I took Rinpoche out for a spin around Elliot Bay this afternoon by myself. I wanted to get the boat out and put a couple of hours on the engine and check out the heating system. Everything worked just fine. It was chilly, but the sun was shining, and all-in-all it wasn’t a bad outing.
Until I docked the boat. I’ve been getting pretty good at backing the boat into the slip, having mastered the intricacies of a single screw, big rudder, wind speed and direction, prop walk, and no bow thruster. I backed the boat in perfectly, not coming close to hitting anything. When I was 3/4 of the way in, I put it in forward gear to stop the boat, and then stepped off to hook up the spring line on the dock to the middle cleat on the boat. I was wondering why I was having a hard time moving the boat over by pulling on the lifelines. The wind was from the north and would tend to blow me away from the finger dock, but it was less than 10 knots and shouldn’t really have been a factor. The boat was getting further and further away from me. Then I realized the boat was still in forward gear and was trying to leave the slip without me! I took a giant step to get back on to the boat and put it in neutral. I backed back into the slip, put it in neutral this time, and tied the boat up with no further problems.
Whew!! Then I had a beer and relaxed at the dock. The stupid things I do at times never cease to amaze me. This could have been a very embarrassing and probably expensive exercise.