On our way home from the boatyard, Tim had the controls while I helped with navigation. Once we made it up to the flybridge I did do a little steering to avoid lobster buoys, but it was quite minimal. Labor Day, it was my turn to take the controls. First off, we figured out how to have the full controls of the upper deck. Apparently, the safety lock on the thruster was set so wayward children couldn’t take control of the boat from the upper deck. Releasing the lock, we were then on our way, to nowhere in particular.
I was partial to areas where there were no other boats. It was a beautiful day, and a holiday, so there were plenty of boats out on Casco Bay. After getting a feel for the controls, including the thrusters, kinda, we headed towards Portland Harbor. I was originally thinking I wanted to avoid boating traffic so going to Portland Harbor would not have been the way to go. Instead, it was a good challenge.
Even though we were in familiar water and our draft is only two feet we still were conscious of which side of the buoys to travel on. I need to get a firm handle on what the buoys mean – red, right, returning is the phrase that sticks in my head. Knowing which way is returning is the trick. With enough practice, I’ll get it. For now, just handling the boat was the top priority.
There were quite a few boats on the water, and even more, as we got into Portland. Not only pleasure boats but also a cruise ship was docked, the CAT (a very large, high-speed ferry that goes between Nova Scotia and Portland) was pulling into its dock, a tour boat and a party boat were all nearby. Instead of making me more nervous I found it somewhat reassuring that I could practice in a busy harbor that I was familiar with.