Building Skills

The Women Only week long class I took with 3 other women and a female Captain,  in approximately 2006 in preparation for this lifestyle was very helpful.  I learned to physically operate a trawler, docking it, turning it including check oil and fuel in the engine room. All of that was easy in hindsight. After all, that was NOT my boat I was aiming at a dock!!! I give full credit to YANG -- that calm Type C handles this boat well, docking even backing in! Well, most of the time. With an eye to saving our boat and certainly for certain saving the marriage, YANG purchased radio headsets for each of us so we could communicate verbally during docking and other maneuvers whereby we cannot hear and/or not see each other. However, folks on the adjacent docks and waterway and in nearby condos need to go elsewhere for their entertainment now that we are wearing the headsets and the screaming, shouting of **##!!#*# and the one finger hand signals are no more. Now, only WE hear the verbalizations, which from time to time, still include the **##!!

After moving aboard officially toward the end of June 2008, we began 'shaking out' the boat and improving our skills. Cruising i.e. 'practicing' in the Chesapeake Bay was a wonderful experience, with it's forgiving soft mud bottom, the beautiful scenery all around, the many rivers to cruise up and back in and especially the ability to explore the numerous maritime little communities such as Oxford, St. Michaels, Smith & Tangier Islands, and of course, Baltimore and Annapolis.

 Grandkids visited us, learning along with us how to enjoy the boat!

Jumping off the boat into Chesapeake Bay
Baby Pickett enjoying time on Finally Fun

We stayed in the Bay long enough to watch the Summer season change to Fall, enabling us to experience both the lonely work of the individual crabber on the Bay, and to learn all about the biology and life cycle of the blue crab. We, along with our grandchildren, learned how to bait our trap with stinky chicken necks to entice the crab in and how to cook and eat our own blue crabs all summer. Now we know why crab is SO expensive and have a new appreciation for crab and the prices they command! ($65 for a dozen large!!) We learned the difference between male and female and learned that SIZE MATTERS...
Catching Crabs off Finally Fun

A diver had to remove this from our props - crab trap marker
We also learned how to steer among and between the mazes of crab pots floating about the waterways. The mazes were so many and the potential danger to our two props so high should we snare a pot that we added razors to the props to cut a line should we snag one...a yet another unanticipated expense.... and one that I don't think we ever much after installation - much to the delight of any crabber out there!