As the sequence with Tim continues, a sweet vignette is shown. The boy quickly learns aspects of sailing with which he wasn’t already familiar, and shows he’s an asset, not a liability. But before the comic transforms into a PSA on inclusiveness, a villain appears on the horizon, and tension is created.
As a cruising family, any time spent at a port is an opportunity to restock the galley. Given Tim’s limitations, the logical decision is made to leave him in charge of Heather while the family walks into town.
While the motivations of the man who cut the barge loose weren’t discussed, Tim’s quick thinking saved Heather and himself, and provides an example of the sort of drama to be found while sailing.