Back in the day, when I was looking down at the deckhand on the bow coiling a line, I realized that he didn’t waste a motion, didn’t loose time, and expended as little energy doing a task that my other deckhand (30 years or so his junior) could do faster, quicker, and louder. BUT, when the young guy had pulled all the lines in, he had to recoil, neaten, straighten, and then secure. I would always demand that I get a call (especially in freezing weather) that they were done securing all the lines, so I could hook it up to the next job. Damned if the old timer would finish by the time he walked from the stern to the bow. The young pup would have to go back and forth a couple times to clean up the mess. This is NOT learned from a book. This is NOT learned by assumption. This is NOT learned by bad example.
Pay attention to the experience. Not only will it make your life, job, easier; it may save your life. You don’t have to ‘run around on deck’ to get the job done. But THINK about it. Do what is required and necessary. Don’t waste time doing things twice.
I had a young firestorm deckhand. He would routinely paint 10 or 15 gallons of deck paint a watch in summer. The other deckhand, an old duffer would struggle to get through 5. But you should have seen the quality of the paint job. The young guy’s paint job looked as if a freakin tornado went through. Splatter, Non skid, (or forgotten nonskid) sometimes forgotten hardener, messy paint locker, rollers forgotten about etc etc etc. But the old timer had 5 gallons applied, rolled right to the edges. No splatter. ALL paint equipment cleaned up, stowed, paint locker shipshape, and guess who I would have rather had as a teacher?
One excellent crew I had was asking how the Moran guys could throw a heaving line up the vertical side of a ship and literally hit the Monkey’s Fist inside a chock three, four or five deck up. My response was “Practice” Soon they were all out on the barge practicing. Almost each and every new Deckhand, and Cadet I have had always look at me as if to say: “Of course, I KNOW that, Duh.” Few actually get off their ass and DO IT. Show me a deckhand who actually perfects his craft, and I will introduce you to the next Mate you will be working for. But, keep assuming, and doing ‘just enough’ and You will be the [U]next[/U] previous Deckhand. If you want to excel, take the time to read. Study. And I DON’T mean the freaking XboxGame thing!