The effective skipper

Five scouts and 4 adults sailed for about 2 hours each yesterday. Scouts Devin and Gus earned 2 service hours helping me clean the Catalina 22 that is “so funky it doesn’t have a name.” What a mess it was! Very wet, mildewy, muddy, and covered with debris. But we worked hard and were not afraid to get wet and dirty. Devin handled the bucket well and Gus learned a lot about using a bilge pump and the value of Skipper Power.

While we did this, Mr. Freeland and Mr. Bodwalk tidied the interior of the MacGregor 23, “Seeking Peace,” the exterior of which our crew had power washed last weekend.

By the time Jonathan, Luis and Cameron returned from their pretty decent sail, “Funky” was starting to look like a boat. Gus and Devin headed out in the O’Day with Capt. Finn for about 2 hours. Mr. Boadwalk, while Cameron, Jonathan, Luis, Mr. Arreaga and Mr. Peters took up work on “Funky” for about 30 minutes. Mr. Arreaga took apart the cockpit scupper, which was heavily clogged. He cleaned it out and reassembled the tubing, so now the cockpit will drain properly.

During that half hour, after spending 2 hours scrubbing and standing in brown bilge water, I finally got to see what it feels like to be “an effective skipper.” This designation, I am told, is attained when, during an activity, the skipper sits around chatting, looking like she isn’t doing anything–because she has done all her work beforehand (making spreadsheets and numerous phone calls, figuring out the schedule, assuring the materials and supplies are available, filing papers, coming up with a Plan B on the fly, sending out reminders and permission slips, collecting permissions, checks for dues, medical forms, etc.). I have to say it was nice to stand around and eat my sandwich for a half hour while the others were busy at boat maintenance. I had only the slightest twinge of guilt for not “working,” even if I was talking shop while I did so. For 30 minutes, I was The Effective Skipper.

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