There are some mornings it isn’t cut and dry as to whether or not it’s a good day to head out. The wind is blowing, but how much wind is too much?
We look at numerous weather and marine apps on our phones and the iPad. We look at each other and ask “What do you think?” Jim is the captain and it’s most important that he feel comfortable taking the boat out on the water. I am learning but he knows best how the boat handles in various conditions.
There are times we have hesitated going out thinking it may be a bit of a rough ride, but it’s safe enough to go out. Then we are surprised and enjoy a beautiful day on the water. Other days we make the decision to head out continuing our journey and we have a rough ride, being tossed in the waves and splashed as waves break up over the bow of the boat.
How strong is the wind? How high are the waves, and also how much time between wave crests? How deep is the water where we’ll be traveling? What is the visability? These are just some of the questions we ask before heading out.
Jim is good about chatting with other mariners to find out what it’s like in the area where we are boating. He knows his level of comfort and isn’t afraid to talk with others who have boating skills.
I find that this experience has pulled us together differently than any other time in our relationship. Looking back to when we took our first boat, Perfect Timing, out. You’d hear us snapping at each other. The captain would holler commands at the first mate. Both inexperienced and tense as we learned to handle the 30-foot Sea Ray. Now we work together to discuss leaving the dock and our approach when coming in. What lines should be taken off when, what side are the fenders to be placed, etc.
We have gained so much knowledge in the past 4 years of boating together. Yet the learning will never end. We continually make preparations for the challenges that may arise. We wear PFDs (personal floatation device) all the time. Reading, taking seamanship courses, talking with experienced boaters all expand our knowledge and make for a more enjoyable journey.
As for today the discussion about casting off began at 7:30 a.m. and at 10:30 we made the decision to set sail! Jim is in the engine room doing a pre-check as I prepare the cabin and pack our snack bag for departure. Blue knows the routine and is thinking “Oh no, here we go again!’
Wish us luck!