I was the Skipper of a Sea Explorer Post
Ship 263 was manned by 12 boys aged 15-17 they were each one a member of their school's gifted program.
We had a large sailboat donated by ARCO
It was docked at the ARCO oil tanker dock and refinery facility in the Port of Los Angeles. We took it to sea.
The Port of LA is one of the busiest in the world
10 ships a day are inbound and 10 a day are outbound from 270 berths. There are also ferries to Catalina Island.
My Asst Skipper was a 19 yr old college student.
At the beginning of every cruise, I used to line the boys up and tell them. "There is only one Skipper, me. Don't have a better idea."
The crew and Asst. Skipper paid rapt attention.
"The Commodore of all Southern California is coming with us for a final check out cruise and we can go on long overnight cruises.
The Commodore boarded with pomp and circumstance.
We sailed our boat out amongst the huge container ships through the harbor and out to the open sea and returned. Everythin went perfectly.
The Commodore went through his checklist.
The only thing we had left to do was bring the boat into its berth. Fenders are tied to the boat railing and then kicked overboard. This is almost the last act before docking."Secure the bumpers"
We were making way into our berth.
"Drop the sails" They were taken in with precision and stowed. We slowed to barely 2 knots of headway. The 17 yr old helmsman brought us in between huge oil tankers. The Commodore was impressed
The final 50 feet.
"Kick the bumpers over." Davey my Asst Skipper, actually kicked like a NFL kicker and kicked the unsecured bumper high in the air onto the deck of the nearby tanker.
All of us aboard watched the beautiful arch of the bumper and its perfect landing. I saw the Commodore put a tick mark in the FAIL box.
At that point, I shook my head and said, "Davey you are a fucking genius." The entire crew roared with laughter.