What shapes a captain's "seamanship"?

That was a response that I was pleased to see and quite commendable Sir! It seems strange to me if the Mate is the only one who can line a ship up and organize pilot ladders and meals. Are the rest of the crew that unqualified?

Are the rest of the crew that unqualified?
I don’t think I understand what is being asked.

On a RO/RO ship the deck crew is very involved with cargo ops and at the end of a port stay the crew may be reaching its limits. This is even more true at the end of a two week long, ten port coastwise run.

After the ship is pulled of the pier tugs have to be tended, clearances have to be watched, someone has to stand by the anchors, a ladder has to be rigged, docking pilots have to be escorted down, work does or does not remain to be done on deck, some crew may be OT some not, wheel/meal relief may be needed, STCW limits may be being reached etc. Often leaving the piers means the start of a long transit down the river. The chief mate is the person who can most efficiently coordinate these activities and the bridge is the place where information regarding pilot/captain requirements, transit times and so on is known.

The third mate is new, the second mate is overworked and short on rest, what crew member would you recommend coordinate operations aboard ship?

Well, glad you enjoyed the comment.

[quote=Kennebec Captain;15479]I don’t think I understand what is being asked.

The third mate is new, the second mate is overworked and short on rest, what crew member would you recommend coordinate operations aboard ship?[/quote]

Question: Is good leadership and mentoring shown by a Captain when he lets the Mate con (under his supervision of course) the vessel during anchoring/mooring operations, such that when the Mate does become Captain himself, he has some experience to go with the responsibility? IE instead of being on the foc’sle, manifold or loading ramp.

Why is the third mate (or both of them if you carry two) new and what does that restrict him/them in doing if so?

Why is the second mate overworked and short on rest compared to the other officers?

Is good leadership and mentoring shown by a Captain when he lets the Mate con (under his supervision of course) the vessel
Yes of course it is. Most of us have fond memories of being taken under some captains wing, most of us also recognize that it is our duty in turn to teach other learning the profession.

Having said that, to me this is like giving someone two dollars to buy dinner and then when they show up with a bowl of beans and rice someone says gee, when I was cooking I used to serve steak every night. You can’t eat steak on a rice budget and in many sectors of the shipping industry the budget has been cut. I don’t think that it is fully recognized by many mariners how much the maritime industry has changed in the last few years, increased workload, lowered standards, increased specialization, increase in regulations, criminalization of mariner, increased pace of operations and so on.

On my first deep-sea, Chief mates (watchstanding) job I came to coffee late one day. The captain, who had spend the last ten years as a day working chief mate began to lecture me on the importance of proper time management. When he paused to take a breath I asked him if he had been standing the 4x8 or the 8x12 when he was mate. That ended the lecture, he recognized that adding 8 hours of withstanding to the mates work day is going to have a significant impact or his workload. I had a similar experience with another captain, I had instructions in writing not to violate STCW workhours, after cargo overcarrige incident he asked me why I wasn’t I using both mates to help with cargo.

This is from the blog Manu’s Scripts

Twenty ports a month in the North Sea, English Channel, Mediterranean and off the Bosphorous. Thick fog almost all the time off Northern Europe. Master living on the bridge at sea. A small short manned ship. No pilotage except when compulsory. High winds in almost all Mediterranean ports. Pressure to meet schedules. Inexperienced third mate, fourth engineer and two AB’s. Not enough competent crew to steer the ship even while under pilotage. Specialised ship, so almost the entire deck officers and crew involved in cargo, including unlashing and lashing alongside, during approaches and in rivers and locks. Almost weekly inspections or statutory surveys, port inspections and others, the ship having been just taken over from a previous management who let it run down as usual. Company refusing Master’s urgent requests for an additional experienced navigator. Charterers used to running their own ships where the European crew works on a two week rotation and permanent wages and expect similar initiative from the crew. Our crew on board working on a nine month contract, officers 4/6 months. Cold as a witches unmentionables in winter. High seas in the Bristol Channel, some Mediterranean ports and in the North Sea, resulting in some ports being occasionally closed, and ships steaming at slow speed for a day or two in heavy weather just off port. No sleep. No rest for the wicked.

Teaching the mates how to use a sextant while running for PI to Guam with an extra third mate is all well and good, if someone pulled out a sextant on a Ro/RO ship running in Northern Europe with all the mates on watch, where the river transits are longer then the port stay they would get laughed off the bridge.

[quote=PMC;14159]I recently heard a statement that a captain’s professional habits are most heavily influenced by their first captain. And that much of what they experience after that is either a re-affirmation or a rationalization of their first tour of duty.


I wish that were the case…

I was very fortunate to serve under 2 exceptional Captains, aboard a Navy Destroyer…My first glimpses of a real ship’s Captain will serve me well as these 2 men were masters at their craft, and in every sense of the word professional…

Having found gcaptain’s community, several months before I made a career change, it reaffirmed my theory of what a professional Captain should be.

Now I am returning to sea,some 22 years later I have found that all Captains are not created equal, in fact some were severely shorted when it came time to pass out such things as common sense and decency…