WHAT IS DOCKING?

cruise ship  squeez



DOCKING;

TO MANEUVER A VESSEL OR VEHICLE INTO OR NEXT TO A DOCK. THIS IS WHAT THE DICTIONARY SAYS, HOWEVER, EASIER SAID THAN DONE. I REMEMBER WHEN MY FATHER HAD A SMALL 20 FOOT MOTOR BOAT. HE WOULD WAKE US UP EARLY ON SUNDAY MORNINGS WITH THE BOAT ON THE TRAILER RUSHING THE WHOLE FAMILY TO THE LOCAL YACHT CLUB SO HE COULD LAUNCH THE BOAT. IT WAS NOT HARD TO SEE THAT WHEN THE BOAT WAS IN THE WATER, IT BECAME A VERY DIFFERENT ANIMAL. IT’S LIKE SOME HARRY POTTER SPELL CAME OVER MY DAD’S BOAT. MY DAD WAS NOT A PATIENT MAN AND THAT BOAT BROUGHT OUT THE WORST OF HIS RAGE. SO BY THE TIME HE GOT THE BOAT TO THE DOCK TO PICK US UP, HE WAS ALREADY PISSED OFF. I THOUGHT MAYBE SOME PEOPLE HAVE A PREDISPOSITION OR AT LEAST BORN WITH SOME BOAT HANDLING SKILLS. IT TURNS OUT THAT DAD HAD NEITHER? AS I GOT OLDER, BUT NOT BOLDER, MY PASSION FOR HANDLING BOATS GOT REAL SERIOUS. I LEARNED THAT TO HANDLE A TUG BOAT DIDN’T IMPLY THE USE OF MY DAD’S METHODS OF RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. I SIMPLY HAD TO LEARN TWIN SCREW, PIVOT POINTS, AND ALL THE FORCES THAT DOMINATE A FLOATING OBJECT. I ONCE TOOK A TRIP TO THE PANAMENIAN SAN BLAS ISLANDS ON THE CARIBBEAN SIDE OF PANAMA. THE LITTLE CUNA INDIAN CHILDREN SAILING THEIR CANOES WERE SO SKILLFUL, I WAS AMAZED AT WHAT SEEMED TO BE A NATURAL ABILITY. ALSO, THEY WERE MOTIVATED BY THE FACT THAT THEY WOULD NOT EAT IF THEY COULD NOT MAKE IT TO THE NEXT ISLAND. WE ARE ALL BORN WITH SOME DEGREE OF DEXTERITY FOR MOVING OBJECTS, IT’S JUST THAT SOME OF US HAVE FOCUSED AND REFINED OUR SKILLS TO HIGHER LEVELS. SOME MOTHERS CAN REALLY HANDLE THEIR FORD EXPEDITION IN A TIGHT PARKING AND OTHERS HAVE TO GET OUT AND HAVE SOMEONE PARK IT FOR THEM. OK, I’LL SAY IT; SOME PEOPLE HAVE NO BUSINESS RUNNING A BOAT… I HAVE COME ACROSS MUCHO A CAPTAIN THAT FOR THE LIFE OF ME, COULD NOT DOCK THE BOAT. A VERY GOOD FRIEND AND MENTOR OF MINE NAMED CAPTAIN EDDIE WILLIAMS SAYS; GEORGE, I CAN TELL IF A MAN CAN RUN A BOAT BEFORE HE LEAVES THE DOCK. HE SAYS, JUST LOOK AT HIS KNUCKLES AND SEE IF THEY ‘RE WHITE! IF THEY’RE WHITE, THE GUY IS GRABBING THE THROTTLES TOO HARD AND HE IS NERVOUS, OR UNSURE OF HIS ABILITIES. THE GOOD OLD WHITE KNUCKLED CAPTAIN COULD PERHAPS BENEFIT FROM SOME OF THE FOLLOWING;

• SHIP HANDLING IS MORE AN ART THAN SCIENCE, ENJOY THE ART ASPECT OF THE MANEUVER, THEN PONDER ABOUT THE SCIENCE PART. • THE APPROACH IS 90 PERCENT OF THE MANEUVER, A GOOD APPROACH IMPLIES THAT YOU ANALYZED ALL THE FORCES THAT WILL INFLUENCE YOUR MANEUVER, AND YOU HAVE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY. • CONSIDER THE CAPABILITIES OF THE UNIT YOU ARE DOCKING. TYPE OF PROPELLER, NO PROPELLER, RUDDER, BOW THRUSTER, TUGS, MAIN ENGINE POWER, LOADING CHARACTERISTICS AND THE CAPTAIN. • I SAY CAPTAIN, BECAUSE, AS A HIRED CONSULTANT, YOU SOME TIMES FIND THAT THE CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP OR BARGE YOU ARE DOCKING, CAN BE THE GREATEST IMPEDIMENT TO THE SUCCESS OF THE MANEUVER. HE MUST HAVE TOTAL TRUST IN YOUR ABILITY TO EXECUTE THE SERVICE. • BEWARE OF THE “BBQ”; THE BBQ IS THE CONTROL STATION SOME VESSELS HAVE OUT ON THE BRIDGE WING THAT LOOKS LIKE A BBQ. WELL, SOME CAPTAINS LIKE TO SECOND GUESS YOUR COMMANDS AND START TWEAKING THE CONTROLS. THEY HIDE UNDER THE HOOD OF THE BBQ SO YOU CAN’T SEE THAT THEY ARE GIVING JUST A LITTLE MORE OR LESS ON THE THRUSTERS OR MAIN ENGINE. WHEN I SEE THIS BEHAVIOR, I TURN THE MANEUVER OVER TO THE CAPTAIN WHO USUALLY SAYS, OH NO, PLEASE CONTINUE MISTER PILOT… MORE COFFEE?

• YOU MUST, “ACT AS IF”; AS IF YOU WERE PUT ON THIS EARTH TO TREAT HIS SHIP WITH UTMOST RESPECT AND DEDICATION. I SOMETIMES TELL THE CAPTAIN THAT WE WILL TRANSIT THE CHANNEL LIKE POCAHONTAS FLOATING DOWN THE CREEK, NICE AND SLOW, BUT EFFICIENTLY. CAPTAINS ARE TERRIFIED OF EXCESS SPEED AND NARROW CHANNELS. REMEMBER THEY HAVE TO TRUST A STRANGER TO HANDLE THEIR SHIP IN THE MOST DANGEROUS ASPECT OF THE VOYAGE. THEY FEAR FOR THEIR JOB IF YOU DAMAGE THE SHIP.

ENJOY THIS VIDEO OF THE CONTAINER SHIP CONDOR ENTERING AND DOCKING AT SAN JUAN HARBOR.

DOCKING GURUS VOL.009 VIDEO OF THE DOCKING OF THE CONDOR