When I first started out on Tugs in the late 70’s - early 80’s, you could still go ashore and have a beer. The companies did not allow it but for the most part they looked the other way. Now, if you had a prick for a Captain all bets were off but even then you could still get off and walk around.
The last vessel that I was on, we were allowed to leave but there was a Zero Tolerance Program so NO drinking. The Captain that I sailed with use to give me (CE) crap each and every time I wanted to run up to Wally World for something. His reasoning was that I might be needed at any time but he would disappear all the time. His excuse was well the CM is onboard. Well, then he started taking off with the CM, so much for that excuse.
When I did get off for an hour or so, he would blow my cell up calling about every ten minutes asking When the Fuck would I be back. It finally got to the point I wouldn’t even leave the vessel. I finally laughed at him when I told him I had to go up and talk the my PE about something and he said why can’t you just call. The funny thing is I could have fried this captain’s ass for drinking but I didn’t as that’s just not who I was back then.
We have all worked with some guys can not be trusted to go up the street with out bringing shit down on everyone else. So part of me understands the feelings but we are supposed to be Men and Women not kids and as far as I’m now concerned if you screw up while ashore then you’re gone! Yes, my opinion has changed as lets face it times have changed and the old days (for better or worse) are long gone. With that said, this is NO excuse to ban everyone from leaving a vessel. If I worked for a Captain that did this for NO reason, I would spend my entire tour plotting how to driving said Captain nuts. Now nothing illegal or even dangerous but if the A/C or maybe the Hot Water in his head goes out in his stateroom every once and a while well shit happens.