I have been conditioned to despise these three words. THINK, SHOULD, PROBABLY. Why you ask !! Well, sailing, primarily the navigation and docking part of it, requires a high degree of attention to detail. Not at the level of a brain surgeon or an airline pilot. But pretty close. If we don’t have accurate information about water depth, current and tide conditions, and which direction in a marina to go to dock our boat, it can be uncomfortable. Kind of like the bridge being out over the Grand Canyon and no one putting up detour signs.

Similar to fast food restaurants, marina hire high school kids to work at the marina. We hail/call the marina on our VHF radio to determine if they have space for our boat. The two critical pieces of information they require are length and depth of your keel. Some marinas don’t have docks long enough or they may be to shallow. We need 5 ft. of space from our water line to the bottom of the marina.

So someone at the marina responds to your hail. Typically it’s a adult male or a high school coed. Back to the brain surgery analogy, I prefer the mature, experienced doctor over the nurse trainee. But, 80% of the time its the young dock crew because the manager is busy doing important things.

The crucial VHF conversation goes something like this:

> Pick Your Nose marina, Pick Your Nose marina, this is the sailing vessel Carpe Diem, over
(Sometimes they answer right away, sometimes after three hails, sometimes never)

> Carpe Diem, this is Pick Your Nose marina, over

> Pick Your Nose marina, I am a 45 ft. sailboat and I draw 5 feet. I am looking for a slip for this evening, over


> Carpe Diem, hold one, overĀ (OK, at this point you’re thinking that our needs are pretty well defined. What’s the indecision? No room, too long or too deep?)


> Carpe Diem, this is Pick Your Nose marina. We THINK we have a slip, and your depth SHOULD be OK, over

> Pick Your Nose marina, so if I enter the marina you have a slip with at least 5 feet of water, over

> PROBABLY, over

We then proceed to anchor in Scratch Your Butt Bay.


2 thoughts on “THINK, SHOULD, PROBABLY

  • July 20, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Need to pay them $15.00 per hr for the correct response of , we have one will hold till you arrive over!

  • July 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Or let put the blame on the owner a little! Has he trained the employee I would guess not much but while you are there you could offer a quick course. What the heck you have some time and knowledge on board Dr Joe I presume. Sail easy my brother lots of smiles headed your way

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