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DAVEY JONES: Shipboard culture

Bitchy Captains
Davey-Jones
Sorry its taken me a while to get back to you, a lack of sleep both due to  time changes, some major, and a few minor, repairs and a ship trying to get  back on schedule, have taken my time.
Back to The Maersk Alabama, and its former captain.
You asked me to describe “ship culture” I will try, but each ship is unique,  different companies have different policies (for example Maersk prohibits
any alcohol on board, while APL sells beer and wine in the slop chest)

However some things are somewhat common.   The ship is divided into three departments’ deck, engine and stewards the  deck department is overseen by the Chief Mate, the engine department by the  Chief Engineer and the stewards department by the Chief Steward.  The deck department also consist of the second mate, one  or sometime two  third mates, the boatswain, some number of able seamen, and sometimes
ordinary seamen, how many is determined by both laws, which set a minimum
crewing standard, and company policy, though 5-6 AB’s is fairly common.

The Engine Department has the First Engineer, the second Engineer, one  or
two third Engineers and then, depending if the ship is motor, steam or gas
turbine, other crew members as needed, on the ship I’m on right now (motor)
that would be me, ( A QMED) a Refrigeration Engineer and electrician and a
Wiper.

The Stewards department can vary widely but on a container ship you will
find the Chief Steward, the Cook and a BR.

Each department works independent of the others to get the ship where it
needs to go, and to handle cargo.

Because of this its incumbent on the captain to set a tone so that the whole
operation “gels”

Therefore a bitchy, or unpleasant captain tends to upset the whole ship,
making everything that much harder to get done.


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