8 Mar 2011 - Puerto Rico, La Gran Canaria - My Turn at Skipper
Puerto Rico, Spain
Today I woke up early in Las Palmas de la Gran Canaria. Today, for the first time, I get to be the skipper for the whole day. The instructor took me aside this morning and told me that I was the only one on the boat that he could trust to hand the boat over to. He said "Just pretend I am not here."
So I did just that. I took command. I told the crew that I would do all the navigation duties for the day and give directions to the helm. They were to spend an hour on helm and two hours off. I told them that while I was below navigating, the helmsman was officer of the deck and in charge of sail trim.
It was great! I ran the boat efficiently and got us from Las Palmas to Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria in 10 hours and brought the boat safely into the marina.
Then after the boat was safely docked, we had a debrief. It seems that the crew was a little unhappy with the decision I made to be the navigator and take myself off helm watch.
The instructor asked "Did Tom get the the boat safely and efficiently from point A to point B? They all agreed.
"Was Tom respectful in the way he issued orders to perform the various tasks that needed to be done?". They all agreed yes.
"Then Tom has accomplished exactly what is expected of him as skipper. If any one of you had a problem with the way Tom was carrying out his responsibilities, then it should have been brought up at the time and not 10pm."
So then they whined about how they were here to learn and it wasn't fair that I didn't give them a chance to navigate and it wasn't fair that I took myself off helm watch, blah, blah, blah.
The instructor wasn't having any of that. He defended all my decisions. I found it strangely satisfying that I was being defended by a Russian against two Russians and an Irishman.
Anyway, we all went out to eat accept Dennis, the Irishman. He's a bit of an Eyore. I had seafood pasta which was good.
Olag told me that I have already earned my Day Skipper qualification. That's what I came here so I'm satisfied!