Got up around 05.00 hours yesterday. Same routine as most days. Make ((Make? Who am I kidding! Spoon of coffee from the jar in to a mug and pour boiling water on to it – the only skill (?) required is to make sure you don’t pour too much water from the kettle. And even I can do that. If I pay attention!)) a mug of coffee, pick up the iPad and carry both to the veranda (opening the sliding door first, of course).
The start of the day then was much the same as it is most days. Or was it? No, definitely not. Why? Well I just couldn’t enjoy my ‘me time’. I tried to savour the smells, sounds and sights (even when dark there are still things to see) of the early morning. Failing, I brought The Times up online but couldn’t really concentrate on and enjoy what, for me, is normally a good read. I kept thinking of the test later in the morning that Rose and I had to pass if we were to gain Masters (boat captain) Licenses.
The test was scheduled for 11.00 hours at the Port of Belize office which is located south of the DFC area but first we had a further practice session at Caribbean Villas Hotel at 09.00 hours. So, after showering, shaving (me that is, not Rose), dressing and having breakfast we set off at around 08.45 hours.
By the time we arrived (slightly late but early by Belizean standards!) Andy was untying our practice boat and Veronique and Joy (our fellow ‘students’) were sitting patiently on the pier.
Our practice boat.
After a few goes each at taking the boat from the pier and then mooring it the time had reached 10.00 hours so Andy and Joy set off in the boat for the ‘test centre’. Veronique popped to a nearby friend’s house and Rose and I had a coffee and then took the road south and arrived at the ‘test centre’ just before 11.00 hours.
The ‘test centre’.
Within minutes of our arrival Andy and Joy pulled in to the quayside and after securing the boat we all introduced ourselves to Hector, our examiner.
He explained what was required of us – nothing too taxing, just that we should take the boat out in to the lagoon and then bring it back to the quayside and moor it.
Rose, with her nerves somewhat frayed, elected to go first
Rose completing the test.
Rose, being Rose, on setting foot on the quayside, couldn’t contain herself and asked Hector if she had passed (women, no patience!) and virtually jumped for joy (no, not Joy our fellow test-taker, but in elation). One down, three to go!
Veronique then set off and hadn’t gone too far when the engine stalled.
Commodore Andy Milner to the rescue.
With the engine going again Veronique resumed her test.
Hector the examiner observing Veronique’s approach.
Safely and confidently in.
Next up was Joy (me ever being the gentleman employed ‘the ladies first rule’! ).
Joy heading for the quay.
With Joy ashore it was my turn. No putting it off any longer.
Honest, that is me in the boat.
A slow and careful approach to the quayside.
Once ashore Hector informed us that we had all passed.
The ‘victors’ pose.
All us of us agreed that we would be celebrating our success and given that I was outnumbered it would definitely be a ladies night (give me a break, I know its terrible but I was struggling for a song title link for the headline).
Next up for Rose and I is looking for a boat to buy.
The headline (terrible link as it may be) is based on the single released in 1979 by Kool and the Gang which reached number eight in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number nine in the UK Singles Chart.