[FONT=Arial]I took a couple years off to drive truckand be home more often.
Not for two or more weeks at a stretch butmore often.
Or I can be home for a few weeks and thenhave to work a few months on the boat to pay for that and then some.
I can trade one for the other but it seemslike I can never have both at once.
I was expecting Subchapter M to be the lawof the land only to return to the SOS with a few more rules and loopholes tokeep from going Subchapter M or AWO RCP Compliant.
When I was younger I didn’t mind the“adreniline” of running a wheelhouse by myself.
But as I get older, as long as it itunderstood I am the most Sr Officer on watch, I would rather have at least onemore person on watch with me.
Inland towboats have always run a one watchwheelhouse and most things are pretty well within reach.
But now that “when chapter M” is suppose tostart to be implemented at around the same pace OPA ’90 was more and morecompanies are at least trying to comply even if they want to write the new rulebook themselves than leaving it to the CG or ABS.
I don’t mind having a steersman hang outwith me in the wheelhouse and I will gladly pass on all I know to that manabsolutely free of charge……if he is a good match.
If he is a knucklehead….he’s gotta go.
It would have to be the same way with asecond watch duty officer.
He would have to be of the Captain’s likingand not able to undermine the Captain.
But having at least one Fully QualifiedMaster and one Fully Qualified Mate on watch at all times only seemsreasonable. Or even a well qualifiedlookout such as a Quarter Master / Midshipman.
I know it would be nice not having to takea dump in the wheelhouse trash can because you can not even trust your deckhandto hold the wheel for you.
It would be nice to take a stretch out onthe setea once in awhile.
Or make a sandwhich, or whatever.
Besides the extra freedom you have theextra and sometimes more experienced set of eyes of the more Sr Wheelman.
For not only the very basic aforementionedthat can be argued at lenghth over but now with the electronic age the officehas a staff that is very demanding with their emforms and keeping them in theloop every few hours.
Well, that is all fine and good but who isgoing to run the boat while I do one eform after the next?
And remember I am new school who wasbrought up Ol’ School.
Ol’ School Capts’ will laugh at yourcomputer and tell you to get stuffed.
They are computer retarded and not bashfullat all in telling you so.
Last thing I told the office about their“JSA for this and their Eform for that, and their Sinex for this, and on and onand on……
“I got a paper log that I will take apicture of at any time and send to you.
If you want ‘regular updates via eform’then send me a blond about 3’ tall with a flat head and no teeth to be mysecretary.”
Until then…and only then, will you get allthis “E shit”.
However, you will receive all necessaryinformation to keep your business in the black.
As far as the rest goes….if my Mate can’tfigure it out then you need to send a boat secretary.
I and my Mates are navigators andadministrators at times but we are not secretarial marms.
We are a motely crue at times but we clicktogether well and make you money.
Most have not graduated high school, butthen again most have not made less than six figures a year in the last 10 yearsat least.
The office is coming out with SIP and justdropping it in the OOW’s lap as soon as he sits down.
What is worse is the operators that are notfollowing the RCP format.
So you gotta learn some backwoodsintretpretation of the rules until the CG finally reads the station bill thatstates the “Man Overboard Signal” on the ships whislte is 5 blasts?”
I got enough going on navigating the vesselsafely and moving the cargo.
Pass that shit on to the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] andhave him highlight where I need to sign.
If it aint handled like that then you canhandle it from the office.
You may be able to get a “new generation”to keep up with all that “Ecrap” but eventually one of them is going to have amajor accident and it is going to be because he had the office “calling him” tosubmit his “6 hr position” or the “computer log needs updated” and on and on.
Let me tell ya……I just got off an “Ol’School Outlaw Towboat” and not a bit of that shit got done.
The Captain did his paper log and his paperlog only.
And it sucked.
I kept a paper log and made sure importantbilling details were in mine but screw the computer because then I would haveto do the last watch too and I was up until at least Quarter Past every watchcatching up entries.
And the office gets pissy why you don’tsend in your “0500 postion”.
How stupid is that?
Watch change is 0600.
Be pleased if you get it by 0700.
Then plan your day from there.
We ,as the backbone of these companies, need to take the balls back from theoffice.
They have denutted us long enough and agood deal of companies fail because all the yes men tell the boss man what hewants to hear not what he “needs” to hear.
I know a few good fellas that have losttheir tickets for one reason or another over the years.
Those are the perfect people to be PortCaptains or HMO’s.
Most if not all have paid their time andthen some.
Some ain’t ever gettin a ticket again andsome are.
These are the guys, if you can keep themwalking the line, that you want helping you make logistical decisions;not some23 year old college kid.
They been there, done that.
They know, if you don’t, what you need toinclude in any bid or what to account for.
Oh, well….free advice……
Put it in one hand and shit in theother….see which one fills up first……
Point of the diatriabe being a Two ManWatch Should Be Maintained at all times while a Tug / UTV is Underway.
Additionally I think the 3 watch rotationof 4on and 8off should be law.
Most towboats never stop.
They are 24/7/365.
I always give my hands Sundays off forWorship and some “me” time.
I try not to mess with them unless I reallyneed them for something.
They all work at least twice as hard for meduring the week looking forward to a Sunday of playing video games on thecouch.
Or wrting home.
Or watching a movie on Sat TV.
Or catching up on much needed rest.
The older I get the more the “same ol’……sameol’….fatigue starts to wear on me.
That is why I need a younger “go getter” upthere with me looking out for all the knuckleheads for me.
That I way I can only drive that locomotiveon the water 12 hrs out every every 24.
I have to be well rested so that is not an “issue”when I get sued for a drunk running his boat under my tow.
Nothing surprises me anymore
That is why I have MOPS
Again, “Free advice……”