October 6th, 2003

don't fear death

cool change.....

i don't think mr. september is going to make it much further into october.
he has been talking about taking my sailboat out. i've asked and asked if he really knows how to sail. he always tells me he does. he has a friend who used to race and he has been out with him many times. yesterday morning i finally gave in. note here, i am very careful with my boats and won't take the sailboat at all myself even to putter around until i am completely confident. sailboats are too expensive to be toys in my tax bracket.
so, he shows up with a picnic lunch and dressed the part. he helps me to rig and coats his face with sunscreen. so far we are ok. i had to give him some pointers on putting up the main sail, but i didn't worry... ok, just a little. i mentioned a couple of times that we didn't have to take the boat out of the slip....we could have a picnic lunch right here. he assured me he knew what he was doing.
(worried? believe me, this story could end way worse than it does)
he struggles a bit with the motor, just figuring out where everything goes and how to use my tank to put the gas in.... i am still not especially worried....motors vary. i tell him he should put the rutter down. he tells me he can use the propellar to guide it out. ummmm.....i ask if he is sure. that it would be easier with the rutter. i don't want to be overbearing, but now i am getting nervous. no, he tells me he can use the motor to guide us out. ok....... but i am sure the rutter should be down.
another note...... my slip is not by itself. there are boats on all sides of me. some boats that cost a lot more than mine. i am insured for a lot should i hit another boat....$300,000, but that doesn't mean i want to!
that said, out of the slip we go. and, proving i was right about the rutter, we are heading directly for the boat across from mine and not out into open water. suddenly, as i am yelling at him to turn the other way, it is crystal clear to me that september doesn't have a fucking clue. and i am angry. before i can do anything he gets it turned around.... heading into the marina, toward the promenade and pushing off pilings to keep from hitting other boats. now, i am really angry. we finally get it up against two pilings but with the bow facing the opposite direction it needs to go. i am yelling at him to get it into a slip, any slip and i will move it later. i am about two seconds from throwing myself overboard and going for help from Pepper, the neighbor who has been teaching me to sail. no need, Pepper sees us and comes to our rescue, thinking my motor has failed. why else would be flipping about in the marina this way?
more yelling from me, to get us turned around enough to let Pepper board. Pepper gets on board and i am breathing again. all i want now is to get my baby back in her slip and for september to go home. but it is a beautiful day and Pepper is up for going out with us a bit. i am humiliated and i am angry. but i am able to keep enough perspective to know that september is probably feeling a bit humiliated too. but, so what? he should not have told me he knew what he was doing. what kind of trouble could he have gotten us into? what damage could he have caused to my boat, other boats or even us?? it was a beautiful day....lots of other boats out.... with his sailing skills, i can easily imagine having hit one. perhaps he underestimated my skills or flat out didn't listen when i told him that i am still learning and don't trust my capabilities yet.
this alone is not enough to make me bid so long to mr. september. as we were out, i discover in him one of my biggest people peeves. a know-it-all personality. maybe he really wasn't humiliated enough.
once we are safely out of the harbor we decide to put the head sail up. i pull out a good light wind sail and september takes it, as if he knows what he is doing. when we begin to tell him how to rig it, we get a "i know i know" response. he doesn't know how to rig it. we tell him where to clip the clue and he cuts us off again that he knows, but he doesn't. it is clear now he doesn't even know the terminology and is just guessing at where things go. a couple times more we would tell him specifically to put this particular thing here or that particular thing there and he would interrupt with "i know" or "yes, right" and then proceed to do the wrong thing.
i am irritated beyond belief now. top it off with him pulling out the drinks he brought and there is no beer!! water and pepsi.
get me home and send him sailing his own way.
moral of the story for september - don't ever pretend to know what you are doing. you may get away with that as a lawyer, but not in the real world, especially when it could endanger lives.
moral of the story for me - no one takes my boat out until i have seen his skills on board his own boat.
he wants to see me again saturday. i am trying to figure out a gentle way to get out of this......