Stupid Skippers – The Blame Game
Captain Stupid decides to perform a maneuver. Maybe it’s a tack, or a jibe, or just anchoring. Something goes wrong and the game is afoot.
Captain S. yells, or maybe he just mutters angrily. He berates one of his crew for some action he deems a mistake. His face reddens. He glares at the offending crew. Smoke spews out his ears. A few words and a pointed finger brands the offender for all to see. He’s holed his crew as surely as if he’d holed his boat and it’ll take more than a bilge pump to sort the mess out.
Of course you and I, not being stupid skippers, realize that the onus of blame lies with the skipper, and him alone! He selected his crew. He trained his crew. He knows the limits of his crew’s proficiency and he is responsible for commanding his vessel in accordance with his crew’s ability. So what has his little game accomplished?
He has managed to demoralize a member of his crew. He has set one crew against others. He has made his crew fearful of mistakes and tentative in action. He has made himself the fool in their eyes. Stupid skipper.
Like you, in years now long passed, I have been guilty of this stupidity, but I err no more. Six years at sea with a wife and young son taught me my proper responsibilities. Had I not learned my job, I’d soon have been without wife, son, and crew. So I mended my ways and was stupid no more.
Now I take the time to gently teach my crew. I remember that their proficiency will grow with time—IF I give them time to learn and lots of encouragement. I keep my expectations in line with their abilities and I always operate my vessel with their safety and comfort as my first concern.
Above all, I do everything in my power to assure that my crew has FUN!
Why else would they come back for more?