Picture if you will, a pleasure vessel travelling downriver on the Mississippi and being approached by a tow that didn't respond to hailing on channel 13 for passing instructions. Then add a second tow that appears to be behind the first tow, but turns out to be overtaking it, that instructs the pleasure vessel to pass on the "one whistle" side ie port to port. Since the pleasure vessel is directly in front of the first tow awaiting instructions, there is no time or space to get by the port side of the second tow so the pleasure craft skipper opts to go between the two tows, much to the amazement of the tow skippers.
Now picture a sailing vessel that observes and photographs the episode......
forget trying to picture it.....here's the real thing!
Photos courtesy of TEASA