Capt. Mike pilots a hybrid vessel in the San Francisco Bay for Red and White Fleet

Capt. Mike pilots a hybrid vessel in the San Francisco Bay for Red and White Fleet

Capt. Mike commands a 128-foot-long vessel so large it would take up more than one-third of a football field to dock. He skippers the sleek Enhydra (named after marine sea otters), which can ferry 600 passengers on cruises in California’s San Francisco Bay. Travelers on board have three comfortable decks from which to choose when viewing sites from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge.

     For more than a decade, Capt. Mike has manned the wheelhouse, scanning waters for novelties to note, such as whales and sea lions. His vessel is the largest of its kind in the United States, according to Red and White Fleet, the company operating the hybrid. The new sightseeing vessel, first launched in 2018, “can cruise in all-electric mode at seven knots for more than two hours, consuming less than eight gallons of fuel,” according to the company.

     In addition to mechanical know-how, the captain’s expertise covers many interesting skill sets. For example, he monitors safety by tracking weather conditions and other crafts transiting the bay. He has training in meteorology, search and rescue, medical first aid, and firefighting. Capt. Mike has a United States Coast Guard 100-ton masters license.

     “Captains require great boat handling and navigation skills, sound judgment managing crew and recognition of safety hazards,” said Chris Summers, operations manager of Red and White San Francisco Bay Cruises.

     With that professional background in mind, imagine how shocking it would be for a passenger to elbow inside the wheelhouse, then demand to take control of the vessel. Instead of being content sightseeing, the tourist wants to be in charge. No sensible person would do that on a cruise, nor should we in life when it comes to whether or not we allow God to be our Pilot.

     We can flounder around in our own dinghy in rough seas, or we can embark on a tried and true vessel that carries us safely where we need to go. Like Capt. Mike, God has our best interests at heart. His purpose is to protect us and share amazing things to see along the journey.

    Are you trusting God at the helm?


“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:5 NIV).