High Winds is the eleventh episode of Tugs.
An evil tramp steamer, named Johnny Cuba, sailed into Bigg City Port. But, as Captain Star remembers all too well, no-one expects trouble that day, as they are too busy worrying about the forecast high winds.
In the heart of Bigg City Port, O.J. tells Ten Cents and Sunshine to bring in Scuttlebutt Pete, who is dredging in the bay. Ten Cents and Sunshine see Zebedee passing through with several cargo barges. One of his barges comes loose. Ten Cents and Sunshine help him secure it against their inclinations. Zebedee equally grudgingly thanks them but he knows that if Captain Zero heard about it, he'd be furious.
Out in the estuary, Johnny Cuba sees the way is clear, and decides to slip into port, to meet his “business pals” - fellow gangsters, presumably trampers. The Coast Guard sees him and prepares to inspect him as he is suspected of smuggling, but Johnny Cuba deliberately runs him into some rocks. Nearby, Zebedee is looking for ships that may need a tow, and soon sees Johnny come into view from around the corner. Johnny orders Zebedee to bring him into the harbour. Zebedee tries to make excuses, for reasons which are explained later, but Johnny Cuba won't take no for an answer. Zebedee reluctantly tows him to the disused docks, where he will later meet his friends.
It is now revealed that years ago, something happened between Captain Zero and Johnny Cuba, so Zebedee can’t tell the Captain about him, as he has already helped him. As Zebedee tries to find a way out of his difficult situation, he sees Ten Cents and Sunshine struggling to secure Scuttlebutt Pete. He needs to get home before the storm breaks, but the wind’s too strong for the switchers to handle. Ten Cents calls to Zebedee for help. Zebedee is obliged to help as he owes them one. He kindly helps secure Scuttlebutt, but hopes Captain Zero does not find out.
Later, thinking no-one is about, Zebedee steals a coal barge, But a suspicious Top Hat sees him and goes to check with Captain Star. Zebedee brings the coal to Johnny, and begs him to let him carry out his orders. Johnny Cuba finally agrees, but wants him back that night.
Further away, Warrior speaks to Big Mac about how Sally Seaplane told him that Hercules has the Princess Alice in tow, who has been damaged at sea. They go to tell O.J., so they can all help bring her in.
Out in the estuary, Zebedee finds the Coast Guard trapped on the rocks. The Coast Guard tells Zebedee about Johnny Cuba. Zebedee takes him to Lucky's Yard for repairs. From Zebedee's reaction at the mention of his name, the Coast Guard correctly guesses that Zebedee has helped Johnny Cuba, but decides to be lenient with him because he has helped him as well.
Zebedee sees Zorran, who says how he’s supposed to be out answering distress calls. Scuttlebutt Pete must have been gossiping, because Zorran knows Zebedee has been helping the Star Tugs. Zebedee ignores Zorran, and steams away from him. Zorran eagerly anticipates the Stars docking the Princess Alice. It’s very difficult and dangerous work, thanks to the high winds and furthermore her damaged rudder, which means she can’t assist. All seems lost when the Stars start to lose her, and any second will be crushed between her and the quayside. They desperately need another tug. The Fire Launch is unable to help, as he is on standby in case of fire. Reluctantly, Zebedee darts in, and saves the day, much to Zorran's shock and disgust.
Once again, Zebedee meets up with Johnny Cuba, as ordered. Just as Johnny is about to give more dirty work, Hercules shows up. He says Johnny shall be taken to the authorities. Johnny tries to escape, but Zebedee finally plucks up the courage to stand up to him, and stops him from getting away by blocking him in. Johnny gets what he deserves, and is held by the authorities, who give official thanks to both Zebedee and Hercules.
It is soon dusk, and the weather is now lovely and calm. Ten Cents and Sunshine happen upon Zebedee. Zebedee tells them how happy Captain Zero is about how Johnny’s now locked up. While Ten Cents and Sunshine give him further thanks for helping out with Scuttlebutt Pete, Ten Cents hesitantly offers Zebedee a place among the Star Tugs. But Zebedee angrily declines and leaves. Captain Star gives the episode's moral, "Everyone must have a good streak in them somewhere, even Z-Stacks".
- Ten Cents
- Big Mac
- Top Hat
- Johnny Cuba
- Princess Alice
- Fire Tug
- Coast Guard
- Scuttlebutt Pete
- Captain Star ('(narration only; does not speak)')
- Zug (cameo)
- Zip (cameo)
- Little Ditcher (cameo)
- Big Mickey (cameo)
- The Fultan Ferry (cameo)
- The Goods Engine (cameo)
- Zak (deleted scene)
- Lillie Lightship (deleted scene)
- Sally Seaplane ('(deleted scene (mentioned in final cut)')
- Captain Zero ('(deleted scene; does not speak in final cut)')
- The Fire Tug said that he couldn't help the Princess Alice because he was needed in case of fire, but when Zebedee leaves, the Fire Tug is helping the Princess Alice.
- When Zebedee is talking to Zorran, two of Zorran's side fenders can be seen wiggling.
It was re-released in 1990 by Castle Vision under the Playbox range of videos along with the same episodes.
During the early 1990s, TV Tokyo Video and TAKARA released the video as a single episode.