Learning to Drive a Boat

I remember how excited I was to learn to drive a car.  I was only about 13 years old but I was raring to go.  My brother-in-law taught me my driving skills on a little Simka that was a standard shift.  Yep, I still may not be able to parallel park but I can drive a four-on-the-floor as we called them.  Anyway, I would practice by driving all over our yard which was huge!  I just couldn't wait until I got my license and was able to drive myself places.  My how things change over the years because I sure do like to be chauffeured around these days by Hubby.  I enjoy putting my feet up and reading or napping on long trips instead of doing the driving.  So on to the driving a boat subject now.

We were out on the boat the other day, Hubby was fishing and I was laying on the back of the boat reading.  He suddenly asked me to get behind the wheel and move him in a little closer.  OK, I could do that.  Then when we got ready to find another fishing hole he told me to get behind the wheel; I was going to learn how to be his first mate.  Wait...What?!  He said I was going to learn to drive the boat that day.  Well, let me tell you that the excitement I felt as a teenager learning to drive a car just wasn't there.  I have a fear of going overboard in a boat anyway and I sure didn't have any confidence in my own boat-driving skills.  But I got behind the wheel.

I was doing Ok just driving at a slow pace but then he said I had to go a little faster.  Again...the car thing.  But out on the open water I did not want to go fast, pleaded for him let me go at the pace I was already going.  Which, I admit, would probably take us four hours to get to the next fishing hole but I was just hoping he would say, "Move over and let me drive."  But he didn't (sigh...).

So, I picked up the speed, which I must confess, made me a little nervous because what if the water got too shallow in places and I didn't know it and hit the bottom and you got it...fell out of the boat or worse!  Whatever worse might be.  Drown in 2 feet of water, get eaten by a shark, you get the idea.  He told me, "No worries, just look at the GPS map on the screen in front of you and follow the course it has plotted."  OH MY GOSH...Now I have to read a map?!  Let's just hope nothing ever happens to Hubby while we are out on the water because I might now be able to physically drive the boat but there is no way I can read a map.  We could possibly end up in Cuba or the Bahamas.

I drove for a bit and then he pointed me toward a little island and said we would stop there (Whew!).  But I was going to have to ease us up there because the water was shallow and the bottom rocky (Great...).  I was now reading the GPS and I could tell how shallow the water was getting and I was getting a little worried.  I mean, what if I tore a hole in the bottom of the boat and we got stranded on this little island which probably had no cell service?!  We would just have to wait around for someone to save us.  Like Gilligan.

OK, I managed to pull the boat up to the island and we got off and walked around in the water for a while.  It really was so beautiful there.  But as we got ready to leave I sheepishly asked, "Do I have to drive back home?"  He said I didn't.  And so I found my comfortable little place again to sit and turned my face to the sun as my trusted captain set sail for home.

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