SSB radio queen
31 August 2010 | Southampton
So, as I was saying, after much research (admittedly a little bit late in the game) I find that the only place I can get a ship's radio licence in the UK - or for that matter in Southern Europe - is Southampton, UK. That's South. Having abused Ruby the car enough by driving her up to Glasgow from Jersey, I wasn't sure I could rely on her to do a return trip. What's more my AA membership had run out. 6 changes on the overnight coach didn't appeal so I find myself flying down for £240. Yes, you heard right. With the course costing £350, the exam £95, I was lucky that I had family there with whom I could stay - thanks Anna and Richard! Put on top of that the cost of the modem, radio itself, grounding plate and accessories, membership with sailmail, and this free email malarky is sounding anything but. However, what price can you put on letting your loved ones know you are safe??!!! Aahh. Seriously, though, last time I went across the Atlantic 10 years ago I had no way of letting people know we were OK even though we were taking 10 days longer than anticipated, so it is peace of mind for all, and hopefully brownie points for me.
And I passed the exam which means I have infinitely more wisdom regarding radio communication than I did a month ago. I have also been promoted from scrubber to communications officer. No change in conditions or pay unfortunately. I'm now in Greece, but the blog's getting a bit long and Mr Shah warned me to keep them short, so more about the boat in the next entry!