Back in the mists of time allatsea was sent to the Maersk Training Centre at Svendborg to undertake a 5 day ‘command assessment course’. It was very very very very very full on and come the end of it he felt drained, prodded, rammed, emptied and transparent. The course instructors knew more about him than his mother, wife, brother and best muckers. No secret remained. It was a ‘chastening’ but enlightening experience. Two elements of it remain vividly in his conscience.
One/ Allatsea’s biggest weakness is his desire to be liked. Not good when you earn your wedge as a shipmaster or indeed as a MWS, when being disliked can come with the territory.
Two/ Never ever ever ever ever ‘assume’ because it ‘makes an arse out of you and me’.
Why is that revelation relevant?
Well because at a Christmas reunion of a bunch of chaps wott used to be in the RNXS together and subsequently, amongst other good things, took up the maintenance and care and general running of a listed vintage vessel, allatsea rather got the wrong end of the stick and assumed a state of affairs that wasn’t the case. He thought that the fine old Little Ship ‘Sundowner’ had been taken away from his old sea muckers. He thought that after years of loving attention, long hours of volunteering and general responsibility for the upkeep of the old yacht, their responsibility had been taken away by the new owners and passed to a new group of enthusiasts. This needled old allatsea, a meritocrasist at heart, he thought it was terribly unfair and declared to himself to right the wrong if and when the opportunity arrived.
That opportunity presented itself in May when he spotted Sundowner on the blocks at Ramsgate and undergoing a maintenance programme. Now what a lot of folks don’t realise about ship surveying, is that a report can be as glowing or as detrimental as the author or rather the commissioner of the report wants it to be, regardless of the ‘true’ state of the vessel. In this very case, a rather unglowing ‘report’ was produced by allatsea and published on this very site. This was done to cast poor light onto the new owners and volunteers and to portray a ‘poor’ performance compared to the old lot, allatsea’s muckers.
Pity then that the ‘new lot’ were in fact the ‘old lot’ and much chagrin and upset ensued. This was not the intention of course, far from it. Allatsea had broken that very important point above, #2, never never never never ever ‘ASSUME’. He did and and it all went tits up, as we say.
Not Sundowner, but a very horrid boat that really did deserve a bad report and it got one.