Patience (Almost) Prevails
Part 3: I was stunned when a fuel-dock attendant handed me the bill for topping off our tanks: $32.03!
By Capt. Bill Pike — July 2005
The last day of the trip was the biggie. It started with an early-morning boathandling lesson at the Tween Waters Marina on Captiva Island. After Salter and I dawdled long and hopefully over breakfast, I told him we had to face facts: The 20-knot zephyrs that were pinning Patience against the dock, starboard-side-to, were not going to abate. It was gonna blow all day. And leaving Tween Waters was going to be tricky, what with a Viking 45 docked behind us and a Sea Ray 540 up front.
I thought things over. Without a bow thruster, the only way out of the situation was to use a springline, power the bow into the dock (without nailing a piling), and then back into the wind with all possible haste, while simultaneously releasing the springline. “Ever heard of a springline, Jeff?” I asked, by way of prefacing the little talk we needed to have. I fired up the Lehman shortly after.
“One engine, no thruster,” crowed the captain of the Viking as Patience back-pedaled with nerve-jangling lethargy, missing the Vike’s port quarter by six feet. “Yer talented, Bill.”
“Luck,” I replied as we chugged safely into open water. The experience had triggered in me a tremendous, incredibly deep craving for a passagemaker with twin screws and the twin-screw maneuverability I’ve learned to know and love over the years.
Then came the long and winding road home. It took hours. And hours. And hours. In fact, the trip back took so darn long, Salter completely finished the Manual Of Zen Buddhism and I resorted to scheduling future boat tests and travel arrangements via my cellphone.
We arrived at dusk. Certainly, I was stunned when a fuel-dock attendant handed me the bill for topping off our tanks: $32.03!
“Pike,” Salter hooted, “the cookies you ate on this trip cost more’n that!”
I was about to unleash a suitable response when a so-called Fast Trawler from Sabreline swept past, twin screws a blazin’, and my cheeky shipmate made an even more trenchant observation: “That thing goes like a bat outta hell!”
I had to agree. And I had to admit—boats like Patience make sense for folks with free time galore. But for guys with busy, workaday lives?
Southwest Florida Yachts ( (239) 656-1339. www.swfyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.