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post #14 of Old 03-26-2007
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We had front row seats to a very frightening mooring incident a few years ago, involving a Blue Seas 34 ft trawler and a 38 ft classic mahogany "Martha's Vineyard" picnic boat. This is a true story.

We took a mooring in Cuttyhunk Pond on a Friday morning, en route to the Vineyard the next morning and were relaxing with a couple of Bloody Marys. The mooring field was filled by midmorning - the beautiful, flag blue and mahogany picnic boat taking the last one, directly in front of us. Muffy (didn't know their real names, but this is a good guess ) was preparing some tea & biscuits to serve on their teak cockpit table, while Chad attended to shining his mahogany brightwork and bronze ports.

By early afternoon, our neighbor to our port left his mooring - probably taking a late start to Edgartown, when the Blue Seas trawler made an appearance on the fairway, further back from the newly available, last mooring. The captain and sole occupant, was on the flybridge and setting a fast course for the mooring.

Concurrently, another boat was heading for the same mooring as well - off to the trawler's port quarter, the race was on and most of the surrounding boaters were placing their bets. The trawler Capt. got there first, climbed down from his flybridge with a boat hook . . . only to miss the mooring ball on his first pass. To everyone's horror - he inadvertently left the engine in gear and it was moving at a fast clip toward Chad and Muffy. Chad jumped into his cockpit, just before the trawler's anchor pulpit (with no anchor visible) crashed through the house's mahogany panel - smashing the glass in a bronze portlight in the process. Chad screamed like a little girl, Muffy dropped the teapot, and a loud "Oh no!" echoed from everyone watching.

Capt. trawler got back up to the helm, pushed the throttle into reverse and tore a large section of mahogany away from the picnic boat. The wind was whipping at 20+ knots and the singlehanded Capt. was in obvious trouble - couldn’t pick up the mooring and no onboard anchor.

I saved the day by jumping into my dinghy, motored to the teak swim platform and tied up to the idling trawler while it was drifting in the fairway. Another boater in his dinghy showed up at the bow, I handed a dock line down to him, we tired her off and the Capt. finally killed the engine.

Poor old guy - with tears in his eyes, told me how he lost his wife last season but thought he could make a quick morning run to Cuttyhunk. Chad and he eventually worked out some settlement, but Chad was clearly, deeply distraught. That was the buzz on the Pond for the rest of the afternoon.

True Blue . . .
sold the Nauticat
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