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The Columbia River Bar is one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships of all sizes. That's where the Columbia River Bar Pilots come in. These specially trained experts pilot cargo and passenger ships of all sizes across the bar into the river that separates Oregon from Washington. Capt. Deborah Dempsey was the first woman to become a pilot with the organization, and she tells us why tying your shoes can keep you from falling "in the drink," and what happened the one time she didn't.

If you want to learn more about some of the nautical terms Dempsey uses during her talk with us, check out our listen-along glossary at MakeMeSmart.org.

Keep sending us your suggestions for the upcoming season of Make Me Smart! 

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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal