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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Concluding thoughts

Boating – For you boat people out there… a few tips… the way the lock gig works is that you dock before you get to the lock, let one person off the boat and they walk to the lock so that they can work your lines while you are in the lock since there is no help from the lock keeper.  If you are pulling hard on the lines you are doing something wrong.  This should not be very hard, but you will see people all around you tugging on the lines as if their life depends on it.  Don’t do it.  You will just play see-saw between the bow and stern lines.  Easy as it goes.  The one thing we had not predicted, because it simply hadn’t dawned on us before we left, was that someone would have to drive the boat the whole time.  (For you non-boaters this probably sounds weird.  But the reality of navigating out on open waters on the ocean is that you can set the auto pilot and as long as there is no close traffic, you can leave the helm to get a cup of coffee and return 2 minutes later and be fine.)  Driving on the canal is like driving the whole trip through a marina where the edges are close enough that you have to constantly correct, plus you have lots of traffic all the time.  But it’s not too stressful since everyone is limited to 4.4 kts.  The other shocking thing was that when we turned the boat in, we are accustomed to having the rental company send a diver down to see if the bottom of the boat has been damaged (again for you non-boat people – this is standard procedure as no one owns up to hitting a reef).  But that is not what they were worried about at all.  The biggest checkout item was a validation that we hadn’t blown out any of the fenders.  Wow – you gotta be really moving when you slam into something to blow out a bumper!  But apparently it is common because they let zero experienced people do this. 

Boating – For you non-boat people out there… this would be the ideal way to get some experience.  The highest risk you have is blowing out a $20 bumper.  You can’t get lost.  No one is going to get seriously hurt.  So if you have any desire to learn, this is definitely a great way to do it.

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