So today I was training to drive the Friendship boats, starting at 7am, which meant I had to catch the 6:17 bus to Epcot to be on time! Not at all my favorite part of the day, but I was jazzed about starting so it made it easier. I made the bus, and no problems with delays, and I met my fellow boatmate Erica who also lives in Vista. We made it inside to the break room by 6:30 (I even dropped off a shirt to be laundered in the nifty scan system) and then met most of the Sunday crew. Our trainer, Don, came to grab us at 10 til and we headed into the dry dock. Since I'm new, I don't know how much I can disclose, and I specifically didn't take any pictures until we were onstage, so I'll just mention that we were first out on the World Showcase Lagoon way before the park was open, about 7:15. This is where I first got to drive, and made several successful dockings...I did so well right away that I didn't get to practice much more in the lagoon! We put the boat in the elbow (the area right outside of France across from the International Gateway) and went to lunch. Here's the boat in the elbow.
Then later in the afternoon we went out on the studios run. I got to drive on the way back, and while I felt confident driving, I was not so good docking when there wasn't a guide rail. I have to remember tho that this is the first time I have ever driven a boat, unless you count those little Water Mice they have around property here. I did the whole run back to Epcot without destroying anything, without running into anything, doing the correct horn beeps and radio signals - I just wasn't close enough to the dock. I wished that I had more time to practice and get it perfect, but I realized when I got back to the office that the world was a little wobbly - even when I got home after my shift I found that I felt like I was on a boat when I lay down, so I had to have a hand on the wall as I fell asleep. Soon enough I'll feel confident having people on board - I think that will happen in the next few days. Wish me luck! Also, if you're in the area the next few days and see an empty boat go by, it's probably us out training again, and it's ok to laugh if you see us sitting out in the middle of a lake spinning in circles. Our boat's steering is really cool that way - there is no rudder, so we can turn in a complete circle no problem! Also, I have a new appreciation for the amount of training that goes into each job in Walt Disney World. I know that it's frustrating to see an empty boat go by without anyone in it, but it turns out that you wouldn't want to be in the boat if you could...we had quite a few rough docks!