Thursday, November 21, 2013

how about that!

Years ago, a brother-in-law gave me an old set of golf clubs. Like anyone who wants to learn a new skill, I got a video.  This particular one was pointers from Jack Nicklaus.  For each type of golf shot, Jack would explain the basic elements of the correct technique, step up to a ball and hit an absolutely perfect shot.  Then, invariably, he would turn back to face the camera, give a big grin and say "How about that!" as if it was a surprise every time.  Over the years since watching that video, all of Jack's pointers have been long forgotten but the "How about that!" has become a catch phrase that Kathy and I share whenever we have successfully passed a skill test.

With the exception of bad weather, sailing is generally not that hard.  The basic objective of keeping the boat moving more or less in the desired direction is manageable and usually not very thrilling.  The exception occurs when maneuvering around hard objects such as docks and other boats.  In that case, "more or less in the desired direction" is not good enough and it can definitely become thrilling.  

Last weekend, we participated in the Bay Yacht Club cruise to Red Fish Willy's (really), which is a little over 20 miles from the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina.  The sail over was beautiful with a steady, gentle wind and smooth water.  The challenge for us lay at the destination where we knew we would be going into a new and unfamiliar marina.  Kathy and I have assigned roles for arrivals.  Kathy drives and I jump to the dock, handle the lines and secure the boat. Kathy provides the finesse and I do the physical part.

We called to check-in when we were still a couple of miles out. The marina manager gave vague instructions on where we were to dock and said to watch for a dock hand in a red shirt who would give directions and help with our lines.  As we pulled into the marina, we could see that 15-20 of our club members had already arrived and were lined up along the dock to observe our arrival.  Kathy said "Great!"  As we got closer, we could see three empty slips that could be ours.  We aimed for the 1st one and then saw the red shirt'd guy at the third slip. OK, change of plans.  But, the red shirt is moving. Now, he indicates the second slip.  OK, another change of plans and Kathy is adjusting marvelously.  As she began her turn into the slip, being careful to give clearance to a catamaran tied on the opposite side, the red shirt'd guy observes "You are getting pretty close to that boat!" loudly enough for everyone to hear.  Kathy remained unflustered, turned into the slip and nestled against the dock.  With all of the observers and available hands, all I had to do was pass over the lines and we were tied up, "home and dry."

I looked back at Kathy and said "How about that!" and she replied "Yes, how about that!"  We both had big Nicklaus grins on our faces.


Karen said...

Again, another talent Kathy has! You guys continue to amaze me.

Alice said...

I'm so impressed I'm saying, "How about THAT"!! Seriously. I really liked your distinction about when 'more or less' is, or isn't, good enough!