OTY: The Captain let me take the helm for one stretch going around a bend. Given the tremendous tonnage of the cargo and boat, you need to begin a turn much earlier than expected, and move the boat slowly through the curve. The river current makes the effort all the more challenging. The river was powerful but I had large engines to push us through. I did not run us aground, but the responsibility was nerve wracking.
OTA: The Captain of the AMAPura and I had conversations about working on a river, about the hazards of changing river channels and potential run-ins with small boats. When I came up to the bridge, he would offer a chair on the upper deck so I could track our progress. I steered vicariously as we cruised up river. I was the Captain of my fate in my own mind.