Powerboat Day Four: The Boat that Rocked- 7/12/17

Today was our final session of powerboating… sad times. As it was our last session the lecturers thought it would benefit us doing some of the safety boat syllabus as an extra on top. Emma ran through what the plan was for the day. She told us that we were starting the day by righting some single hander sailing boats. She drew some lovely pictures on the board to try and explain a bit clearer because there were quite a few different scenarios of flipped boats… well it seemed like it to me anyway. It’s fair to say though the drawings went exactly Di Vinci standard, but they made more sense than the talk through.


As our first task was to right some sailing boats Anna, Maddie, Cat, Emma and myself set up some toppers to practice on. The single handers made more sense to rig up than Bahia’s because there was less ropes, wires and fiddly bits. Once the toppers were finished we helped get them onto the water for Emma to hold till we got to the powerboats. We spilt into two powerboats; Myself and Anna in one and Maddie, Cat and Jake in the other. As the others had Jake, Anna and I needed to pick up Emma once we had dealt with the topper.


Once we had set off from the pontoon, Anna and I had to make our way to the pontoon carefully not hitting the slipway when we got close. Once we got there Emma throw the painter of the topper to me for us to drag out the topper to deeper water so we could tip it purposely and attempt to right it. However, this didn’t necessarily go to plan. The tide and wind made the task (especially as we had never done it before) very difficult for newbies. The boat flipped over but the boat kept turning away from us. Also, the tide and wind together make it very difficult to move and made a lot of resistance to drag across the water. Maddie, Cat and Jake also seemed like they were struggling to start with too. Emma yelled for us to dump the boat and come collect her from the pontoon so she could help us out.


Once we had collected Emma, Anna had her first go of being in control of the boat to rescue a single hander and as a result I was the crewman who was responsible for righting the boat back the way it should be. Little bit nervous but best give it a go! The tide and wind made it very difficult for Anna to get on the correct side of the boat to allow me to flip it.  The boat kept turning the boat so we ended up following it around in a circle till it got back in the right place for us to do our thing. We had to drive away and come at it again a few times but it’s all good practice. Eventually, we got to the right place and I had to bring the boat towards us and from there I had to grab the edge of the topper push down towards the water and then push down on the centreboard. With Emma’s help we eventually got eh topper back up. YAY!


My time had come. I was a quite nervous because it seemed like everyone was finding it difficult and a little bit stressful, having watched Anna and seen the other powerboat. However, I was determined to do the best a possibly could in the conditions. I had a generally idea what to do after having watched Anna have her go and listening to Emma’s instruction towards Anna. I had two goes in the end. My first one went pretty well I guess it did spin like Anna’s did but luckily, we didn’t have to chase after for was long. My second one I did I got straight away and I was ecstatic! Emma said it was perfect… perfect! SUCCESS!


Leather (2017)

However, before I got a chance to do a third Emma got an interesting call from John (volunteer at Mount Batten) telling us the powerboat that wasn’t doing safety boat stuff (Lewis, Abigail, Fiona and Mark) had broken down and needed towing. Emma got myself to drive to the pontoon dump the topper and had out to rescue them. I was going to practice towing later on anyway so why not do a real life one as your first attempt! Woo! I was in control of the powerboat during the rescue with Emma’s guidance obviously. NERVOUS but exciting! I felt like we were a proper rescue team. Isn’t weird how the day we practice rescue, we actually have to rescue a boat… the irony.



We got to them eventually and it was a bit tense because of the tide conditions and where they had broken down. It was quite easy to hit something if you didn’t manoeuvre quick enough. Emma throw instructions at me in short bursts and I stuck my head down straight away and got the job down. Soon enough we were on our way, without hitting anything or anyone so it went pretty well. We eventually got the pontoon to drop them off, that bit was a bit complicated for me more so than actually rescuing them but nevertheless they got there.


Emma then suggested we get some topper righting down before lunch, but the conditions were gradually getting more difficult. She got Anna and I to swap over because I had been driving for a while. But in the end the conditions made it very difficult to carry the righting out so she decided to not carry on doing that and we practiced coming alongside instead, once we dropped of the topper back to the pontoon of course. After some practice we dropped off Emma on the pontoon and collected the topper and headed back to the slipway where we needed to the throw the topper’s painter back to Jake who had already gotten off, so he could bring it back onto the slipway. After this we ‘parked up’ on the pontoon and headed up for lunch time.



Nicholls (2017)

After lunch we put all those lovely whiteboard drawings into action and did some contact tows. I was in a boat with Cat and Maddie and Anna were in the other. Firstly, Maddie and Anna towed us and then we swapped and Cat and I towed them. We each had a turn in controlling the boat. But turning was very slow with two boats. After we had all had a chance to steer, We split and did some high-speed manoeuvres and fun out past Mount Batten without lecturers… dun… dun… DUN! We headed out on our solo experience it was going pretty well, until an incident occurred. We were all kind of in a line following each other, the lecturers (and Jake) in the first boat, then Cat and I following and Anna and Maddie at the back. However, I turned around and saw Anna waving at me with both hands and at first, I wasn’t really sure what she was doing but then I realised she was in the boat that we had too rescue early on in the day. The boat had broken down and the lecturers went to help.




Cat and I were told to continue and do some high-speed stuff away from them lot. After Cat and I did lots and lots of driving, Maddie and Anna had swapped boats with the lecturers so they could have some fun. Cat and I spent a lot of time following in the other boats wake for fun haha. Cat kept saying she felt like bond chasing down the villains, which it kind of did if I’m honest. It was a lot of fun, Cat and I had a great time!

Leather (2017)

After lots of laughter and high- speed fun we headed back into the pontoon and started powering down for the day. It was our last time we had to bring them back in and I was really sad about it. I’m really going to miss all the powerboating we’ve done it’s been amazing! We got back round to the back of the centre to put the gear away and what does Maddie do… falls on the floors and asks me to pull off her over trousers for her. Such a Maddie move! Top off the day in the best way, Abigail surprised and gave me her spare angel slice! What an absolute babe! It was delicious!



I had such an amazing time doing this course and I’m certain I made a good choice on what course to choose. What an amazing experience and now it’s time to journey to the pub! Until next time, whenever that its! 






Photo References

Leather, M. (2017) OAEH01. [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/818128431632967/ [accessed 04 January 18].

Nicholls, F. (2017) Day 3 – RYA PB L2 & RYA Sailing. [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/818128431632967/ [accessed 05 January 2018].

Powerboat Day Three: The Finest Hours- 30/11/2017

Woohoo! Thursday had arrived… Powerboat time! Last week had a mixture of highs and lows for me so I was determined to try my best today given we had better conditions than last week in my opinion. We all got ready as per usual and Cat and I overheard Fiona telling Maddie that we were going to be on our own. Cat and I looked at each other like oh god! We were a little bit anxious about the idea of going without Mark or Fiona, but you know what we had been powerboating twice now and they obviously believed we could do this so why shouldn’t we.


Nicholls (2017)

During the previous sessions I had never been in a boat with Cat so this week we decided we go together, we figured it would be a laugh. We were right! The task for us to go out onto the water near pontoon and every so often go towards one of the lectures and they would give us a task to do and once we complete it we had back over to them for a new one. First of all we had mooring up to a buoy. I think it went really well, we did about three and they all went really well! Phew! Cat had about three tries to her first didn’t quite work but the other two were really good! Nailed it! Afterwards, we went back to the pontoon and Fiona wanted us to do some man over boards. Is it weird that a thoroughly enjoy man overboard manoeuvres? The feeling when you get it right and the ’man’ (the tiny buoy and a tyre!) is saved. Nothing better. Cat and I did awesome we saved them all I think both of us went a little fast on our first ones but all the others were awesome! Cat and I felt like we should give our man overboards names. Cat decided to name hers Charlie and I chose Barney we thought they make good man overboard names! Cat and I had a great time in the morning when we in the boat together we had a really great laugh.



We then proceeded to swap people over. I stayed in my boat Mark hoped in and asked Maddie and Anna to come into the boat as us three hadn’t had Mark yet over the powerboat weeks. We started doing a manoeuvre called holding off. Not going to lie… I’m reasonably dreadful at it. I find it very difficult to wrap my head around I just can’t seem to get it right unfortunately. But in all fairness, I think we all found it quite difficult at times though. We eventually powered off towards the other powerboat and the Bahia. I still have some trouble slowing down slightly. I find it difficult to find a middle ground sometimes. Boo. I think I did better at it yesterday than I did the week before so I’m gradually making progress. Plus, Mark said that I did a good job and to try and have more belief in my ability.



Nicholls (2017)

Anna and Maddie had their turns after and they both did really well in my opinion and had great throttle control. After much following of the sailing boat and driving alongside the fellow powerboat, we eventually moved onto holding off next to markers. I was first up, I found this particular task extremely difficult and this skill in particular is one I need to gain more practice on. The tide and wind made for a difficult time where we were but I did the best I could. I still find it difficult to link the tide and wind conditions to manoeuvring of the boat during holding off. Maddie was after me and she struggled at times too but I think she did quite well considering the conditions of where we were. Anna went last and she did really well I think she had a great go at it. We spent quite a while doing this but once we were done we headed back towards Mount Batten for lunch; where on the way we discussed the meaning of the different shapes and colour orders on the cardinals.




At lunch Mark asked us what we would like to do this afternoon and mentioned that I would like some more time on our own in the boats like we did earlier that morning. Plus I hadn’t driven much with Cat so I thought we could do some more powerboat work together. Mark and Fiona thought that sounded like a good idea and the other power boaters agreed. Cat and I did some man overboards again with a wide variety of names, we had: Barry, Kitty and Gary. Excellent names in my opinion. Cat and I had previously talked about how we both struggle going in reverse in a figure of eight. We thought as were in a boat together we could have some time to practice this manoeuvre so we both felt more comfortable doing it in the future. We both started quite slowly and gradually speed up a bit. We spent a considerable amount of time each doing this, but I think we both felt a lot more confident afterwards. I found it much easier practicing something I found difficult with someone else who found it difficult too I felt more comfortable if were to do it wrong because she knew what I felt like.


After this Fiona asked us to come back in a moor back up for the day. We were asked to come alongside next to boats that were already tied onto the pontoon (and each other) on the bridge side of the pontoon. I had never done pontoon mooring like this before usually we came alongside the pontoon itself or someone else was driving so I decided I really wanted to give it a go. In hindsight probably wasn’t the easiest first go to choose, but might as well try while I have the chance. I decided to reverse in as we needed to be facing the same direction as the other boats we were coming alongside. I gave it 3 tries. They all went relatively well I just had to work on the angle that I came in at I think. But the third and final try worked and the next task was to try to figure out where on earth to tie it. But we got there in the end! Took a while not going to lie even with Anna and Kieran help it was still confusing. But we couldn’t leave the day like that now could we, something else had to happen. Well Cat made sure of that! As she stepped off the boats onto the pontoon she slipped straight off her feet and landed on her back/ bum onto the pontoon. It was all very sudden, but she was laughing her head off so we took a guess that she was ok after all of our initial panics!


Well that’s it for this week tune in next week for the final chapter!


Photo Reference

Nicholls, F. (2017) Day 3 – RYA PB L2 & RYA Sailing. [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/818128431632967/ [accessed 05 January 2018].

Powerboat Day Two: The Perfect Storm- 23/11/17

So… Anna told me the day before powerboating that the wind was going to be mental the next day and she was not wrong. We with Lewis, Cat and our friend Char went to the Plymouth Hoe to have a look at the view and we could barely even get out of the car without the doors being blown back closed! It was crazy! I decided to check the weather myself that night to investigate into what conditions we should be expecting tomorrow. It was pretty unanimous across all weather sources that it was going to be bloody windy!


Nicholls (2017)

Got to Mount Batten the next day and I learnt the internet does not lie! The water was intriguing, filled with waves, ripples and resistance. It looked like it was going to be a very interesting day for being on the water. I was in a boat with Maddie, Kieran and Plymouth Youth Sailing volunteer Emma. I was more anxious and nervous today because the conditions were the complete opposite to the session last week and was inevitably going to make it much more difficult. Emma gave me the keys which meant I was first to take on the challenge. We practiced figure of eights in forwards motion which was fine but then we moved onto mooring up to a buoy and it did not go as well as last week, which was quite disheartening. Emma mentioned that the conditions weren’t necessarily making it easier. I think my main problem is overturning because I can’t necessarily tell if we’re turning as we are going at a slow speed and turns aren’t sudden when at a slower speed. I found it difficult to tell if I had turned enough but it usually turned out that I had and over done it as a result, leading to a few issues. But my last two I did were much better than my first ones, thank God! We each found it difficult at times in comparison to last week, but I think Maddie and Kieran did really well.


Afterwards, we attempted man overboard manoeuvres and they were a bit tricky! We first attempted them in a more weather affected area and I was first again. Not entirely sure if I enjoy going first but I’m going to do it anyway so might as well have first crack! The overturning issue is a reoccurring problem of mine especially yesterday at times. The first two attempts went a tad wrong I was doing really well till I got to the casualty where it would go wrong because I would gradually (not on purpose I might add) start to turn too early because I would over correct my course towards the man overboard. However, I gradually started to do it a hell of a lot better after the first mistakes. I like to look at it as mistakes that led me onto a more successful path. Anyway it was my first time doing it so I couldn’t expect to get it perfect straight away I mean, I’m not wonder woman! That would be pretty cool though. You’re not born knowing how to do everything; you have to learn first to succeed. Plus the conditions weren’t necessarily favourable. I think after the first few attempts I gradually got a lot better and Emma thought so too so I’m more than happy with the progress I made. Maddie and Kieran also found it tricky to start with but all gradually got better with practice. We eventually moved to a more settled area with less ‘bumps and ripples’ and practiced the same procedure. We all did really well here I think having practiced in a more difficult place made it easier to carry out the procedure in gentler conditions.

We quickly covered anchoring just before lunch, the whole amount of rope and chain thing still confuses me but I suppose it’s a reason to hit the books. But I tell you what lifting that anchor was not easy; then again I might just be weak! NEXT, LUNCH! Cheesy Chips Time!


It was time to brace the storm once more! The agenda for the afternoon went as follows… play in the waves. I was half excited half terrified because I knew that around the headland towards the breakwater (where we were heading) the waves were a wee bit bigger than where we had spent the morning time. Maddie was first up and I’m not going to lie being the passenger was really fun; it was like being on a water ride at Thorpe Park. We all got absolutely soaked and I’m not going to lie I’m pretty sure I was the most soaked… no regrets though. There were a few drops from the top of waves that had me lifted off my butt; however I landed back on my butt in the boat so everything was cool. However, I was very nervous about my turn because I was anxious about going really fast on these waves. I was worried what the result would be if I went at them wrong. We were told that when going over a wave you should slow down a little when you reach the top but unfortunately for myself I found that difficult because I would slow down too much by accident because I would pull the throttle back to far. I couldn’t seem to find an in-between. We continued swapping over etc. but the speed thing I continued to find difficult and it kind of brought me down a bit.


Emma decided that before we headed all the way in she wanted us to do man overboard in an even more ‘bumpy’ location. I was first and I was so happy with my go. I actually did really well not sure it was a fluke or not but I will take it anyway. I saved Bob (our man overboard) who was a big tyre and a small buoy float… very life like don’t you think.  Maddie drove us in and did some lovely parallel parking.


What I took from yesterday is that I need to work on throttle control, so that is my task for next week! Also, that wind really makes a difference when you’re on the water!


Photo Reference

Nicholls, F. (2017) Day 3 – RYA PB L2 & RYA Sailing. [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/818128431632967/ [accessed 05 January 2018].

Powerboat Day One: Plymouth Adventure- 16/11/17

The day has come for me to get fully stuck into the powerboating course. Before starting the power boating itself I was feeling quite nervous about being in control of a powerboat, as a have little experience in powerboating plus I can’t drive so I lacked some knowledge on steering, speed etc. This in mind, I was still excited to start and give it a go anyway and see what happens.


To start with covered the things that we could talk about off the water such as clothing/ buoyancy, boat features and what should be found on each boat before setting off. We eventually moved onto the water, where I was in a power boat with our lecturer Fiona Nicholls and two other uni mates Maddie and Anna. We start with what I would guess are the basics where we did some forwards figure of eights round some buoys and then proceeded onto doing them in reverse. Let’s just say I may need some more practice! The forwards was ok I just need to work on turning timings to get the process a little more clean. However, reverse was a whole other story! We all found it difficult as it was a little confusing but I struggled quite a bit. As I have no experience in reversing cars so I’ve never really been through the process of reversing any kind of vehicle. I went in circles more than once but it was ok we were all learning and plus nothing went tragically wrong so could of gone a hell of a lot worse. It would probably good idea for the future to try and do reverse figure of eights again otherwise I will never really pick it up. During this time, our lecturer Fiona was trying to do Instagram live videos of us driving the power boat… that didn’t quite go to plan either! Eventually with some help she finally managed to do what she wanted and the results were hilarious! It’s quite sad how different and what’s the word… awful you sound on video!


Percival (2017)

After we had made ourselves dizzy and a teeny tiny bit nauseous after reversing, we moved onto something slightly less confusing and disorientating for the brain. We did some coming alongside a buoy to moor up. I have to admit I was pretty proud of how I did it because I think I did pretty well no buoys nor humans were hurt in the process so overall a success! Plus I was even asked to do the same with pontoon and I did great! Hallelujah! Dead Proud seeing it’s the first time I’ve ever done it!


Percival (2017)

After lunch we drove away from the mount batten centre and did some high-speed manoeuvres! They were absolutely sick!  It was slightly scary and nerve racking when my turn came but it was the most fun part of the day for me. Everyone on our boat had such a great time and we just couldn’t stop laughing at Fiona laying down taking photos and videos of us nor could we stop laughing at each other! It’s fair to say we all got quite wet bums by the end of it. But Fiona got some great videos of us and Anna got some great pictures of us all! Though I was nervous to start with, once I got used to the speed going straight (reasonably) the turning manoeuvres were easy and were really fun and exciting. We all felt like kids on a rollercoaster! It was hilarious!


We then practiced turning in small places, which Maddie described as being similar to a 3 point turn. As you could probably guess I had absolutely no idea what that meant let alone how the hell to do one! What a shock! We eventually had I go each and Maddie and Anna did absolutely awesomely, my turn came and I think considering I have no idea what a 3 point turn was, I think I did really good. Probably, can work on making it smoother but all was good.


We moved onto something called coming alongside so for example when you want to speak to someone on the shore on another boat you should aim to stay next to them about a 1 metre away. When Fiona demonstrated we seriously considered climbing over the walk away driving the powerboat under the walkway and having one of us jumping back in. It would’ve been so easy and hilarious! But we got the feeling that Plymouth Youth Sailing probably didn’t cover that in their procedures so we thought we better not push our luck! But how awesome would that have been, would make for some great entertainment… well for us anyway. We all found this ‘coming alongside’ quite difficult because we had to try and stay in vaguely the same place but Anna and I particularly kept finding ourselves more than a metre away from the vessel but we were in the same area we started in just further away. So kind of half did it!


That was basically it for the day. I had an absolutely without doubt an amazing day; high speed, new experiences, friends, great laughs and social media failures all adds up to  one great day! Bring on next week!


Photo Reference

Percival, A. (2017) Great First Day Powerboating. [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/Curlytop96 [accessed 04 January 18].

Power Boat Vibes- 15/11/17


This is my first blog entry… exciting isn’t it! Anyway, starting this Thursday (Tomorrow) I will be doing a powerboat course that will take place at the Mount Batten Centre in Plymouth for the next four Thursdays. So, I thought I would give an insight into how I’m feeling prior to starting my powerboat course with some of my other degree peeps.


I have little experience in power boating overall but I have had little tasters prior to this. I had a go during our sailing module in my second year of university and one time before that during my work experience as a 16 year old. Both times I loved it, it was really fun! I was quite nervous both times because being in control of a vessel takes quite a bit of concentration, skill and patience to get a grip with all the controls and rules of the water. Plus I didn’t want to crash into anything! But both previous times I have done power boating, it has gone well… no one died or sustained serious injury so overall it was quite successful! Though both of these experiences were short and sweet, the fact they both went well fills me with more confidence for power boating tomorrow.


If I’m honest, I’m really excited and glad to be doing something quite active. As I am in my third and final year of University, there is little practical elements involved in my degree in comparison to the two previous years. To get back to practical stuff is going to be super fun and oddly quite relaxing. Being a third year, there is an inherent fear of… wait for it… THE DISSERTATION! Hopefully, having something to get me moving and using my mind in a different way will be great and help get the creative and productive juices flowing! Absolutely buzzing!


Wish me luck and I’ll be sure to fill you in soon about how my first session went.

Hello world!


Hi everyone! Welcome to my brand new blog!

My name is Katie Hook and I am a third year on the BA Honours Outdoor Adventure Education degree at Plymouth Marjon University. I’ve never done a blog before so I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing but I’m going to give it a crack! Hopefully, within this blog I will share with you some of my outdoor, adventurous and educational experiences I have encountered during my time at university; through diary entires (blog posts), pictures and maybe a video if you’re lucky.

Hope you enjoy!

By September 29, 2017.  1 Comment on Hello world!  Uncategorized