Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Today aboard most ships, the officers are called and referred to by their first names (except in most cases the master, who is called captain or skipper) and nary a 'sir' or 'ma'am' is heard, and it isn't unusual for the officers to mix and mingle with the crew both on the ship and during off time. And while most get along just fine without it, including NIAGARA (which is often cited as being more organized than many), there is an intangible benefit to be derived from naval discipline - which is often displayed on the Navy's better ships - that not only brings a crew together but drives them onward, motivating them and instilling a sense of tremendous pride that can best be described as a fighting spirit. Hornet's crew has to set that bar highest of all - all eyes, even in the Navy's Atlantic Fleet - will be on her wherever she goes. Anything less will ring false to the active Sailors we know we're going to meet, and in many cases cater to. And none of this mentions the simple fact that onboard a Navy ship - even a mock-Navy ship like Hornet - it is what spectators and participants will expect to see. But in an era when many of Hornet's crew will never have served in the military - how do we do this? That's what we're working out, and NIAGARA's crew had some interesting feedback.
First, the obvious - the crew must adhere to a very rigid chain of command. So today's entry will cover the generalities of the model with respect to ranks and responsibilities, and some of the comments and criticism from NIAGARA's officers and crew.
But back here in the office, I'm suddenly overcome by that feeling best described as 'a case of the Mondays' although I hope this isn't the sort of place where I'd get my a$$ kicked for saying something like that (this is an easy one, a cult classic!). After a week sailing aboard a tall ship, followed by a mad dash into a hurricane zone and two days cooking on my livingroom fireplace, the office has easily lost its usual charms. I'm itching for more excitement, but more on that later - I'm sure everyone would agree that my boredom is dangerous. But first, a little bit about the past week, and my absence.
Friday, August 26, 2011
No volunteers will be required at the Dockyard during any portion of the hurricane/foul weather. The Monomoys are buttoned up as best they can be, and all else secured for sea. Remain safe - go where you need to - so long as it's not the Dockyard. On that score, I'm on high ground and I have beer - who wants a hurricane party?
Be safe everyone and I'll get back to writing next week. Yes, it is unreasonable to expect that I'll be answering the 200+ emails that have piled up on me this weekend. Watch below (hat tip Niagara crew).
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
I may have retouched that photo, just a little. In case anyone doesn't recognize it, this is a photo taken in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1861 after Federal forces had attempted to destroy the facilities as they evacuated in an attempt to deny them to Virginia state forces (Confederates) coming to occupy it. Call it a hat-tip to the ongoing Civil War 150th anniversary commemorations, which certainly deserve attention.
This weekend I had a chance to head over to Portsmouth and visit some of my local favorites - the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Museum and the shipyard itself. It's a visit I try to make a few times a year to go exploring with my military ID. Sometimes I lament that civilians aren't able to see the shipyard - which requires a military ID to get in - but harbors some truly awesome remnants of our Naval history. For those without a golden ticket, the museum is located in Downtown Portsmouth and you don't need one to get in, just a few dollars.
Friday, August 5, 2011
So what other awesome things are in the hopper, besides the things I've brought up lately? Plenty.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Yesterday I had a great conversation with Philip Roberts, the owner of Steel, Chapman & Hutchinson LTD. SC&H is a company that specializes in large scale radio controlled sailing ships - which definately falls into the 'dabbled as an adult' category; I've probably been debating on how to work one of those models into my pasttimes for years now. These models, which are not cheap, are nevertheless durable, easy to build, fun to sail and absolutely gorgeous. For between roughly $3,000 to $5,000, any person can become captain of their own miniature square rigger.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Now, we have even more projects started with notes and ideas flying back and forth with several construction projects moving right along.