For the new captain of a boat, the very first time off the dock can be nothing short of gut wrenching. Forget anything you may know, or think you know, about cars or trucks. Pulling away from the dock in anything over 10,000 pounds can cause anyone sober to hesitate a moment. Your car is about 4000 pounds. Odyssey is 26,000 and beautiful and no I don’t want to scratch her let alone sink her or dam-it-where-did-that-yacht-come-from? Try to imagine that, while driving your car, the wind, even a light wind, can push you off the road. Not only that, but the road moves under you, one direction in the morning and then another that afternoon. This alone can confuse the best of us. But now for the best part….your car has no brakes. None. The only way you can stop is to put the car in reverse, gun the engine and hope you guessed the distance correctly. And if it all goes wrong you can’t pull over, turn off the engine and step out for a breather. Until you and the car are safe and secure you stick together no mater how bad it gets. Well, unless the car sinks, and then you have to jump off and swim. That’s another story.
So when I tell you we left the dock yesterday to practice driving our new boat I hope you can appreciate the significance of the event and why I have written about it.
We didn’t sink, I only hit two other boats (very gently) and Sarah and I got a fair amount of practice moving, stopping and docking our new home. In fact, there is a special dock out all by itself for boaters to pump out their holding tank. Confident there was some mystic reward for emptying sewage tanks from a boat, we pulled up like experts, tied to the dock, and while wearing life vests added our little humor to the grand scheme of the universe. I’ll spare you the details.
We made it back to our slip, without damage, Sarah now a pro at snagging a cleat for the spring line. There were just two things my happy mind could think of at that moment, the bathroom and then a cocktail in hand while we watched the sunset. Not a bad day to write about.