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Swagman Sailing
The racing & cruising adventures of Swagman, a Sparkman & Stephens designed 34ft yacht based in Perth, Western Australia.
Marine Radio Operator Certificate of Proficiency - Vera & Andrew
Andrew Waldby
Sun, 29th May 2011, Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group

Well, Vera & I just got back home after being at Fremantle while attending our Marine Radio Operator Certificate of Proficiency course with the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group (FVSRG).
As the weather forecast for the weekend looked pleasant (even though it is supposed to be approaching winter), so we decided to motor Swagman down to Fremantle from RPYC on Friday evening, go to the course on Saturday and return on Sunday.
Friday evening was absolutely beautiful. The river was like glass, and there were barely no other boats around, and it wasnt cold either.
We go to RPYC Annex at Fremantle about 8pm, and were all moored up by about 8:30pm. We then quickly headed into Fremantle for a late dinner at Portorosa Cafe - very nice.
Got up early the next morning to make our way just down the road to FVSRG HQ for the 8am-5pm course. We were doing the HF/MF part of the course which also covers VHF & 27MHZ.
As we were going through the course, all the communications stuff I learnt while in the Royal Australian Navy in the 80's starting coming back, so it was a bit of a refresher for me, plus bringing me up to speed on stuff I had forgotten as well as new stuff. Vera really enjoyed it as well, although she was concerned about the technical nature of it, but did really well. We finished the afternoon off with the 50 question test (multiple choice....phew!!!), which has a 70% pass mark, but about a 99.999999% pass rate for FVSRG. We both think we did well, but wont find out for about a month as they have to get marked by the national body in Tasmania. But we should be right.
We then went for a bit of a walk before through Fremantle, before ending up at the Norfolk Hotel for some drinks and some dinner.
Wandered back through Fremantle on the way back to the boat, and pretty much crashed for the night.
We had a bit of a sleep in on Sunday, and headed into Fremantle to the Merchant Tea & Coffee shop for some breakfast. Finished up and went back to the boat to get it ready to head back up the river. The wind was starting to pick up slightly from the NE but it was a pleasant trip back up the river.
Until some idiot in a 50ft powerboat (Boatname "iPlay" - will get reported on Monday morning to DPI) proceeded to do a big loop around us, the yellow catamaran ferry boat, another powerboat and another yacht at about 20kts. He crossed our bow at about 50ft putting up a huge wake. I had absolutely no regard for the affect on any other boats, and the two people that were on his bow just waved, they had absolutely no idea. I wish I had my camera close enough by to video the whole episode.
Anyway, apart from that, Vera & I had a really enjoyable weekend hopefully passing our MROCP. Thanks to the weather gods for providing beautiful weather, with no rain, and not cold, before an apparent front and associated storm warning comes through on Monday morning.

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Inconsiderate Power Boat Owners
Andrew Waldby
Sun, 13th April 2008, RPYC, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia

Now here comes my WHINGE!!!
I know everybody has their right to use the waterways, but why should they disrupt it & make life difficult for others because of their totally inconsiderate actions.
During our race on Saturday when we were in very light winds, and just floating along; 8 out of 10 power boats took no care for other boats. They powered along there way without any care that their wash was causing discomfort and annoyance to other boaters, especially yachts that are trying to compete in a club event.
In the past I have put in Department of Planning & Infrastructure - Marine Incident Reports. Well after, Saturday afternoon I am going to more diligent than ever about this.
Power boaters, and probably some yachties should be aware what their wash/speed/closeness is doing to other water users. There have been many occassions when power boats have passed close to yachts, and their wash has caused damage and sometimes injury.
I had brought this up last time a while ago when I spoke about the Recreational Skippers Ticket. This license (for a better word) is supposed to provide some sort of education to owners & skippers on how to act on the water for their safety and the safety of others.
The West Australian Department for Planning & Infrastructure - Marine now have a couple of forms for reporting accidents & incidents.
The Marine Incident Report Form is used for:
When an accident results in serious injury or death, or the vessel has been damaged enough to make it unseaworthy or unsafe, the owner or skipper must report full particulars of the accident or fire to the Department within seven days.
And, the Marine Safety Complaint Form is used for:
Marine safety complaints (speeding, skiing etc) may be made to the State Marine Operations Centre on telephone 9431 1000. The Centre is available between 8.30am and 4.00 pm Monday to Sunday. Where required, a written complaint may be forwarded to the Marine Safety Investigations Unit by downloading the Marine Safety Complaint Report.
As I said before I had lodged a couple of these before, and had never heard anything more about it, but at that time I dont think the Complaint Form was available, so I could only lodge it on the Incident Report, which doesnt quite apply.
But now, watch out those inconsiderate boat owners you are now put on notice, come anywhere near me and my boat and carry on without due respect for other water users, and you will be reported!!!!
I am not sure what will happen about my reports, but it has got to be a start, and somebody needs to make these people accountable.
I implore any other boat user who reads this to do the same if they have trouble. I have provided a link to the West Australian information but I suggest you get in contact with your local waterway authority and start getting some action done.
Thank you for listening to my WHINGE!!!!

Any comments welcome, because I would really like to start a dialog about this.

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Wed, 12th August 2009 | Capt Mike Beanland
Good post Andrew, I and my trainers regularly report the sort of people you mention, as well as sometimes try to talk to them at the ramp - however in person they are generally the same way as they are on the water - ie rude arrogant and believe they can do what they like.
the reporting of these incidents is good, in fact NECESSARY if we want to educate and control these "HOONS" - which is what they are.
Marine Safety and Policing officers patroling the river have laptops on board which are constantly linked in to the main database. I see them drifting along entering rego number after number to see if everyone is licenced etc. I am SURE that if one registration number had a bunch of red flags marked in there for being reported often, the officers would seriously consider stoppping the boat for 'random' complete checks of its safety gear and perhaps even a breathalyser test. They will cop it - I am sure. Eventually I believe hoon laws will apply to boat drivers too. Imagine watching o


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Who: Andrew Waldby, Vera Waldby, Alysha Waldby, Brett Waldby
Port: Royal Perth Yacht Club, Perth, Western Australia
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