The light hitting the ocean blinded me as I glared, awaiting to call out an approaching vessel. It seemed so natural to me now--repeating commands, coiling lines, etc. We had been repeating the same docking drills time after time Aaron trying to have each and every student perfect the drills. Rain, cold, sun, wind, or clouds there was no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing. We all struggled but struggled together and the more days we were on the water the more we became comfortable with one another and our team.
I was given the opportunity to steer for the first time this year as we practiced a docking term called whipping. I grabbed the wheel and felt the chill of the metal on my hand as I placed it on the throttle. "Stand by lines!" I yelled to the crew watching them repeat the command and run to their positions. It took me a couple of tries to get a hang of the throttle and steering at the same time; it was like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. I called for the bow spring to be thrown and as always it was followed by a respected command. The bow spring allowed for me to angle the boat towards stern and the as it went towards that direction I called for the stern line to be thrown keeping the boat in place as I called for the last two lines, stern spring and bow line to be thrown completing our docking in the pier. Once we had completed docking we all gathered together and, as a group, gave each other constructive criticism, switched roles and began to do the same drill yet again.