The Little Tug Boat That Could

The other day, I experienced for the first time what occurs when a large vessel like the JOIDES Resolution (JR) embarks on its journey.  In order to safely move away from the dock, tugboats, small in comparison to the JR, shield the edges of the JR.  The bumpers on the tugboats prevent the JR from scratching or hitting itself along the dock.  It was incredible to see the power behind these little tugboats to keep the JR safe.  The tugboat wedged itself slowly between the JR and the dock.  As the JR backed up from the port, the tugboat put all its force into keeping the boat aligned and steady.  It was very neat to observe the communication between the boats and the dependance of the large research vessel on these tiny tugs.