I am red deficient. Many years ago, during my scuba
instructor days, I asked the Coast Guard whether I could take the test prior to going through a training course, because I didn't want to go through the expense if I wasn't going to pass the color test. They responded that I could, but only after I'd logged the necessary sea time. So I went through the laborious process of proving that I had enough sea time to qualify for a captain's license, having logged several thousand boat dives, at which time I was allowed to take the Farnsworth Lantern Test at the Coast Guard Station in Alameda, California
. This test shows two lights, one red, one green, and you're supposed to tell the examiner the pattern being shown. I flunked the test so miserably that at the end the examiner told me, "You'd have done better just flipping a coin and guessing."
I petitioned the commander of the Coast Guard station in Monterey to see whether I could get a license with a day-use restriction, since all I wanted to do was take scuba
students out on my dive boat. I told them I'd also agree to a restriction not to take passengers more than three miles offshore
, if it made them feel safer. The commander replied, formally, that they'd only be willing to make such an exception if I'd served in the Navy
or Coast Guard, which was a bit ludicrous since my colorblindness, being a more serious type, precludes me from serving in the Navy
, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. (For that matter I'm not able to get my ticket punched as an Able Bodied Seaman in the United States Merchant Marine
When I took a cross-over course to go from PADI to NAUI instructor certification
, a woman in my class who was colorblind had her 6-pack license. I asked her how she got it, and she replied, "I just told the examiner that if I saw a lot of lights offshore
, I'd go the other way regardless of what color they were." She was blond and gorgeous, and he passed her.