These three simple statements should guide you when you are out on the water.
Your number one job is to operate your boat responsibly!!
Nothing should distract you from that. I understand how difficult it can be at times. You are out for a great day of fishing with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, Your spouse is going on and on you for a new car to get the kids to soccer practice or your boyfriend/girlfriend won’t leave you alone about the tickets for the upcoming concert. A big fish has just hit your line and your thoughts go to catching it.
Are you still thinking about your boat?
You get the idea. Remember, stay focused.
You still are responsible for the safety of the boat and everyone on board.
You must, at all times, know where you are and where you are going.
And by that I mean something more accurate than just knowing the name of the body of water you are on or proudly telling your guests; "That’s America over there". At least sharpen your skills to the point that you can proclaim with some certainty "That’s Miami, (I think)".
Always, .always, always …..
Whenever you are in doubt, communicate!
Don’t worry that you will sound stupid asking someone what the clearance of that bridge is up ahead?
Think about how stupid you will look when the mast of your boat is in the cockpit with you. Not sure what the intentions of that tug and tow heading directly at you are?