In addition to her duties as a research yacht, the Enchanter also served as the training vessel for Rons new Sea Organization crew. In the following article, Ron not only speaks of how he single-handed the Enchanter ,but of the use of ships in creating tight-knit teams and what it means to function as a real crew.
eople thought I was joking when I was talking about single-handing the ship away from a dock all by myself, but the truth of the matter, I wasnt. And it frankly could be done.
We have had instances where Ive single-handed a vessel but wasnt permitted to do so very long. People start coming up and taking the ship away from me they take pieces of it, one after the other. I almost drove a crew frantic one time by insisting on single-handing something on the Enchanter and that was a very upset crew.
They were supposed to have gone down and dived the night before and untangled the anchors. They had two anchors out, and they were tangled. That was a neglected order; they didnt do that. They were supposed to get out and operate at 1:00 oclock 1300 the next day they were supposed to have sailed.
At 1300 the next day, the anchors were still tangled and they were not about to leave harbor, and the captain of her at that time actually had started the crew training on the ships org book at that time. And this was unfortunate.
So at 1300, seeing no activity on the decks, I went up and started bringing in the anchors. I think I checked out the engine to see whether or not itd run and then went up and started bringing in the anchors.
They were crossed very difficult, because one anchor was trying to raise the other anchor and they were all wadded up. Trying to get those two anchors up off of the harbor bottom was quite difficult. I managed to get a boat hook and pull them apart a little bit and then I managed to haul them up high enough to get them off the floor of the harbor.
The truth of the matter is, one crew member who was aboard, immediately started pitching in went down below and closed all the portholes and did all the things necessary to get the ship to sea. I had one anchor holding the other anchor up off the bottom. Went back aft, got her engine going well and got her out into deep water, and then dropped both anchors and dropped them way out on their chain. And because they could hang way down now, they disentangled and I managed to get them back up again.
It was very pathetic action, because various members of the crew kept coming forward while I was doing all this, saying, "cant I help?" And they looked very abashed. They were quite upset. And by the time I got both anchors into the hawsepipe, and got her sailing and going along alright, one after the other had taken over this piece and that piece of the operation of the ship, and she was fully operating. And by the time we anchored again, why her crew was her crew.
It was an interesting experience from a viewpoint of morale. I have never seen people quite so worried or quite so upset as when their help wasnt used and they were excluded out as far as the group was concerned.
It was an amusing instance, but the truth of the matter is that it is almost impossible to do anything by yourself. You sooner or later will pull in assistance, and people will begin to handle the situation, unless interfered with or expressly forbidden, and even then, will form up into a third dynamic activity.