To all in the Southern Cross Yachting community,
It has been sometime since my last newsletter – when I last wrote, the world was a very different place to what it is now. As I look out the office window across the marina, as I have done nearly every day for the past 18 years, everything looks the same – yet nothing is. ‘Extraordinary’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘astounding’ are constantly heard expressions these days, but none of these words come close to describing what we are all witnessing.
Exactly one month ago today the family and I were visiting our son in northern Italy (I can see you all just moved back from your screens at that revelation). We strolled down the beautiful streets, walked through the markets and immersed ourselves in the life of the wonderful people of Italy. The Italians have such a passion for life – eating, drinking (and yes smoking) and doing what they do best – socialising and enjoying each other’s company in cafes, bar restaurants and public spaces throughout their magnificent country. Family, community, and concern and respect for others (ok except maybe for the lung busters) are the foundation of their lives.
There was no indication of what was to come. Thirty days later their society and way of life has turned upside down. But as we have seen their spirit has not been broken. Their health workers, despite being overwhelmed, continue to fight on in near impossible circumstances. The people continue to support each other, whether it is impromptu balcony concerts or the messages of hope that they all pin to their front doors, they share the common message that ‘we will get through this’.
We have much to learn from their experiences as Australia’s own war against the virus gets underway. We must support each other in any way we can – together but apart. We must do all that we are asked to stop the spread and we must keep our spirits up. We too will survive, and will come out the other side of this and life will return to normal.
Obviously we have postponed all practical training until it is safe to resume doing so. Social distancing on a 40 foot sailing boat is hard enough, as most married couples who sail together would know, but impossible for a crew of 6!
So how does a sailing instructor ‘work from home’? How does a keen student of sailing continue to learn while stuck in their living room? There is always the sailing vloggers on YouTube – but hanging around warm places in a swimsuit and asking others to pay for you to do it has limited educational opportunities, and to be honest – some of these ‘experts’ I wouldn’t get on a ferry with.
So instead of watching season 5 of Peaky Blinders on Netflix for the sixth time, you can use your time at home to complete your RYA Theory courses online. Essential Navigation and Seamanship, Day Skipper shorebased, Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster shorebased and Yachtmaster Ocean theory can all be done at home – giving you an ideal opportunity to shut the door and tell the family you are working.
Student packs containing practice navigation charts, almanacs, task book and course notes are sent out to you by mail and then you complete each module online at your own pace.
When we are clear to start practical courses again you will be brimming with knowledge ready to put it all into practice.
Drop us an email and we can discuss which course is right for you, and all the support you need during the course is only an email or phone call away.
No one knows how long it will be until we can recommence practical training but I can assure you Southern Cross Yachting will be up and running as soon as we can. In the meantime I will endeavour to keep you all informed (and hopefully entertained) with regular newsletters and Facebook posts on our page.
Until next time stay well, stay away from each other and keep your spirits up – and remember we will get through this and life will return to normal.
On behalf of all at Southern Cross Yachting we can’t wait to have you back onboard soon.
Best wishes
Mike Job.

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