First Solo Flight!
A momentous event for every pilot.
Similarly, taking a boat out on your own for the first time is also a momentous event.
Today was Di's turn.
Anchored at the edge of Princess Cove on Wallace Island, I decided the weather around didn't allow me to leave the boat unattended, as I wanted to keep an eye on the anchor, the chain and Enfin's position. We were only about 70 meters away from the nearest visible rocks, and a lot less to the nearest underwater ones. Dragging wasn't an option.
So, having let Di learn to steer the tender for a while now, I asked her to please take Princess ashore on her own. She immediately realized what that meant: Her first solo trip on the tender.
To old salty sailors it may not sound like much. But remember that Di didn't grow up on the water, didn't naturally fall into a boat at an early age, but came to boating much later in life. She loves it thoroughly and is excited to learn, yet this first step was obviously a scary one as for all first times.
I had full confidence she was ready.
I gave her our portable VHF, so she could reach back to Enfin if she needed to, and watch her set off on her way.
I lost track of her as she got to the dock, and shortly thereafter she re-appeared walking up the ramp with Princess, so I knew that the first half of the trip had been a success. The second half would be fine. I knew it.
About an hour later, after a good walk with Princess, the VHF on Enfin crackled with Di's voice announcing her return.
It's great to know that with this "small step for man" we've gained a level of safety and flexibility. Di's gained her independence and we can better split tasks between us if needed.