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Be A Turtle
“Turtles teach us to have patience, to think before we talk and to plan before we act.”
Minutes after reading this quote from a Native American of the Pacific Northwest, I looked up to watch a boat slide into the small marina. In preparation for docking, the captain rushed to the foredeck to give his sole crew member a hasty lesson on how she should handle the bowline. Realizing the boat was still moving, he ran back to the helm, tripped and nearly fell, then settled in for his first try at docking. From the cockpit he shouted instructions at his crew, and his poorly planned and executed attempt had to be quickly aborted. I felt so bad for the crew member and wished there was something I could do to help. If this was a first date, it may be their last.
A lady then came down the dock to inform the frantic skipper that a boat had just left and a different slip was available on the adjacent pier. By this time, nearly all of the marina’s inhabitants had taken notice of the unfolding docking debacle. It was a train wreck that you just couldn’t look away from and there was very little anyone could do to assist them. After several more high speed attempts and more yelling and running, the wayward couple called it a day and left the marina.
A lot of actions in sailing can turn into scenes like this, especially docking. In many of these instances, as in life, patience, thinking before we speak to others, and having a plan can be immensely helpful to our overall success and ultimate enjoyment. Next time you find yourself in a similar situation, remember to be a turtle.
Enjoy this week’s Cruising Compass!