) We also did a night sail from Sunderland to Blyth which was the highlight of the course for me. Melvyn also taught me how to plan this route (even though it was outside the Competent Crew syllabus) via charts and waypoints which was really interesting. To be at the helm under sail and engine with nothing but the stars above me and the twinkling lights of the distant coast will be something that will stay with me forever!

I can honestly say that if you are looking for a great teacher with a huge amount of Sailing knowledge then look no further than Melvyn, he taught me a vast amount in a relatively short space of time. You will not be disappointed! I would also recommend a small amount of studying to those who have little knowledge to be able to hit the ground running, especially with all the sailing terminology and numerous names of the parts of the boat!