Talking the Talk
Out of Seward a couple weeks ago, (pre derby) the only thing that was constant was the rain so when the conversation between Mr.G-3 (who ever that is) and the U.S coast guard started up, we turned er up and wiled away some of the afternoon listening to their's and other's interaction on behalf of a "stranded boater". The stranded boater was dead in the water and apparently their radio did not work either or didn't work well enough or something cause none of the conversation ever involved the "stranded boater".
Reflecting back on the conversations, a lot of things stood out to me. Things that planted seeds in my head and thing's I'd like to pass along.
1. Mr G-3 knows how to talk to the coasty's, do you? I learned quite a bit from their interaction. I learned a few things from several interlopers who wern't as good at it either!
2. If you ain't dying, they ain't flying! Once it was determined no immenant loss of life situation existed the coast guard's interest burned out about a quickly as the flair "stranded boater" launched! I totally understand this and am in no way thinking they should have done more. The lady on the coast guard end was very thourough and completely professional but after an attempt or two to secure a tow for "stranded boater", Mr.G-3 took the bull by the horns and hauled "stranded boater" back to town.
We saw them go by several hours after radio communication ceased. From a size perspective Mr.G-3's boat appeared to be sufficently larger and the tow appeared to be going well, from our vantage point.
You might be thinking, so what's your point. This sort of thing happens all the time.
Here's my point, I run a tight ship and have recieved compliments on the couple times I've been boarded for my over the top efforts in the safety dept. ie, immersion suits, 5X the required fire supression, etc. However, as I listened to these conversations, I put myself on that mic and realized, this is an item where I could pick it up a notch. At one point the Kenai tours dude was in on all this and as you can imagine, he's pretty good at it too!
I also figured out I need to locate the various towing entities out of Whittier and Seward and be ready to provide that information if necessary. Poor ole Mr.G-3 sat around quite a while waiting for the inevitable but politely answered the call to duty when every one else bailed. I remember thinking how fortunate "stranded boater" was that someone was in the neighborhood AND willing to offer assistance.
The biggest thing I had reinforced to me is my responsibility as a boater to be on top of my game from a maintenance standpoint and lessen the opportunity for gremlins to slip in ruining my day and maybe your's as well. We are very particular about this preventative maintenance thing but on a regular basis I see plenty of tubs out there and have to suppose that at some point "the inevitable" will come calling for us as well! My hat's off to Mr.G-3 for his dilligence, heck poor as the fishing was that day maybe he welcomed the chance to get out of the rain early! And even though you didn't realize it you were making me a better boater as well!
Great post, "Alasgun". Reading it made me a little uncomfortable (in a good way). I like to think my ship is tight, but reading this made me all too aware of where there might be cracks the gremlins can get in. everybod's vulnerable to one extent or another. Thanks.
Your post is a great reminder to all of us that run boats offshore. I'm sure my Coast Guard lingo isn't what it should be and that I'm not 100 percent ready to offer all available assistance either. Time to address a few things now, what with Fall water conditions coming up quick.