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Pilot boat

On the bridge

Pilot boat

In many harbors, local pilots come aboard to help the pilot navigate through the ship channel and avoid underwater obstacles. Sometimes (as happened in Naples, above) the water is too rough for the pilot to transfer from the boat to the ship, leaving the captain and helmsman to reach the pier on their own.

The Naples pilot later boarded the ship for our departure, and he was able to step from the ship's rope ladder to the fixed ladder on the pilot boat after we'd cleared the breakwater. Like all harbor pilots, he wasn't fazed by heights, waves, or the possibility of being crushed between the pilot boat and the ship. And, like most harbor pilots, he didn't bother wearing a lifejacket during the transfer from ship to boat.

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