Docking (or Undocking!)
I was over at Salmon Bay Marine Center in Seattle yesterday morning meeting a friend. We sat and watching the most amazing "get underway" display I have seen in a while.
Two couples came down the dock to their boat, the owner and his wife and another couple, they are all in their early to mid-sixties. The boat was a 4788 Bayliner. The owner proceeded onboard and started the engines. Then he gets all four people on the dock and begisn explaining to the other couple their process for leaving, going through the locks and giving directions. This took about 20 minutes with the boat sitting there idling and all four on the dock. This dock is about 75' long, no nearby boats, and it opens directly into the Ship Channel. The boat was tied off with a bow line, a stern line, and two breast lines, no springs.
So, the "Captain" stations his friend at the bowline, his wife at the stern line and then he unties both breast lines and tosses them on the boat. He tells the woman to go ahead and get onboard. Since this is a floating dock, the only way on is to step over the bullrail onto the swim platform. The lady gets on. The "Captain" tells his friend to let go the bowline and toss it onboard. He then says "We have to walk it down the dock and then run to the stern and hop on.
The woman them asks "Shouldn't the Captain be onboard?" She got a withering look and a "We know how to do this". So the Captain and his friend grab the boat's railing and the wife has the stern line and they start pulling the boat 25' towards the end of the dock. At this point, with the bowline gone, the Captain tells his friend to hop on while he is still on the dock trying to hold the boat to the dock by the railing. Naturally, the bow starts drifting away from the dock. the "Captain" realizes he can't hold by a railing, tells his wife to hang on to the stern line, and he does a flying leap off the bullrail to the swim platform.
He runs up to the helm, and the first thing he does is hit the bow thruster to push the bow back to the dock. Surprise! The stern begins to move away as the bow moves back in! He tells his wife to pull the stern line. So, here is a 60 something woman standing on the dock trying to pull a maybe 30 ton boat back to the dock. They finally get the stern close tot he dock and the "Captain" yells at his wife to do her own flying leap from the bullrail. Fortunately, she made it to the swim platform!
It was really comical watching, but the potential for some serious injury, not to mention a drifting 48' boat, was kind of scary.