Emerging from the Rookie Fog

(Photo thanks to Cindy of Aquaman)

I love this image of R&R (the boat and the people) emerging from a fog bank on the Mississippi River. It was a tremendous relief to get through the dense fog and regain situational awareness.

Similarly, through new experiences, repetition, and training, Rhonda and I are starting to learn our responsibilities as captain and first mate, how to communicate better when docking and locking, and we are building the “muscle memory” that makes each travel day a bit easier and more enjoyable. Daily conversations with fellow boaters have taught us how (and how not) to tie a cleat hitch to a dock, the best knot to use for tying fenders to the rail (clove hitch), how to throw a line to a dockhand or helper (high and hard), where to stow lines when not being used (neatly coiled, near the place of use, secured to keep them away from propellers), and many more lessons. With only twelve travel days behind us we are still novices, but we feel like we are emerging from the rookie fog and are gaining experience, skills, and confidence in long-distance boating. We have a lot to learn, but we have learned a lot!