Quite rightly I have to take both a theoretical and a practical exam on my knowledge of things nautical before I can sail away. The qualification is known as your license.
The didactical approach for the theory exam is interesting. You are not given classes nor a text book, but a folder with 16 previous test papers. You are then told that by taking all these previous tests you will teach yourself the correct answers to the obscure and arcane questions. I understand the logic. The same questions come back over and over again. It is a bit like pattern recognition.
I study like crazy. I find it difficult to study at home as there is the lure of the computer. I need a very quiet place.
I have to go to the university for one last project and subsequently go to the university library to study. After some minutes, the head librarian comes over and asks me to leave as I am no longer a university employee nor visiting scholar. How are the mighty fallen!
Actually, one of my tasks prior to retirement was to establish an alumni policy. I should have got on with it.
Anyway, I go to the Onna village library, where I am welcomed and study away to my heart’s content. No harm done.
The theory test is held at the Okinawa Marina in Awase. It is very formal with an invigilator who walks around the room to make sure we are not cheating.
Oh dear, I fear I have failed! I will only know on Saturday.
I head down to the Marina to get on with my next major task – repainting the cockpit and the cabin roof. The existing paint has been exposed to years of intense UV and is in very poor condition.
So again this calls for a lot of sanding. I hope that most of the crazing will be filled with the primer and the 2 coats of paint. Very poor condition areas, I will treat with an acryllic filler before painting. I hope to paint next week but there is a lot of tedious work to be accomplished before the paintbrush hits the deck.
I have a long chat with Kiyuna san. He shows me engine progress.
He asks me if I am going back to Scotland. I tell him that there is really no reason for me to go back there. He replies, ” Neil san, sometimes no reason is the best reason.” Discuss.