The men and women were just settling down in their respective and gender-correct smoking cabins when the sound of live music could be heard coming down from the main deck. The party at Hormann's castle had broken up and the revelers decided to get on the midnight boat to Manhattan. The guest stars, the Elegants, had just finished doing a rendition of their greatest (and only) hit, "Where are You Little Star?" and the Jimmy Febb band now started playing dance music. Led by Doc Sunderson and the Forest Dance Studio troupe, the dancers formed a conga line and were careening wildly to and fro, or to be more correct, fore and aft. The occupants of the lower deck wished they could be up there partying with the hoi-polloi, instead of being stuck down in their sexually segregated cabins.
While all the festivities were taking place on the main deck of the Mary Murray , a drama of different proportions was shaping up on the bridge. When the Mary Murray left its' slip on SI, the night had been clear and cold. As she got even with Robbins Reef lighthouse however, a fog bank rolled in.
Ordinarily, this would have been no problem, but tonight was Captain BarNACLe Bill's maiden voyage. Because most senior ferry skippers had been pressed into service for the wartime merchant marine, SI small boat skippers who had passed the Power Squadron's exam for master mariner were recruited as SI ferry boat skippers. BarNACLe Bill was confident that he could handle any situation that would arise. He had finally mastered his difficulty in understanding the concept of relative and true bearings with help from an outside source.
He had noticed that the range counter on the Mary Murray's PPI (radar) scope seemed to be inaccurate and had put in a call to AAT electronics on Hylan blvd. before getting underway. They sent their master marine electronics technician, D.BLIVIT to repair the scope. D.BLIVIT took one look at the scope, scratched his head and told Cap'n BarNACLe Bill the only thing he needed was some relative bearing grease. He took a tube of white grease out of his tool box and applied it to the left hand iron compensation ball on the binnacle enclosing the magnetic compass.
Captain BarNACLe Bill asked if this would square away the problem, and D.BLIVIT assured him it was fixed. The Captain then asked if that was all there was to relative bearings? D.BLIVIT replied that to be on the safe side he would also leave him a tube of brown true bearing grease, but for an additional fee. All the captain had do was apply this to the starboard scupper abaft the focs'le frame #38. D.BLIVIT then collected his fee, in cash, and left as soon as possible...he had no desire to be underway on this ferry with BarNACLe Bill driving!
Meanwhile, the band played on..........
Staten Island WebŪ Forums Index.