Even after a day spent docking & maneuvering. Hurrah! It was an incredibly productive day, thanks to the Captain. We started reviewing basics, including some throw ring practice and checking safety equipment. We spent some very, very useful time in the engine room, going over typical engine issues & common emergencies (and how not to make them worse), how to change an impeller, how to turn the shaft to disentangle a fouled line in a prop, etc. I took several valuable pictures to put in the ship’s manual and was only slightly dismayed when there was water coming in as we pulled the plate off of the impeller (yes, the thru-hull valve was closed; it was fine. I’m just a weenie when it comes to water IN my boat).
And then it was on to the real lessons of the day, getting KJ off the dock and then back on without destroying other boats, the docks, or my girl in the process.
The Snohomish River is typically a very quiet river in November, with little in the way of boat traffic. The waters are hardly ever disturbed by anything beyond a cormorant or harbor seal. So wouldn’t ya know it…as soon as I had her out mid-channel and was practicing walking her to starboard and port, what should greet my eyes?
A freakin’ Armada of C-Dories headed upriver directly at me. WTF? Not one to panic (as it rarely does any good), I asked Brock, “Well, NOW what??” His succinct reply? “Tonnage. We win.”
Good enough for me! All I had to do was hold her steady in place as they bustled around us, getting as close as they wanted for a good look at KJ. And get close they did. I felt like a Great Dane trying not to step on Chihuahuas. Don’t…make…any…sudden…moves…
With the Capn’s immense supply of patience and calm, we practiced spinning her about in place, balancing the throttle against the current, and ultimately of course putting her against the dock a couple of times. I have an almost primal urge to keep her at the dock every time she’s safely there, so when we’d get our spring line secured and he’d say “OK, let’s take her out again” there was a part of my psyche that was leaving fingernail marks in the side of the dock (NOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOO, we juuuuust got her back safe agaaaaaaiiiiiiiiinnnnnn.!)
So all in all, a valuable day. Danny learned how to throw dock lines with some accuracy and dear Kris got down and dirty for the cause as she threw lines, took pictures, and lassoed the end of the dock with the spring line. They were both quite helpful as deckhands and I got a glimmer of how nice the job is up on top where one simply tosses out the commands to secure that line. Thank you, Brock! You’re the best!