Without a doubt, prosecutors were trying to make a point with the jury by calling Virgin Islands skipper Terry Lee Brenay as a witness yesterday. But for all his testimony that was damaging to the defense, Brenay is sure to be remembered as much for the comic relief he brought to the close of the case.

At issue was an allegation that Barry smoked marijuana on a pleasure boat in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1986.

The problem for prosecutors was that Brenay found himself either the instigator or the recipient of a series of one-liners that provoked more laughter from the judge and jurors than the previous six weeks of testimony.

From the start, Brenay had them laughing. A 17-year Michigan police veteran who gave it all up in 1979 to live in the islands and repair boat engines, Brenay explained the meaning of his nickname, "First-pull."

"In the outboard community . . . I am known as "First-pull" because the engines usually start on the first pull," Brenay said, deadpan.

Getting to the point, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Roberts asked Brenay whether he had smelled marijuana on the boat. Brenay said that he had, and that he had shared two marijuana cigarettes with his passengers in the main saloon on the lower level.

"Now, after the second marijuana cigarette was completed, what happened next?" Roberts asked.

Brenay said, "Well, it wasn't very good marijuana, so I had a joint that I brought along with me."

Several jurors laughed out loud, and U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson had to put his fist to his mouth to conceal his amusement.

"Did you say anything to Mr. {Charles} Lewis when you gave it to him?" Roberts asked.

"Yes, I said, 'Here, try this. It is home-grown. It is much better quality than what you have," Brenay said.

By now, Jackson was turning red and the corners of a smile were visible at the edge of his fist.

Brenay drew even more laughs under cross-examination by Barry lawyer R. Kenneth Mundy, who tried to win a concession that the boat's bathroom, or head, was too small for two people to use as a place to snort cocaine together.

Not true, Brenay said. The head had a toilet, a sink and a shower large enough for two people -- if they were friendly.

"Very friendly?" Mundy asked.

"If they are not, they will be when they get out," Brenay quipped.

Trying another angle, Mundy sought to discredit Brenay by challenging his precise recollection of where he sailed more than four years ago.

"Now, you are able to recall on this particular trip that you were somewhere between Congo and Labango?" Mundy asked. "Am I pronouncing it right?"

"It is an old island called Love and Go . . . . "It used to be a whorehouse on the island."

Brenay's voice was drowned out by laughter.

Some of the jurors were bent over in their seats; others had tossed their heads back in the hilarity.