“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.” – George William Curtis
Most days on a Navy bridge watch are spent transiting a wide open sea, with only one or two ships visible even on radar at any given time. Tedious as this may be, it is easy to stay out of trouble. However, not all watches are uneventful. When inevitable varsity-level seamanship challenges confront an officer of the deck, it feels good to be ready. Shiphandling classes, such as those at the basic and advanced division officer courses, are designed to prepare junior officers for such challenges. An array of books supplement classroom education and simulator training as well. Yet, there are still important lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom and will not be found in a book. The lessons that follow can only be learned through experience.