Well, it was a river pilot, not a Captain, and I was a passenger, not a crew member, but the incident was memorable none the less.
In 1973 the Cargill Co. donated a ride on the Austin S. Cargill, then the largest towboat on the Mississippi, to a local charity auction. Another couple and us pooled our resources, bid and won. We rode a smaller tow from Alton to Memphis (where we ran aground. losing the tow and almost taking out the Memphis Bridge) and then transferred to the Cargill. Her tow was 33 barges, a medium tow for her at the time.
It was not a very relaxing vacation because I stayed up nearly 24/7, fascinated by the workings of the boat. Flanking bends, shooting the Vicskburg Bridge at 3 AM, and sitting the engine room watching the old chief reverse the diesel by stopping it, spinning the camshafts, and restarting it with air in response to bell signals from the pilothouse. Lots of stories from that trip, so here's just one.
Break of dawn, north of Baton Rouge. I'm in the pilothouse, sitting in the back corner with my mouth shut. Pilot turns to me and says:
"Around this bend there's a crazy Cajun what runs a gravel pit on one side and has his loading dock on the other. Always runnin' back and forth, pays no attention to nothin'"
If you filmed it the script would read like this:
Pilot: "This is the Austin S. Cargill one mile upstream of [Something] Bend, calling for the one whistle side of the river."
Silence on the radio. Loooong single blast on the horn. Reverse engines and almost stop, current takes the tow and swings it like a giant door. All forward full, "racing the river for the bend." Come around going full speed plus speed of the current and there's a little tug with one barge in front, crossing the river dead ahead. Five blasts on the horn. Radio comes alive.
"Gimme a minnut, Cap'n"
Pilot, in slow, calm, measured tones: "Ah ain't got a minnut, Cap'n"
Rooster tail from the tug. When we passed him we were so close I could'nt see the stern of the tug from the side window of the pilothouse.