This week, we took No Tan Lines (“Tanny”) out to a larger dock so I could learn how to dock her. Our captain (and the Managing Editor of WritersWeekly), Brian Whiddon, was patient as he watched me pull into the dock, back up, turn around, pull back in – over and over and over. I only skimmed two pilings in my many attempts and I think I did a pretty good job. He didn’t have to yell (too much) and he only gained a few extra gray hairs from the ordeal.
Brian offered to pull Tanny into our slip but I wanted to see if I could do it. It’s a narrower shot. The practice dock was wide open into the basin while our dock has another dock in front of it. On the first attempt, I overshot the slip and had to abort. I put it into reverse, motored away, turned around, and came back again. Brian told me when I should start turning. Neighbors were standing by with lines to “catch” us. I pulled in slow and straight and it was picture perfect! I think the men on the dock were impressed. Ha ha. I’ve seen seasoned captains do far worse (slamming into pilings, ending up sideways in slips, etc.) so I am feeling confident in my abilities. Of course, I had a good teacher. And, I owned three boats when I lived in Texas. They weren’t anywhere near 52 feet long but I do have experience docking power and sailboats.
When we were out, we noticed the engine was making a funny sound. When we got back, Brian looked, and discovered we’d thrown a bearing from the drive shaft. We now need to have the boat hauled out. Problem is…they can’t take us until March 5th so we might miss our planned trip on Tanny to the island in Tampa Bay, which was scheduled for March 8th.
Thankfully, Brian offered to take us there in his boat, and we’ll all camp on the island in tents. The boys are super excited about that. But, me? The last time I camped in a tent, it was during a tropical storm moving over the Texas Hill Country and I got soaked and was shivering all night. I’m willing to give camping another try. Hmm…I wonder if the mosquitoes will be out by then… It’ll definitely be an adventure!!!
Angela Hoy lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!