I have been thinking of a way to describe the way things work on this boat that would make sense to people I know back home because just saying that the flight crew isn’t part of the crew-crew, and only answers to the Captain seems a bit simplified. So, falling back on my military experience I’ve actually gone ahead and assigned everyone ranks on this tub, so here it is.
The Captain is of course, the Captain.
The First Officer would be a Commander.
Then the Chief Engineer, Radio Officer, and Flight Crew would be Lt. Commanders.
The 2nd Officers would be Lieutenants and Ensigns.
The Deck Boss is a First Sergeant.
The deck crew then has a seniority structure like an enlisted unit that is beyond me.
The flight “department” is separated from the chain of command and an independent functioning unit. We handle our own fuel and maintenance and reports, and the only person/people we actually take a flight from is the Captain and occasionally the First Officer. They’re the only two passengers we fly. On the days they are catching fish, the “officers club” is often found on the upper deck while the enlisted men, and the ensigns work the nets and pull in the catch on the lower deck. The “officers club” eats meals and gets a bit extra from the cook, (the real officers on this boat have their own table and the cook hand delivers them food – but the flight crew gets to eat even if the rest of the boat is pulling in catch). So that’s that.
(Insert graphic here – totally did not work, the internet in Tarawa does not allow uploads – because I’m sure I would kill the internet on this island if I tried.)
I even made a fancy flow chart to show you the hierarchy better. There you have it, exactly how the command structure on this boat works – we have no authority other than over flight operations, and answer to nobody other than that Captain. No the real trick will be seeing if that chart transfers over to the blog when I post this. The crew right now are working the nets and pulling in the nets which takes about two hours and is about as entertaining to watch as paint drying after the initial set and cable tow, so I’m in my room writing this, thinking that now would be a good time for a cup of coffee and maybe some pull-ups. Gotta stay fit to fly you know. Or maybe I’ll watch a movie, play a game, take a nap.
The Officers Club is a pretty cozy joint.