As always, winter at home for Pride is a chance to get ready for the next season. It is not a restful time for us captains. While we were overseeing the process of getting the ship protected for the winter and collaborating with the staff regarding end of the year mission requirements, there was also searching for the winter maintenance crew. Now it is January, and while the holidays were a time period not distracted by having to oversee the ship as there was no work being done, eight winter crew are now hard at work chipping away at the work list. This requires captain oversight time in between more mission planning and collaboration with the staff, and selecting the 2014 sailing crew, only to mention a few winter work requirements. Fortunately we have a very qualified foreman of the winter crew. Once we have described things to Patrick Flynn and answered his questions, we captains go to the office for meetings; those meetings generating further work lists and more meetings.
Now, a week into winter maintenance (we started last Wednesday because of the arctic cold snap last Monday and Tuesday with temperatures as low as -10°F wind chill making outside work problematic) the rhythm of the winter crew is quite visible. Patrick has steadily been grasping the logistics of the neighborhood of suppliers along with the Maryland Port Authority (MPA) work-space leased for Pride‘s winter layup. It is also evident there is a growing rapport between him and the winter crew. The work list accomplishments are evident. This means we captains can limit our time at the winter work site and spend more time collaborating with the staff, assembling the 2014 mission schedule for the ship.
In addition we have the added benefit of Pride volunteers joining the winter crew. During winter maintenance the volunteers are a terrific productivity multiplier. This is our third season of winter maintenance volunteers and it is truly pleasurable to see our friends of Pride for the last two winters returning for a third. They bring a steadiness and focus to their work assignments – a great influence on the winter crew along with increasing overall productivity.
Our current winter crew come from all around the country and is composed of veterans aboard Pride as well as those new to her. All have pretty extensive experience with traditional working class sail vessels similar to Pride‘s technical period and embody the desirable attributes of a culture in alignment with Pride‘s.
Is everyone making inroads to the readiness requirements of the coming sailing season?
A Captain with Pride of Baltimore, Inc.