Friday, March 7, 2014

Shipmates, Performance Review

Last August after Dee Dee had been onboard for a couple of months we went over the job requirements of an aCappella First Mate. Dee Dee was brought onboard as a probationary Third Mate with the hope that she would learn the First Mate skills from Dylan allowing her to move up to the on-deck position of Second Mate. While Dylan fulfilled his First Mate role with aplomb, Dee Dee was falling far short of her role as Second Mate. But she's put quite a few miles under her keel now and I thought it was time to do a performance review of our littlest crew member. Will she make the grade? Let's see.

MV aCappella First Mate Job Description

1.  The First Mate must assist the Captain on the flybridge in all close maneuvers such as docking and undocking. This requires ascending and descending the 7 stairs to the flybridge unattended and on command.

Dee Dee has certainly mastered every stairway on the boat and can easily ascend and descend the flybridge stairs. She loves running to the back of the flybridge and looking over the edge much to her mom's dismay. While Dylan runs to the flybridge and takes his place below the helm the moment the engines start up, Dee Dee likes to run up and down, occasionally on command, looking for the place where she can be most in the way. Rating: Fair

2.  The First Mate must assist the Captain at the helm whether piloting from the flybridge or the pilothouse. They must provide companionship without causing a disturbance and must lie down on command.

Well, she will lie down on command when she believes a treat may be forthcoming. However, if Dee Dee's awake, she's often causing a disturbance and to call what she does "assisting" would be just short of a lie. Rating: Poor

3.  The First Mate must accompany the Captain on the bi-hourly Around the Block tour. This requires being able to descend the stairs from the pilothouse to the salon, use the step-stool to look over the side to check the fuel vents, and ascending the very steep outside stairs, all unaided.

This is one area where Dee Dee excels and even rivals Dylan. She loves this part of the job and performs with the utmost enthusiasm. Rating:  Excellent

4.  The First Mate must be able to get on and off the pilothouse settee unaided and on command while underway.

This is another area where Dee Dee has advanced to the First Mate level, even surpassing Dylan. Dylan has only ever jumped on and off the pilothouse settee from the port side. I'm pretty sure that the stairs going to the salon which are located at the take-off and landing point on the starboard side intimidate him. At any rate he just will not do it. Dee Dee, however, will leap from either side and sometimes even goes under the table and up the step like she did as a puppy. This often results in some part of her hitting the table, as she discovers, but never remembers, that she's a much bigger girl now. The "on command" portion needs a little work but is coming along.  Rating: Very Good

5.  The First Mate must be able to be left uncrated and unattended for a minimum of one hour without destruction of the boat and items contained on the boat that are not Dee Dee toys.

She has made progress here but still finds certain items just too enticing to ignore. Hats are the hardest with anything paper close behind. It seems the smaller the paper the better with boat cards apparently being the perfect size. If you've given us one lately, it's not likely that we still have it. Yet another good reason to go digital with eBoatCards. Oh, and that's one of my cloth napkins in her mouth.  Rating: Average

6.  The First Mate must successfully meet other criteria including never standing with paws on the bow caprail especially when underway, completing a minimum of 5 dinghy passages without going overboard, being able to independently spy dolphins, and other tasks as may be defined in the future.

This one is a mixed bag. She has far more than 5 dinghy rides under her belt and has yet to go overboard (knock on wood). Spying dolphins has become almost as much of a passion as it is for Dylan. She is doing well at adapting to a variety of situations both on shore and underway. She has completed several offshore passages including her first overnight. Where she is failing is on a criteria dear to her dad's heart is staying off the teak caprail. It's hard when there are so many interesting sights and sounds happening just beyond the boat, both on land and at sea. Rating: Good

While our girl has certainly made progress, there is still some work to do before she can fall in behind Dylan as Second Mate. Fortunately, she has an excellent guide.


MarkJ said...

Really enjoy reading your posts. Hope to some day meet your crew in person!

Dave said...

She is coming along! Just doesnt want to be rushed! LOL. Have a safe trip. Still in Fort Myers?