24 Jun Sir Salty McWouldbe-Admiral-And-Commander
Sir Salty McWouldbe-Admiral-And-
I had been thinking on Sir Salty’s generous albeit confusing and somewhat mutinous offer to take over the ship. Getting North of the Hawaiian Islands took longer than expected and the constant head winds and calms punctuated only by showers kept me fiddling with lines and our course day and night with little time for anything else.
I got around to a response last night and pinned it to a perpetually soporific Salty. This morning, I found Sir Salty in covetous possession of the remaining grog. I reckon that’s a yes.
Here’s the note I left for Sir Salty McWouldbe-Admiral-And-
To Sir Salty McAdmiral-And-Commander
Firstly, let me apologize for not responding to your magnanimous offer of relieving me of the onerous responsibilities and duties as Captain. This past week’s work has required us to pass under and then clear the Hawaiian Islands all the while hard on the wind or becalmed. You, of course, know this as you have been fast asleep, rested and prepared to spring into action and save all our lives if need be.
I have very carefully considered your offer to assume the Captaincy. At first blush, it smacks of little more than outright mutiny from a disgruntled malcontent. In fact, late one night last week, I had the ship’s irons in hand and was determined to see you in them. Thankfully, Port and Starboard, normally a constant thorn in your side, intervened on your behalf and talked some sense into me.
I have come to know you as a valued and dependable shipmate. And over the course of these many months at sea, I have come to know something of your character. It was my mistake and haughty temper to think your heart had somehow blackened and turned mutinous. Moreover and perhaps worse, it seems my pride had been pricked and pride once pricked precedes a great fall.
However, a ship can only have one Captain and for better or worse, this ship has me. That is not to say in any way am expert in all things. But it is to say that the responsibilities for this ship and those on board lay at my feet.
It is clear that you, Sir Salty, surpass me in all respects when it comes to fishes and fishing. It is also clear that you could well serve the entire ship’s company by assuming the role of Chief Fisheries Officer. In this capacity, you would have the responsibility of pointing a flipper at any spot and I, ship’s safety notwithstanding, would have the responsibility of getting us there. The post comes with a generous increase in your daily ration of grog and first right of refusal for any fish or fishes we bring aboard.
In summary then, you would have the freedom as Chief Fisheries Officer to direct the ship where you see fit for fishes. In essence, the same freedom I do as Captain minus the responsibilities that I alone must bear. This seems to me an excellent compromise, with much added benefit, and I suspect will go a long way helping to alleviate any anxiety you may be experiencing watching me trying to catch a fish.
I trust this new appointment and post meets with your immediate approval and consent.
Bert ter Hart, Captain S/V Seaburban
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