Our Yachtmaster student Sarah Shepherd has passed the Yachtmaster theory exams with flying colours.

Day 26

Having spent yesterday completing our first exam and studying for today’s two-hour exam, there were, not surprisingly, many tired faces in the classroom first thing this morning. We did however, have a boost of confidence last night in the exam practice when we got the majority of questions right.

The exam proper today covered three-point fixes, estimated positions, course to steer, waypoint and tidal calculations. Amazing how fast the time flew though and before we knew it we were chattering away outside in the sun comparing answers. After the intense cramming revision session last night, I really felt as though I’d got to grips with navigation and felt confident about tackling the exam questions.

Unfortunately lunch for me was hidden away in my bedroom reading through weather, rather than relaxing in the sun. It’s a complex subject and easy to get bogged down with all the theory. However, with as much information crammed into my head (beaufort scale, clouds, passage of frontal depressions, advection fog etc) I managed to get through the hour and a half exam with no problem.

Once all the exams were over, we cracked open the beers and had a quick celebratory drink in the gorgeous weather while Andy marked the papers. One by one we went to see him for our result and feedback.

It was a great feeling to be told I’d passed my Yachtmaster theory and, checking over the exam papers, I’d made very few mistakes. Andy was keen to hear how I felt about the course so far and the pace of lessons. My personal feeling was that the nature of the Fastrack course means that subjects are intense land long evenings studying may be necessary.

However, I didn’t find the Yachtmaster theory as difficult as I first imagined. Most subject areas were generally revision having covered them in depth during the Day Skipper theory week. In fact, my learning curve was certainly steeper first time round which made this week a bit more manageable. In addition, last week on the water certainly cemented the theory into practice and answered many confusing questions.