Do you know what the hardest thing about growing up on a boat is?
As someone who has been piloting a 90 foot vessel since the age of 15, getting my drivers permit was a steep learning curve. Think about it. I was at the helm of Odyssey for a little over a year before I ever sat in the driver’s seat of a car. I had 14 months of skippers constantly reminding me to turn the wheel slowly, let up before you reach the heading you want, and for heaven’s sake – no more than three spokes at a time unless it is an emergency!
My poor parents had no idea what to do with me when I tried to pilot our minivan live a hundred ton vessel down the treacherous straight which was our driveway. I tremble to think how it would have ended it I had grown up on a tiller. In fact, when my friend’s dad was teaching us all how to parallel park we insisted that he give us instructions in boat terms. Once he started using phrases like “right rudder” and “left rudder” we all parked the car no problem. But if that’s the price to pay for high school memories of wind in our hair and ocean spray on our faces, I know there’s not a single one of us who wouldn’t pay it.