Living History Presenter – Captain's Role

You are assuming the position of the Captain of a large sailing vessel. The Captain is a well-educated person with a significant amount of experience at sea. The Captain is a master of the vessel and is responsible for the lives of passengers, sailing crew and the safe passage of cargo. As commander and ruler on board he stands no watch, comes and goes when he pleases and must be obeyed in everything without question, even from his chief officer.

While the Captain enjoys supreme power, he is the loneliest person aboard because of his limited contact and interaction with the crew. In fact, he has little in common with the rest of the crew, socially or intellectually.

From Craig Arnold of EUTERPE: “There is no modern equivalent to command under sail. This sort of leadership called for split-second decisions combined with the accumulated wisdom of centuries… It was a lonely job… Frequently a captain “made an isolation of himself" for months at a stretch. In a crisis, everything would depend on his judgement and nerve."

1. Meet with Crew/Staff (Section Placeholder – No Video Content)

Description

Meeting with Crew and Staff ensures that all details of the program are in order before the "voyage" begins. You should be in costume no later than 15 minutes before the start of the program, getting into character and mentally preparing for your role.

  • Meet with the crew prior to beginning the program to rig and prepare for duties.

  • Receive all information relevant to beginning the voyage.

  • Check on and organize your supplies and paperwork.

Page 14 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Voyage of Hope Overnight Program
Pages 9, 21, 74 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Revolutionary War
Pages 4 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Gold Digger Program

First Mate's Report

Check with the First Mate on the results of his/her talk with the adults in the School/Group. How well are they prepared? Get the required information and documents:

  1. School / Group Name

  2. School / Group Leader

  3. No. of Students / No. Adults supervisors

  4. Medical Forms / Special Needs

  5. Contact Letters

  6. General Questions / Concerns

Cook's Report

Check with the Cook whether anything is needed:

  1. Ready Supplies / Provisions

  2. General Questions / Concerns

Second Mate's Report

Check with the Second Mate, whose exact role may change depending on the program.

  1. Equipment Check

  2. Sail Ready

  3. General Questions / Concerns

2. Complete Paper Work (Section Placeholder – No Video Content)

Description

Verify that all the paperwork for the voyage is in order. Make sure to get any program-specific documents ready, such as crew lists, fate cards, letters, captain's log, etc.

Review Activities sections in the Training Manuals for more details. These pages describe general program preparations and timelines.


Page 14 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Voyage of Hope Overnight Program
Pages 9, 21, 55, 74 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Revolutionary War
Pages 4 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Gold Digger Program

Examine and Prepare

  1. Go through medical forms and look for any special needs and potential problems.

  2. Fill out and sign:

  • Certificates

  • Evaluation Forms

  • Contracts

11. Morning Dog Watch

Description

The Dog Watch: Derived from the phrase “Dodge Watch” to dodge or avoid a normal four-hour duty watch.

Why: To gradually bring the students back to modern times, while conveying some of the important lessons learned on their voyage. Discuss how the historic activities can relate to students’ current and future life.

Where: Orlop Deck (view from below the open hatch) The orlop is usually the lowest deck of a sailing ship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When: Following Breakfast & Morning Clean-Up (8:00 a.m.)

Who: Captain, Mates (students), Tall Mates (adult supervisors)

Key Learning Objectives:  • Teamwork  • Responsibility  • Leadership

Activity: Ships Log

Learning Objective – Advantages of teamwork as a crew member.

  • Discuss the events of the night (read excerpts from ships log).

  • Praise the Mates for keeping the crew and ship safe.

Activity: Historical Discussion

Learning Objective – Relay the changing historic perspectives from the viewpoint of a captain to the view point of a passenger. 

  • Sailors

  • Passengers

  • Nations

Learning Objective –  Voyage of Hope 1874
The historic perspective from the position of a: sailor, passenger and nation.

Discussion:

  • The life experiences of an emigrant vs. the life of a sailor.

  • The advantages of an educated person vs. an uneducated one.

Learning Objective – Gold Diggers Adventure – 1851
The historic perspective from the position of a: sailor, passenger and nation.

Discussion:

  • Explain how the activities on board reflect California history.

  • Discuss the different options that open to individuals in the 1850's

  • Describe the effects of the gold rush on maritime history.

Learning Objective – Pre-Revolutionary War 1774
To understand the role that individuals have played in history. The historic perspective from the position of a: sailor, passenger and nation.

Discussion:

  • Examine the idea of mercantilism and the benefit of that system to both Britain and America.

  • Discuss the triangle trade as a practical business practice.

  • Explain the current events from the loyalists vs. patriot's point of view.
     

     

  • Examine the consequences of taxation, war, the role of government.
     

     

Activity: Life Choices/Education

Learning Objective – The importance of education and the responsibility for your own future. Take a leadership role in making decisions about your own life goals.

 

Activity: Contracts

  1. Mates Obligations
     


     

     

  2. Transfer of Contracts
     


     

Activity: Certificates

1. Crew Wages


2. Payment

 

Activity: Conclude Watch

1. Provide evaluation forms to the supervisors to complete and return.

2. Cheers to Crew/Safety Officers/etc.

3. Dismiss Mates Topside/Disembark

 

Where is the location for morning Dog Watch on the Star of India?

  • The Orlop Deck
  • The Tween Deck
  • The Saloon

The focus of the morning Dog Watch is to:

  • demonstrate line handling.
  • transition the students back to modern times.
  • have the student’s fill out the evaluation forms.

A key learning objective of the historical discussion during the morning Dog Watch is to:

  • convince the students to become sailors.
  • review the history of ancient sailing vessels.
  • relay the perspectives of the passengers and crew on the voyage.

A main activity of the morning Dog Watch is:

  • having the Mates learning to splice line.
  • payment to the Mates for having signed on as crew.
  • sweeping and cleaning the deck.

The next activity after the morning dog Watch is to have the Mates:

  • go topside to disembark the ship.
  • return for breakfast in the galley.
  • report to the Bosun to learn how to set a sail.

12. Secure the Ship (Section Placeholder – No Video Content)

Description

As the Captain you are responsible for the ship and the program. Follow the Clean-Up Checklist. Make sure Evaluation forms and Clean-Up Checklist are turned in to the office after every program.

  1. Conclude the program with the Crew

  2. Collect the evaluation forms

  3. Make sure all students and their supervisors have disembarked

  4. Complete the morning checklist

Clean-Up Checklist

Clean-Up Checklist outlines what needs to be done after the program concludes and all participants  have disembarked. It ensures that the sailing vessel is left safe, clean and organized.

The Checklist could be found on pages 78-80 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Revolutionary War.

References to the closing out procedures could be found on:
Page 6, 13, 29 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Voyage of Hope Overnight Program
Pages 9, 23, 74 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Revolutionary War.
Pages 4 of the Instructor Training Manual and Program Curriculum - Gold Digger Program