Friday, August 19, 2005

How to get a tugboat to stop on a dime

Living on a ship like the Bowie has challenges. Some of which are things that
most people wouldn't worry about from day to day. It is courtesy in the boating
world that when you happen upon a marina and/or docks, that you slow down.
Apparently, not all boaters know this and I guess they just can't see us.

Last Monday eve, a 38 foot sport fisher buzzed us at flank speed a mere
25 feet off our portside, thus sending the already dodgy docks, us and
our neighbour boats into a mad froth. I ran out screaming at them onto
the portside breezeway as fast as I could shaking my fist to little
avail. "Slow down you Rat bastards!" I screamed. They didn't.

So it has been on my mind of late, to find a way to slow them down.
Greig and I have had discussions about this. Of course, his advice for
me on any action on my part was couched with "don't do anything stupid
to get us thrown out. It is hard to find a place to park this thing."

He nipped one consistently ignorant boater several months back by
chasing him down in the speedboat and got all Viking on the fellow.
Apparently chasing down other boaters and attempting to board them is OK
but I can't yell at them from the ship.

So a few nights ago we were sitting in the hot tub around midnight and having
a glass of wine and debriefing each other on our day. Travelling east up
toward us at a reasonable speed of about 3 knots was a 45' tug boat.

Now often as not, after 9pm at night, we'll be naked in our hot tub and
we don't care. It's our damn tub. Neighbours be damned. And since it was
after midnight, we were in there, naked.

So I decided to try a wee experiment. The tug was just coming along
side us but still well over to the north side of the riverbank and
really not going by us at an unreasonable speed.

"You don't have the guts," Greig said to me.

I stood up.

Apparently I CAN make stop a tug boat in less than three feet of

I have never seen a car, let alone a boat travelling with the momentum
and weight that a tug does stop on a dime like that! It was most
impressive in spite of the fact that Greig and I were rolling on the
bottom of the hot tub laughing hysterically.

He threw it into reverse, backed up about 10 feet and was sitting there
stopped in the river along side us, expecting more of a display. That boat was
absolutely still for what seemed like ages but we were laughing so hard
I can't rightly say how long it was. But there he was, wiping the
condesation off the windows in his wheelhouse hoping to get another

I can't possibly give him what he wants and I am trying to wave him on
- the show is over, I am laughing way to hard. He isn't going and quite
determined there is more to see.

So Greig, consumate gentleman that he is, stands up. As he is rising
out of the water, the tug drops back into gear, determined to see none
of what Greig's got and floors it forward and away he goes.

"See, honey, I keep telling you - you have way more power than you
realize." Yah, thanks honey.

So I think I'll make a sign and hang it off the bow of the ship."Dead
slow please, naked women at play"

I think that just might work.

1 comment:

Tim Zim said...


I just stopped by to see your website and blog.

You have made a great start and I share your sentiments.

Keep up the blog, I find mine encourages me when I look back at progress , seems to motivate others for some reason, informs friends and attracts other people through searches who can help and inform, just like you guys.

Stay in touch. Tim