Several miles out, we meet Regula, a 430-foot Cyprus-flagged container ship coming into the Port of Tampa from Tuxpan, Mexico, at 11.5 mph. Jean slides Manatee along the ship’s lee side (starboard in this case), keeping pace with it to plant our boat’s port bow firmly against the looming hull at a 5-degree angle as two crew members on the ship’s deck above lower a flexible Jacob’s ladder. Capt. Lachnicht, who has donned a life jacket and shouldered his briefcase, walks out onto Manatee’s open-bow deck, climbs three stairs up onto a boarding platform with a railing, and steps across onto the ladder, holding firmly to its sides. From there, he climbs 25 feet straight up to Regula’s still-moving deck to assume navigational command for the trip through Tampa Bay’s narrow ship channels to the port. Jean expertly turns Manatee away with a twist of the helm and a burst of the throttles. The supercharged and turbocharged D11s supply instant torque to the four counter-rotating propellers on the boat’s two forward-facing, articulating IPS2 drives (one three-blade and one four-blade propeller on each), which firmly bite into the disturbed water and cleanly carry us away.