The Petty Officer Misses Being A Captain

While I do miss my Captain moniker, this is not what I referring to in the title.  I miss actually navigating a boat.  It has been a year since I have driven a boat, and I miss it so.

Two years ago this week I made one of the best decisions of my life; I responded to a Craigslist ad selling a membership to Freedom Boat Club.  After years of claiming to be a Captain, I seized the opportunity to actually become the real thing.

While I had been driving boats on and off for about six years at that point, it hardly qualified as real Captain’s work.1 Learning to drive a 20’ boat in the Gulf of Mexico was extremely challenging.  I spent three months being trained how to read a nautical map, how to understand the tides, how to read waterway markings, how to identify shallow water, etc.  The work was fairly difficult but extremely rewarding; I loved every minute of it.

All of my training and practice really paid off.  It enabled me to truly make 2007 The Year of the Captain.  The climax of the year was at the last October during the wedding weekend.  I was able to take most of my friends and family out for a little cruise in the Gulf.  It was arguably the defining moment in my ascendance towards Captainhood.

After the wedding and honeymoon I managed to spend two more afternoons out on the water.  We returned to Sarasota last year for Megan’s birthday to take the boat out one more time around Sarasota Bay, a victory lap if you will.  I also made a trip with Megs to Destin and took a solo trip around the area.  And how fitting is it that my last boat trip was included in my first post-wedding entry here at the quarters.

It has been a year since I last don the Captain’s helm legitimately, and look at me now.  I have been landlocked and reduced to a mere petty officer.  How appropriate.  So I salute you Captain, for all of the hard work and all of the good times.  You are sorely missed.


The Petty Officer

1  Learning to drive other people’s boats on small lakes in Missouri was like studying for a driver’s license exam on go-karts; it mostly consisted of driving at slow speeds in a circle while trying not to hit the edges.

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