I learned what wing dams were, to stay in the channel, and to check for those pesky wing dams before I turned in to beach. Hal showed me how to spot them by the ripples in the water, but we also have charts that show everything about the river. I was becoming calmer, but not cocky. Before leaving home Charlie, my husband, and I had flipped to see who would be "Chief Boat Driver." I won. Charlie took it good-naturedly, but I'll make sure he knows how to handle the boat too. I'm no fool.
Hal pointed to our right to a sandy beach. I checked the mirror, looked out both sides, and turned toward the beach. Hal would show us how to beach the boat. Then we would back off so we could do it. Hal said that slow and calculated landings are the best. He eased the boat onto the sand. Then we backed off so that Charlie and I could practice the beaching. We got the hang of it quickly. Then came the hard part for the guys.
Hal opened a trap door on the front deck and took out a shovel. Pete told Rose now he knew why she brought him along. Hal showed the men how to dig in the beach anchors, and how to set the stern anchors to keep both us and the boat safe overnight.
We got everything back on the boat. I backed off the beach and turned MY BOAT into the channel. Heading up river we went over again the procedure for "locking through" the dams. It wasn't complicated. Hal smiled. "O.K., take me home Captain." Wow!