The most nerve-wrecking thing we did during our first weekend on the boat was to fill up the water tanks of the boat. To do that, we had to leave the berth – knowing that we would have to Med moor her back into her slip..
But the conditions were very calm and it was a perfect and quiet sunday morning to practice docking as well. So off we went, I steered the boat first. I didn’t manage to get far because of a big sand dredging hose on the bottom of the entrance of the marina. We were very slow and very careful, chose the right path between the buoys but our keel was too deep to pass the hose.. We bumped into it. Shocked and sweating I turned the boat around to dock near the marina exit and recapitulate what had just happened. The passenger dock also had water so we could fill up the tanks and watch how other boats handled this situation.
A similar boat to ours also tried to exit the marina, and bumped into the hose exactly like we did. Except for the fact that they were much faster, it almost catapulted the captain overboard. I guess there was no way for bigger boats to exit the marina that day..
We continued practicing in the marina to get a feel for the folding propellor and the motor. We did a lot of exercises we learned during our sailing course in autumn, driving forward, backwards, docking and speed control. When we were confident enough we made a plan to dock the boat into her slip.
- Plan A: Thomas steers the boat in reverse towards the slip, I do the line handling. First the stern, then the bow. Celebrate.
- Plan B: Try plan A again, maybe swap places.
- Plan C: Cry, get the boat as close as possible to the slip, swim to shore with a line and winch her into her slip.
Against all our expectations, Plan A worked and we docked her almost without breaking a sweat! So we celebrated.