Yes. Four years cruising and I'm still an amateur.
What I Did Wrong Yesterday:
1. Left the dock
to grab a mooring
in gale force winds (30-35knots)
2. Left the dock
in a rush to catch the last water
3. Left the dock with a very inexperience mate
4. Left the dock not wearing life jackets
5. Left the dock without a boat hook
6. Left the dock with my stern line trailing in the water
7. Left the dock just before sunset
8. Left the dock and subsequently changed course abruptly without alerting my mate at the bow (who was not wearing a life jacket)
What I did right:
1. I was born
I noticed and pulled in the dock line as the launch was approaching with our boat hook; my mate managed to hang on at the bow when the boat lurched; and we managed to grab the mooring
ball on the second try.
Would I have thought to drop the anchor
if the prop got wrapped? Don’t know.
Did I have flotation handy in the event my mate went over? Not unless you call the sail locker handy.
How did that line get in the water?
I entered the narrow causeway bow first when tying her up at the long dock (with the wind
blowing hard on my beam). I had to use multiple dock lines to turn her around and re-tie her at the dock before exiting. I forgot about the stern line that was release from the dock during the process.
Why no boat hook?
End of season. Cleaning
out boat. Poor communication.
I am not bowed or deterred, but I have to do better. I cannot believe that I am still doing so many things wrong when the pressure is on, and that I am still letting the pressure effect my decision making.
I have got to relax and slow things down. As soon as we left the dock I noticed that the boat hook was missing. That started my head
spinning. Otherwise, I may have noticed the dock line. No, actually my head
started spinning when I heard we had 30 minutes before the last water taxi. That is when I started to rush and forgot the dock line while turning the boat. The raw, cold wind
and impending darkness didn't do much to calm my nerves either.
And it all seems so much worse now that I've put it in writing.