Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Pleasure

It was a pleasure to be at the helm today.

Usually, Al pilots the boat.  He is just so darn good at it.  And I am frankly afraid to do damage.

BUT I want to be comfortable doing more.  Today was a perfect day to try.  We wanted to move on down to Everett, but Al had a work call scheduled for the afternoon.  I offered to pilot during the call.

However, the call was cancelled.  I told Al I had been looking forward to being in charge for a couple of hours, and he said 'Go for it!'  He brought up all the instruments and reviewed procedures for starting the engine.  Then he went up front to release us from the mooring buoy on Hope Island, and away we went!

There was a bit of excitement when, driving into the sun, I drove directly over a crab pot.  Al went to the back to check it out, and there was a buoy behind the boat, with a line leading to below our boat.  Dang!  Neither of us was quite sure what to do, but when Al went back again with the pole, we had already freed.

That should have shaken my confidence, but the day was just too beautiful.  The further I went, the more I wanted to take us the whole way!  The water became glossy.  There was very little traffic.  In five hours, we saw one other pleasure boat, a log tow, and as we approached Everett there was a Coast Guard ship and one small boat heading in.

I had thought we would arrive around 5 PM, but the sun went down as we passed Gedney Island (locally called Hat Island).  I brought us in to the harbor, but as we approached the dock at Jetty Island, it was just TOO dark.  My cataracts have been bothering my night vision for some time now, and I just did not feel comfortable.

Al agreed that it was very difficult, even for him, which made me feel a little better.

I am disappointed.  It would have been a perfect time to practice docking!  Somewhere we have been a few times, so it is familiar.  It was low tide, so current would be minimized.  And there would likely NOT be many others around to observe.

Other than that, it was a great day!

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