The largest number of cargo ships I have unloaded in one "shift" was 42. That was in my first week and I haven't come anywhere close to that number again. My average is 12. That's right, 12.

“Are you a natural leader? Do you take charge with a steady hand and an eagle eye? You should be a Harbor Master!”

Actually, no, I should not. Given my low skill level playing this addictive app, I shouldn’t even be a drunken deckhand, which makes it even more amazing to me that I play Harbor Master almost every day. By nature, I’m  just not a keep-trying-at-stuff-you’re-really-bad-at kinda gal.

The object of the game is simple enough — guiding cargo ships through a harbor to a dock where they can unload their cargo, then getting them safely out of the harbor again. No time limit, but the minute you let two ships collide, the game’s over. Really. One crash.

The game demands finesse I lack big-time. I think I’m being extra cautious, alert to the presence and path of every vessel on the entire screen, when out of nowhere comes a dinky boat that rams a big, slow-moving cargo ship I’d thought was on a safe course. Talk about a life lesson.

How bad am I at Harbor Master? I say “oops”— surely a fave expression with real-life harbor masters —  so often and so loudly that it stuns the soundtrack of seagulls into silence. Sometimes the app turns off the jaunty theme music in desperation, as if absolute quiet will help. It doesn’t.

Yet, back I go to the app each day, eager to hear the music and the gulls, ready to try again. It feels good to embark on an adventure with a hopeful heart, even when the adventure is a game app for which we have no aptitude.

I play Harbor Master Lite, a k a the freebie version. The upgrade promises pirates, monsters and cyclones. Inexplicably, I think I’m ready.

Maybe there’s a nap for that.

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