Second Period: Docking Geometry
Day began to school us on how to disembark, or leave the dock. “One of you is the captain,” he said, “and the other does what the captain says. I offered to be captain.
“First rule is that the captain delegates tasks to each person — it may be the task of doing nothing at all. Otherwise chaos sets in. Never assume the crew knows what to do.”
The wind was blowing 15 to 20 miles an hour. I started paying more attention. Then it gusted to 30 mph.
Maybe I was hasty in volunteering.
I was amazed at how seamlessly leaving the dock was with only one person telling everyone else what to do. I put the Grand Banks in gear.
“Here we are,” said Day, directing me to idle down in front of some empty docks. Emily and I breathed sighs of relief. No performance anxiety from onlookers and no boats to break, save our own. Emily went first. Day coached.
“Take it in close,” he said.
“Look at the imaginary line running down the middle of the slip.
“Neutral. Turn the wheel upwind.
“Reverse. Idle speed.
“Forward a moment to adjust.
“Reverse aaaaannnd...neutral. You’re home!”
We each did it three times, improving each time.
Our confidence soared. We gloated all the way back to the marina, where, to our dismay, one of us had to put Precious back into the narrow slip. This time with boats on both sides, and an audience. Day coached me into position. I’d almost nailed it when a bit of overconfidence took over. Another good lesson: Do-overs are OK. I took her around again.
It wasn’t pretty, but we got her in.
Day left us with encouraging words and 14 pages of homework.