Charting a Course for O.U.P.V.

Updated: Feb 8


Charting a Course for O.U.P.V.

On February 9th of this year, I boarded S/V Solution, and sailed north through the Tacoma Narrows.

Admiral Reth helping me load Solution for the journey north :)

Departing Oro Bay, Anderson Island in the fog

Cole Point, Anderson Island in the fog

Looking north toward the Tacoma Narrows

Mt. Rainier over Chambers Bay in the fog

Tacoma Narrows Bridge off the starboard bow

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge, looking north

Heading towards the Thea Foss Waterway (Tacoma), after rounding Pt. Defiance.

USNS Cape Intrepid, with USNS Cape Island to her starboard. in Tacoma.

M/V Neil Healy heading for fuel in Foss Harbor Tacoma, WA.
The Neil Healy (former McNeil Island ferry) heading into the fuel dock in Tacoma

S/V Solution docked at Foss Harbor Marina, looking towards the Tacoma Maritime Museum.
Docked, and ready to Rock!

But, first... a Tacoma Thunderbird's game! My friend James picked me up in his car and we caught the game together. T-Birds WON! What a day, what a night! However, the mission at hand was yet to begin. Day 1 of class was bright and early in the morning, so it was time to hit the rack. Here's a couple of shots from the game...


Seattle Thunderbirds win at ShoWare Center
Starting this adventure off with a Victory Celebration!

Each day of the week, class started at 0800 and ended anywhere between 1600 and 1700. Class topics included, but were not limited to... Rules of the Road, Charting, Navigation, Tides and Tidal Currents, Characteristics of Weather Systems, and Communications, Deck Seamanship, and Emergencies at Sea... among others.


The Classroom

Provided Course Books and Credential Application

Provided Plotting Tools

Navigation Rules & Regulations Handbook
Required on Every Vessel ;) - Provided!

The class moves at a fast pace, with TONS of knowledge being packed into each day. I have to take my Captain's hat off to fellow Captains Skip & Jan Anderson for running such a top notch course and organization. Skip keeps the class engaged with his sea stories & his sense of humor. However, of immeasurable value is his extensive, and equally impressive experience aboard U.S. Navy ships, like the USS New Jersey (BB-62), USS Midway (CV-41), USS America (CV-66), USS Coral Sea (CV-43), USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), USS Sterett (DDG-104), USS Stein (DE-1065), USS Adroit (MSO-509), USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5), and my personal favorite Navy ship, the destroyer, USS Corry (DD-817). Turns out, it holds a special place with Skip as well. As He put it, "My two years aboard Corry are what confirmed my love for service afloat". All of that said, it is a great honor to have earned my credentials under a Captain as salty as Skip. It would all be irrelevant though without Jan, in more ways than one, you can see from the first time you meet them. Jan really makes "It" happen at Flagship. From registering new students and answering pre-class questions, to organizing your file, making appointments(medical, drug screen, T.W.I.C., etc), recording sea-time and submitting your completed credential package, Jan IS THE (WO)MAN! I cannot say enough :) Here is a link to their professional biographies, if you don't believe me ;)



Class lasts one full week, plus the following Monday and Tuesday for testing. If you would like to upgrade your license from an OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel) to a Master 100 Tons, you can continue for the rest of the week. What I wanted to do did not require that, nor a sailing endorsement, so I'll leave those for next winter. As it was, I really enjoyed the class, and feel so much more sure of myself and my abilities while on the water, operating my own vessel, or another. I highly recommend this course to anybody that plans to spend any significant amount of time on Puget Sound, or on any large body of water. The cost of the course is unbelievably reasonable, and the knowledge you'll gain is priceless.