I will never, ever forget a parking job in one of the teeming marinas of the BVI, Hodges Creek or one of those. I was working for one of those sailing camps down there, sailing a 50′ Beneteau POS with 12 spoiled brats as my crew. I’d been sailing for two years and somehow had been assigned to be a captain, despite being hired as a mate (flattering and formative, gotta give them some credit on that choice). The big thing was that you had to have a kid on the wheel at all times, even when you were docking. It was OK for the captain to control the throttle though.
Our program director sent me in first, because she had a high opinion of my docking skills and wanted me to take the deepest, tightest spot, so the pressure was on. It was windy, as per usual, and the harbor was not as sheltered as you might like I got us all the way in, started reversing and got the kid to start turning. I quickly realized I wasn’t gonna make my turn — too much breeze blowing the bow around and not nearly enough space. Two options: bumper boats or an ignominious retreat: probably bumper boats anyway but with plenty of kids to hold fenders. Ignominious retreats were very much the norm at this sailing camp.
In a flash of decision, and with the wanton steel balls of a 19-yr-old who’s never really crunched boats before, I gunned the throttle in reverse, accelerating my rate of turn. The kid on the wheel’s eyes just about popped out of her head, but I’d chosen my skipper-of-the-day wisely, and she remained cool as cucumber. We cleared the big ol’ bruce on the starboard quarter by a good three inches and parked that fat sack of shit with nary a fender. I hopped off lightly as though this was something I do every day, not something I could never do again.
– anonymous anarchist