Not every evolution on deck can go seamlessly. From my limited (read: nonexistent) tugboat experience, I make a great effort to keep my mouth shut when I watch a tugboater struggle in mooring or un-assing. I haven't been there, simply put, so it's not my place to comment.
Unfortunately for me, I'm also not a saint. When frustrated, barring relief, I'll lash out as much as the next guy. So this morning, during a not-so-smooth mooring evolution, I got frustrated. The details are irrelevant. I didn't lash out, thankfully- the man at the wheel didn't deserve a raspberry from the peanut gallery; I guess the morning fell under the category of "shit happens," or, as is said here, "Tugboating is a contact sport sometimes." From the tug's vantage point, I probably looked like a meth addict tweaking on deck, however, as I was absolutely cursing aloud and throwing bits of ruined hawser everywhere. I hate, fear and loathe a parted mooring line.
SO, I walk away with two lessons learned:
1. I'm glad I wasn't the man at the wheel of that tug today- the man had a tough job and even though I didn't communicate with him, I'm sure that seeing me fuss about was not helpful or welcome.
2. I know full well I could not have done a better job, parted line or no; all the same, there is always an aftermath when you experience that tangible frisson that enervates you at the moment when you realize that the moment of shit happening is imminent, and there isn't a single thing that you can do to protect your property. It's human nature to get defensive at that point; I credit the man at the wheel for smoothly making the transition from shit sandwich to a controlled evolution after the fact, and not saying a word about it after.
Songs of the Sea: I Hate Boats
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