A true, psyche-rattler ensued. While I managed to get away from the dock without doing any harm, I subsequently embroiled our boat in what amounted to an aquatic ballet wherein I chased the tug and her occupants around the river for a while as spectators and commentators gathered to watch. By the time the captain of the tug had finally escaped me and gotten his vessel safely tied up under the appropriate loading crane, I’d discovered that my own captain, the sarcastic guy from Thibodaux, was standing by my side in the wheelhouse as we drifted in open water. He was breathing pretty hard and gesturing toward the tug. “Now you gonna put ‘er alongside de other boat!” he thundered, obviously down with the concept of me finishing what I’d so thoughtlessly started.
I went ahead. And the result was not that awful—in fact, no damages whatsoever were done. But Cap’s comment, uttered shortly after I’d finished laying our vessel alongside the tug with enough authority to actually knock a deckhand off his feet, was something I remember perfectly to this day. Moreover, I figure that, in keeping with my new understanding of Freudian principles, it probably scarred me for life.
“Smooth,” the old boy said in a tone of voice that literally dripped with ego-crunching scorn. “That was some smooth.”
This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.