The last requirement...

Had a fun weekend sailing. We were assigned to tag along (no instructor) and sail the same itinerary as one of the instructor-led class boats, which is the last requirement for my coastal/offshore certification, and the instructor was somewhat over zealous at times. I had as my crew a 20-year navy vet in his late 40s and his wife, who among other things sailed a 33 foot boat across the Atlantic, and the other couple included a navy munitions diver with a 100-ton coast guard captain's license and his wife, a navigator for the navy who can chart blindfolded in her sleep. At one point the instructor came aboard to review her charts, which were perfect, but he couldn't help himself and gave her a few helpful tips. He looked away for a moment and she rolled her eyes at me and formed an open fist and jerked her wrist up and down a few times.I love this woman.

The highlight for me was when the instructor declared a towing emergency as a drill. We're out in a rolling ocean, and you can really mess up the boats trying to get too close. As the rescuing boat, we are supposed to be in command of the situation, and my guys are pretty commanding people, but the instructor in his eagerness soon took over his boat from his students (it's an exercise, dude, calm down). We rig a towing bridle on our stern cleats and inform them we'll pass them a line, and he takes over from his student skipper and tells us no, he has rigged a towing bridle on his bow and will pass us a line. Etc. So we have all kinds of friction going on, and they are ignoring our reasonable and appropriate instructions and giving counter instructions, but we work it out and get them attached and start towing. At that point, with things settled down, we come up with the idea to radio them that we are now looking for the day shapes to signify we are restricted in ability to maneuver. Just a little icing on the cake. So my guy Brad (the munitions diver) tells them, and the instructor responds by radioing something like okay great (smart guys), now I want you to go ahead and fly them. So we're looking, and we're not going to start cutting up the settee upholstery, so I tell Brad just radio them and tell them the shapes for restricted ability to maneuver and we'll call it a day. So Brad hails them, they acknowledge, and Brad says with cocky exuberance, and I quote, "Your big fat ugly ass is restricting our ability to awesome. Ball diamond ball. Out." I was shaking my head laughing and asked him if he's trying to get me failed.

Great crew, and it was cool just being on the same boat, never mind being their skipper.