Me, my Daughter and the Maine Maritime Ship Simulator


When my daughter was young I once made the mistake of asking her what grade she was in. My wife couldn’t believe I didn’t know and gave me a hard time about it. I told her give me a break, I take an interest in my daughter’s education and you get upset.

Then, later Maine Maritime had a Girl Scout Tug Boat day and my daughter was in Girl Scouts, so it was decided that it would be a good father/daughter thing. Off we go.

As were were driving up my daughter says, “Dad, you know about boats and stuff right?” I say, “yes, sure”. Then she cautiously says “Maybe they might not know as much as you?” I tell her no, most likely they don’t.

Then she sits there for a bit, finally she says, "If they say something that you don’t think is right, will you say anything? I tell her “Are you asking me if I’m going to be an asshole?” She says, “yes, that’s what I asking”. So I tell her don’t worry I’ll keep my mouth shut.

And I did, almost, and we had fun. A couple short lectures, we went out on the tug, made up to a barge, it was very cool.

I almost made it through, but I broke at the end. They assigned groups to the several (3?) simulators there, each one had a different vessel. They told us to pick which one we wanted. In a quiet room, I said, in my best on-deck, in-the-wind, with the hydraulic machinery running outside voice "WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THING YA GOT?

I really went to town in the simulator, at first I didn’t say anything, but they were all doing it wrong. So about six seconds in, I took action. “You, kid, you’re the lookout - stand there” “You, kid’s mom, you’re helm, stand here”

In the end it worked out, my daughter told her mother that I’d done ok when we got home.