The Fourth of July and Motoring Practice, July 5, 2012

After a whirlwind week up in the State of Washington for our daughter Andrea’s wedding and to visit our sons Dan, and Drew with his wife Carmein, we flew back to Sacramento on the afternoon of the 4th of July and drove directly to Sausalito.  We were able to hop onto the boat and get ourselves anchored out in Richardson Bay for a perfect view of the fireworks being shot off a barge just a short distance away from us.  It was a clear, cool night.  We BBQ’d shrimp and sat on the bow, wrapped in blankets, sipping wine, eating our shrimp and saying “uuuu” and “ahhhh” as the sky was bombarded with color and light.

Once the fireworks ended, we waited for the crowded anchorage to clear out before we motored back to our slip – there were some crazies out there with no navigation lights, or anchors that weren’t set right so they drifted, and we didn’t want to increase our chances of getting entangled with them.

The next morning, we drove over to Alameda and spent the entire day just getting to know the boat that I was going to test for “skipper” on.  The first few hours, Rick and I did a thorough “pre-cruise” that would normally be done be 4-5 people as part of a Coastal Passage Making class.  We found every little nick, every inoperative component of the boat and every thru-hull, we carefully examined the engine and I did it twice; if I was going to skipper this boat I wanted to be thoroughly aware of where everything was and how it worked.

Then, we spent, I’d say, another seven hours taking turns motoring the boat around the marina.  Some of the things you need to be “checked off” on as skipper include docking the boat by backing in,  turning into the wind and away from the wind in tight quarters, and backing into a side dock.  All day long, we did those maneuvers over and over again.  By the time the day was finished, we both felt a lot more comfortable with those maneuvers, and felt reasonably sure we had a decent chance of being successful at our first try in performing each required manuever.

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