captain Arthur J. Fournier

Captain Fournier Crosses the Bar

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November 24, 2013

The passing of Captain Arthur J. Fournier, a former Portland, Maine Harbor pilot did not go unnoticed by the gCaptain community on 16 November. Out of respect for Captain Fournier, Paul Berdy, a New England-based tugboat sailor, remembers the man:

As a young tugboat mate I made infrequent trips to Portland Maine, so a pilot was ordered to cover my watch. 28 hours after leaving New York harbor in 2001, Captain Arthur Fournier, a diminutive salt in his late sixties boarded us for the transit through Portland’s Million Dollar Bridge bound for an inner harbor oil dock.

The pressure was on me to ensure we arrived at the dock safely, and Arthur wouldn’t have it any other way. My secondary objective was to avoid being the target of any colorful expressions from the ornery Pilot. Arthur was well-respected for his command of colorful language. I can’t say that I didn’t hear any profanity that day, but as I recall it wasn’t directed towards me.

Arthur contacted the bridge tender with the familiarity of talking to an old friend.

As I made my approach through the bridge, Arthur pointed out the two light bulbs on the bridge fendering he had replaced with 200 watt bulbs, ingeniously making a range.

Arthur was a legendary figure in the Boston and Portland waterfront. His shiphandling skill, quick wit and fiery attitude made for an interesting transit from the Portland sea buoy to the Inner harbor. His old school style of tugboating will be missed. Fair winds and following seas, Mr. Pilot.

Did you ever work alongside Captain Fournier? Feel free to share your memories below, or in the gCaptain Forum thread HERE.


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