It seemed to make perfect sense at the time. Just take a two hour class to learn how to drive a manual transmission car. It was August, and I was going away for a long weekend to further expand my boat hull series in Buenos Aires - a city where renting an automatic transmission vehicle is an apparent impossibility. Taking that one class just three days before my departure also seemed about right - what could be so difficult? The two hour class ended up involving only about one hour of actual driving around the side streets of Long Island City; but with only minimal stalling I felt fully prepared to take on the streets of the Argentine capital.
Well. Driving around a low traffic area with an instructor is very different than solo navigating a busy airport while finessing the shift into first gear without stalling. Getting onto a highway in stop and go rush hour traffic via an unfortunately uphill on-ramp was a temporarily insurmountable challenge and drew a chorus of commentary from surrounding drivers. Several miles of high-gear, high-speed highway cruising provided a brief and welcome respite before a return to cautious local driving rife with intersections that were free of stop signs, stop lights, and any observance of right-of-way, but full of near-misses and stalls and stuttering progress (damn that elusive first gear!).
Despite all of this (and another stall at a stop light that resulted in a very minor rear-end collision by a city bus on my last day) I was able to find many boatyards and marinas and take lots of great boat hull shots - and am happy to finally have a chance to work on more of them this weekend. Here is one that I’ve had done for a while, of an unnamed boat from the northern part of Buenos Aires. I’m naming this one “Finding First”.