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Old 06-19-2009
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Livia Livia is offline
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Seriously, docking is the scariest thing you can do at one mile per hour IMHO. I would be scared-excited to be single handing our boat in 25 knots of wind and a chop. I am scared-unhappy docking in a tight/awkward spot in 5 knots. That said, I'm getting better at it and I keep doing it because I'm stubborn and a perfectionist.

Our method right now is for the captain to talk through each docking to the deck monkey (as we call that role) including a brief on what we expect the wind to do to us. The deck monkey's job is to provide honest feedback on the plan. Of course, the wind may change in the marina and the captain may have to alter. This way though, both people are learning about docking by talking through the conditions even when they are the deck monkey.

Perhaps you could start by keeping her as deck monkey but asking her to talk you through a plan. Then maybe next step could be to ask a third person to come aboard as a deck monkey and you (after talking through a plan with her) guide her through the docking (her on the wheel, you talking).

Everyone's relationships are different but in my limited experience I see a lot of couples punishing the behaviors they want in the other person and rewarding the behaviors they don't want. Doesn't make a lot of sense when you think it through - basic learning theory right?

When she docked the boat, after you fended off and tied lines, did you smile a huge smile, yell "WOOHOO!" and go give her a big hug and tell her how proud of her you were for trying? and how any docking where everyone is alive and the boat is hole-free is a success? and emphasize what she did right? and then later, when the adrenaline went down, did you ask her if she wanted any suggestions (and if she says "no" or "not right now" you let it be)?

Or did you get a panicked look on your face, yell something directive, then immediately get on your knees to see if she scratched the hull and finally ask her what she was thinking when she turned so early/late?
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s/v Estrellita 5.10b, Wauquiez Pretorien 35

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