Rachel Muehlenberg talks about her experience becoming a young, female whale watching tour operator and captain and her life on the sea!
Producer: Jodi Mossop
Director: Peter Helm
Editor: Peter Helm
Production Assistants: Penny Krebs & Ashleigh Magill
Contributors: Rachel Muehlenberg, Daniel Knappett, Nate Laverty, Chris Flynn of Flynn Media Productions, Andrew McCurdy, Jessica Hunter
Scariest day started out, not my scariest day. The water was big but it wasn’t too big, nothing I couldn’t handle. And my linkage, my throttle, jammed on me and I limped my way in. But on the way home, the father of a daughter and wife, looks at me and says, “This is what it happens when females drive boats!”. And I was like, “whewwww, your daughter is here.” I was professional, I kinda fake smiled at him and we got back to the dock and I was very offended later on.
As the linkage was getting fixed, I was able to push the family of 3 back to the following trip. I ended up going out and between that morning trip and that afternoon trip, I swear, the weather had tripled in size. I knew it was growing, but I didn’t expect it to grow that substantially, that quick. I see a weather system coming in that was at a pace I had never seen before. I was like, that is going to be here in 20 minutes. This weather came pummelling in from the south east and I got caught very close to shore and all of a sudden I look at the channel to get home and it’s huge and breaking swell and I had never been in anything before that big.
I was taking waves broadside and it was just…very scary. I kept my cool, I had to get home. It’s just what it was. I had my guests be like, “honestly we felt so safe, you handled it so well”! And then the dad, the infamous dad, who belittled me before he had any idea who he was dealing with, comes to me and he’s like, “Is that normal? You deal with that?”. I was like, “Oh ya! All the time!” straight faced, big smile. I was like, “every other Wednesday”. My knees were trembling! I kid you not, I’ve never felt that. Just trembling in my survival suite and he’s like…”OK” and walks away. And I was like, “this one, I just showed you”! So good! I will never forget that one. I hold it so dear.