Meet and greet
On arrival at Queensway Quay marina at around 18:00 on the evening before the yacht sets sail, you will be introduced to the yacht, your home for the duration of the course. You will be given a basic safety brief and dinner will be ashore if required. Accommodation is included on board. This is a great time to get get to know your Instructor and other crew members and to get immersed in the whole nautical theme! But don't worry, you won't be expected to demonstrate a whole repertoire of sailing knowledge on the first evening, it is just a relaxing, easy way to start the course.
Today you will start after breakfast on board at around 09: 30 with a full safety brief usually delivered by a budding Day Skipper under the watchful eye of your instructor.
The day will start with a few hours out in Gibraltar Bay consolidating your knowledge and blowing away the cobwebs, then moving on to position fixing and procedural exercises such as reefing and MOB. Skippering a yacht, large or small is about crew and safety management so from the outset this week each and every student will be taking command of the yacht during numerous exercises and tasks.
After Lunch, more sailing skills and drills to include reefing, tacking, gybing and heaving to. If there is time you will explore the MOB procedure. Finish is usually around 1800 on day one.
The evening is usually spent back in our home marina where you will have some free time to explore the old city of Gibraltar, soak up the marina lifestyle and enjoy a meal ashore.
Day 2 - 4
Over these three days you will be planning and executing passages to different destinations in Morocco and Spain while working steadily through the RYA Day Skipper syllabus. Each student will plan and execute at least one passage from one place to another and show their skills in dealing with an emergency such as a MOB. While this might all sound daunting, don't worry! We believe that you learn best when having fun so we have a light hearted approach which will keep you smiling while soaking up the knowledge. Each day your Instructor will debrief and advise on areas to work on to help you progress effectively. Whenever possible your Instructor will schedule some downtime to chill out and explore the local area. It is essential for sound learning to get some 'head space' to allow knowledge to sink in
The last day! Today you will be heading back to Queensway Quay, Gibraltar. By now you will be at, or close, to Day Skipper level and brimming with confidence. Despite it being the last day it is invariably super busy as there are always some last minute exercises and 'refinements' to do en route. Once back in Queensway Quay the Skipper of the moment will ensure the yacht is secure, and then after a clean down and final debrief your Instructor will sign log books and award certificates. The course will be finished by 16:30.
During the course you will cover at least 200 nautical miles, weather permitting, and if possible 8 night hours as per the RYA Syllabus. Sometimes during the Summer months night sailing is not easily possible but at most other times we cover it. This sets you firmly on your way along the RYA training path.
Jolly Parrot supply breakfast, lunches and snacks for the entire practical course along with two evening meals on each sea phase which can be scheduled in as your Instructor sees fit, although many students prefer to step ashore and sample the local fare whenever possible.