work boat – a mariner’s story
When I was first breaking into tug work, I taught sailing on the side for a company which also had a big motor yacht which people chartered for parties. One night, they asked me to drive it for a bachelor party, as the regular captain was not available. My deckhand, a local sailor, dressed up in a funny little sailor suit. It was as you’d expect: booze, youngish men and a couple of strippers. Nobody cared about the cruise, they just wanted to be out on the bay where nobody could see the goings on.
I was at the wheel, and the deckhand was seated on a cabinet nearby. The stripper, wearing little more than stilettos, came prancing up the ladder to the wheelhouse. The deckhand was expressionless, and in her bouncy voice, she said, “What’s the matter fellow, why the serious face?”
He remained deadpan and said, “I’m working.”
She stopped wiggling, went equally deadpan and said, “So am I.”
Then she turned around, put her party expression and wiggle back on, and pranced down the ladder back to the party. It was the only memorable moment in an otherwise forgettable experience.