Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Driving a boat is easy but docking it....

Hello all, Isaiah again, stationed at Virgin Island National Park.

My third week here was spent with Ranger Ludric Smith and we basically got into the same things we did the week prior. We were out on the sea a lot and we checked permits for boats allowing them to be there, made sure there was no anchoring, no boats in the boat exclusion zone, and other things related. Everything was pretty standard that week except with one thing. I started my training to operate a boat under Ranger Smith.

Boat patrol in progress ...

Those MOCC classes I took prior to my summer internship really helped a lot. But at the same time, it was just a class and seeing everything I was taught in person kind of brought it full circle. I had to revisit some of the things I learned to remind myself on boat operation and laws of ocean traffic. All of what I learned was coming back to me and it was slightly overwhelming. But Ranger Smith is a very good teacher and explain everything to me and even gave me a few tips on operating boat. He let me know some common mistakes that people do when operating a boat so I don't make them myself.

Just salt water...for miles..and miles...
Operating a boat. Easy? Yes and no. It's yes because all a boat has is forward, neutral, and reverse for gears. The exact same concept as driving a car except you have to take into the account waves and wake water when you drive a boat. Wake water is the ripple water left behind by a boat's propellers that can make for a bumpy ride if not navigated correctly. It's depicted in my first picture. In regards to forward, neutral, reverse, and steering the boat. easy peasy. The hard part is docking a boat. I've learned that wind can play a huge factor in the difficulty of docking a vessel. Ranger Smith can do it with his eyes closed driving the boat with his legs. I can't. It's hard. Getting a large object like that into a specific spot when water is never being still is difficult. You also have to move swiftly once you get the boat into that spot and tie the lines or else it will float away. I struggled with it at first. But entering into my fifth week at the park, I'd have to say it significantly easier than it was before. I still mess up and have to circle around to do it again but, I have gotten a lot better.
Peace Hill
During my week 4, I was with Ranger David Horner, That blog is coming soon. Stay tuned. (rhymed)

No comments:

Post a Comment