Open Master Class V licence, MED 2 certificate, PADI rescue dive certificate, inshore skipper’s licence, registered briefer’s licence, Marine Radio and Senior First Aid certificates.
Being on the water at sunset to see the sky undergo a magnificent transformation. Depending on where you are, the sun sets either over the islands or the mainland, and it’s always a treat.
It’s briefer Mike Dicker’s job to make sure charterers have the confidence and knowledge to skipper-themselves around the Whitsundays on an unforgettable holiday.
Mike is one of four briefers who take charterers through their paces before they set sail. Each session involves a one-hour area briefing, a one-hour boat briefing and a one-hour sailing brief.
Mike grew up around boats and thanks to his father, a British Royal Marine, was taught to splice ropes and tie knots when he was young.
“I love meeting people and it’s a thrill to see their faces light up when they are shown how easy it is to sail. When they realise they can handle a boat under sail and cruise to all these iconic anchorages they’ve only read about, it’s a huge buzz,” Mike says.
Mike has a background in commercial marine companies and ran his own charter boat business for eight years in Tasmania. After moving to Queensland in 2001, he worked for several marine companies until he and Nancy sold their home in 2006, bought their 38ft Crowther sailing catamaran, Stormbird, and began a live-aboard cruising and working lifestyle.
He says empathy and an easy-going rapport is the key to easing nerves and instilling confidence. “We discuss WRAY’s twice-daily radio schedules to check on charterers and how to cope with the daily requirements of operating a boat. We look at the geography, tides and currents, hazardous areas and precautions to take when anchoring and mooring. We familiarise the crew with where equipment is stowed, how systems work, emergency procedures and do a radio check.
“Once we’ve stowed all the provisions and luggage and kitted all with swim fins, we’re ready to cast off and ‘play.’ We test to ensure the crew is competent to set, lower or furl the sails, and understands sailing manoeuvres. Then they are off on the first leg of their adventure!”
When you have anchored for the night, ensure you flick the anchor light on. This will enable boats arriving after dark to steer clear of your vessel.
Briefer, Mike Dicker.