1. I live about as far from the sea (and therefore from sailing
schools) as you can in Europe.
2. I wanted to spend my time at a sailing
school learning the practical, rather than theoretical aspects of sailing.
3. I have eight years of experience learning online with the Open University.
For the above three reasons I decided to spend the alpine winter taking the
RYA Day Skipper Online Theory course with Navathome.com.
There was no
comparison between this course and the online courses I have previously
done. This course offers immediate online feedback as you progress through
the course. You see exactly where you need to put in more effort. The
immediate feedback reduces the feeling of "lack of direction" that can
easily occur when you are studying alone. And when you are totally
frustrated because you are too stupid to see the wood for the trees, then
you can fire off an email begging for advice and within minutes you get a
calming and informative answer - even on Saturday afternoon or in the
I felt that the course went in to just the correct amount of
depth on each subject. I have to admit
that I occasionally "lost an hour" as I
wandered off on the Internet to read more information on a
subject. (There are some interesting helicopter rescue videos out there).
The voiceovers are useful; having someone read to me seemed to make the
information "stick" better than just reading it.
assessment follows the same format as the training so there is an immediate
feeling of familiarity. Once again you receive immediate feedback from the
system and from a tutor. On the final question I stupidly wrote 050° instead
of 005° and the system kept saying "try again". Georgina was immediately
online to suggest taking a short pause and then looking again. Good advice
that worked. Within minutes of finishing you know if you have passed or not.
I enjoyed the entire experience and will be back for
another course at the latest next winter.