Boat Training

Well, I have been out getting some boating experience before my trip for certification classes while in Hawaii. A few weeks ago we went out and it was a nice day. I practiced some docking and running the boat in the Strait and just getting the feel of this new experience.

Today we went out again, and it was a bit different. The day started out like this at John Wayne Marina:

Morning at John Wayne Marina - Sequim, WA
Morning at John Wayne Marina – Sequim, WA

We got the boat ready to go and headed out into the bay and then into the Strait. There we found fog, and it was dense fog but still not too bad. We motored onward toward Protection Island to check on some research going on with hatchlings.

I really enjoy getting to be involved with these research projects. It is very interesting to witness the science firsthand and witness nature in action close-up and personal. I am also learning so much about so many new and different things. While moving between locations, I was able to snap a few pictures today:

View east from Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge - Sequim, WA
View east from Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge – Sequim, WA
View of the Olympics from Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge - Sequim, WA
View of the Olympics from Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge – Sequim, WA
View of the Olympics from Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge - Sequim, WA
View of the Olympics from Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge – Sequim, WA

As you can see, there was a lot of fog, and it actually had dissipated somewhat since we came out. It then came back… with a vengeance.

The fog was quite thick on the return trip. I had to navigate by instruments (and with guidance from the person training me) nearly the whole trip back. Most people know what it is like to drive a car in thick fog – you cannot see anything and it makes you tense. In a boat it is worse since there is that little detail called “water” thrown into the mix. In a car you can pull over and stop. Being on the water adds quite the sense of urgency. You really have to maintain calm to get through it, and you have to think everything through carefully and deliberately.

It was a slow, tedious journey back to the marina. We made it back fine after a few course adjustments to overcome the current and other boats in the same predicament. It was a valuable learning experience for me and will be useful in the future. It made me think of the captains of big ships and the hard work that must be done to sail a ship in conditions worse than what we went through today.

I am really looking forward to going out again to learn more and get ready for my certification in Hawaii!

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