I would have helped a little earlier - but not much.
Having once owned a 55ft sailboat I can feel for this guy. Some days I could dock
the boat single
handed -- nonchalantly stepping onto the dock
with the spring line and getting a chuckle of admiration from the old timer who was on his way to help. Other days, I could find myself going around several times as the dock boys sold tickets to watch
. But I decided a long time ago to never be embarrassed by conservatism when handling a 25 ton object.
So let's assume the skipper
was experience (well, maybe not as experienced as you and I
). The skipper
had two things working against him - a very stiff breeze and an obviously inexperienced foredeck crew. I wasn't there - but let me pose the most charitable possible explanation I can imagine:
Round 1: The skipper was aiming for a different mooring
buoy on the way in and didn't see the earlier buoy. His crew gave him no warning until the last moment. He goes to quick reverse but can't see the buoy over the bow. Does a good job at not fouling the mooring
Round 2 & 3: Realizing that he's better off trying to communicate with his inexperienced crew with them on the transom he tries a stern approach several times but the wind
is too strong and the boat's beautiful design doesn't back well (sounds like no bow thruster which goes with the beautiful boat theme).
Round #4 (45 degree approach) is what I'd do with a high bow in a wind
. You can see the buoy the longest time and if you miss your bow quickly blows away from that prop fouling pennant and you're in a good position to loop around. In any approach, it is better to fall short and go around than be somewhere over the buoy.
Round #5 the crew shouldn't have tried to reach so far (I've frequently told crew to not make heroic efforts at moorings or docks as it risks injury). It only takes a minute to come around again.
Round #6 - the skipper didn't know the boat hook was lost
Round #7 - the skipper didn't know that the crew didn't realize that you needed to extend the boat hook.
Round #8 - another "better short than sorry" miss
Round #9 - He wasn't trying an approach - just coming around. The crew tried holding out the boat hook but they weren't actually close to the buoy. The angle from the OP made it look closer.
Round #10 - The skipper knows there's a danger
of hurting a person in a little boat who will be invisible to him below the bow so wants to use that only as a last resort.
Round 11 and 12 - inexperienced crew errors not knowing what kind of line was needed.
As I said - this is a charitable retelling of the story - but no one was hurt and no property damage. Hard to fault the skipper too much. And he does have the joy of sailing a beautiful boat when most his age are playing bridge on their patio at La Boca Vista. Hope I get to do the same.