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THE CHIEF MATE (Continued)
Receiving Stores. All stores delivered to the vessel should be received by the officer of the deck. The Chief Mate should provide for the proper receipt and the proper entries either in a log book or in a stores receipt book. Everything should be checked, weighed, and measured. This should be the basis for the approval of bills from supply houses, etc.
Keys. The key board of a vessel should be the direct charge of the Chief Mate, delegated, if necessary, but he should see that the keys are kept in order, properly marked, and only in the possession of those entitled to have them in charge. Receipts should be given for all keys drawn from the key board.
Master Keys. The master keys should be in the possession of the Chief Mate, and of the Master. When the Chief Mate goes ashore, the master keys should be left with the officer in charge of the ship during his absence.
The key board is a fair indication of the efficiency of a vessel.
Harbor Regulations. All harbor regulations should be observed. It is the duty of the Chief Mate to acquaint himself with these rules and see that the vessel and the crew abide by them.
Turning To. The time when men turn to and knock off, while in harbor, should be regulated by the Chief Mate, subject to companies' rules, customs, etc. It is well to abide strictly to these rules, but when the safety of the vessel, or the necessities of work require it, extra work may be demanded by the Chief Mate.
In the point of work in port, and at sea, for that matter, working conditions are now bound up in agreements between companies and seamen's unions. Much of this is necessary and was brought about by abuses practiced upon seamen in days past.
The Chief Mate who gives his crew a right deal, and knows! how to handle and take care of his men, never has any trouble in getting work done after hours. The answer is be humanalso just and firm-no sailor has any use for a jelly fish officer.
Upkeep. The work in port is usually confined to washing down, cleaning up after the stevedores, preparing holds for cargo, painting over the side, painting the boot-topping when the vessel is light, and cleaning up after coaling. At this time the steering gear and steering engine should be looked after, cleaned up and overhauled.
Wooden decks should be washed down every morning, as at sea, especially if in a warm port.
Cover the ends of mooring lines, to keep out dirt and grit; stow superfluous lines below—but handy—this keeps them away from harm, and the junk boats.
Unscrew and stow away all brass fittings—when in ports where these things can be disposed of-in most ports where the vessel lies at an unwatched wharf.
All persons leaving the vessel with packages, and suit cases-unless officers or officials-should show contents to the gangway watch.
No one should be allowed on the bridge or bridge deck, unless there on business.
Fire Hoses, Axes, Buckets, Extinguishers, etc. The Chief Mate is charged with the care and working order of the fire-fighting equipment of the vessel.
Fire drills must be held as required by law.
Life-saving Equipment. The Chief Mate must pay special attention to the condition and readiness of the life boats, and their equipment:
He should see that the bread tins, after each inspection, are tightly screwed down, or the contents may spoil, or be unfit at the next inspection by the U. S. Steamboat Inspectors.
The list of required boat equipment is a long one and should be carefully complied with.
The rockets and line-throwing gun should be kept in good order, lines and projectiles handy; charges measured out and sewed in proper bags and kept in a copper canister.
The boat-launching equipment must be kept in perfect working condition, davits, strongbacks, gripes and falls. The required tubs must be provided and the boat falls coiled in them, clear for running.
The Chief Mate must organize and carry out the required drills.
After all drills-see everything secured-hoses dried out, extinguishers recharged-if used, axes, life belts, ring buoys, life preservers, etc. stowed.
Ground Tackle. The Chief Mate is charged with the good order and upkeep of the ground tackle.
He should look after:
Markings (by turns of wire on studs), paint shackles white, as an aid in noting run of chain at night.
Chain should be ranged when in dry dock, if time permits, and locker cleaned out and painted. See that ends of the chains are lashed at the top of the chain locker.
The kedges and stream anchors should be where they can be got at. See that the necessary gear for getting them out is ready and stowed handy for use.
The windlass is in charge of the engineers. The Chief Mate should understand its working, and the Carpenter should also understand it in every detail.
See that the hand gear is in order and can be worked by the crew. It is a good plan to try this out when opportunity offers. When the emergency comes there is little time to drill.
When Coming to Anchor, or Heaving In The Chief Mate takes his station on the f'c'sle head. He is in charge of the ground tackle. Anchoring.
Report when anchors are ready to let go.
When anchor has been let go, report chain out as the shackles come through the hawse. When the anchor is down, report chain out. Trend of chain, etc. Heaving in.
Report, “ Short Stay."
A smart Chief Mate manages his work on the f'c'sle head without any unnecessary singing out. In large ships the telegraph or whistle, or hand signals are used between the Master on the bridge and the Chief Mate.
The "trend" of the chain, when heaving in, should be indicated to the bridge by direction of the hand. If heaving in in a tide way, this information is important, and the engines are used to assist in breaking out, while the vessel is given a proper sheer with the helm.
Coming Alongside. As in coming to anchor, the Chief Mate's station is on the forecastle head. He directs the handling of the vessel's forward lines, the operation of the capstans, etc.
The Carpenter, Boatswain, and about half of the deck crew should be assigned to this end of the vessel.
See all side ports closed or clear above string piece: Boats swung in if necessary, etc.
The Chief Mate carries out lines, and handles the warps and springs as directed by the Master, from the bridge. As little calling out of orders as possible should be indulged in. Where both Mate and Master understand their business, the coming alongside is a mere matter of detail and works without a hitch. Where tugs are used, the Chief Mate should direct the taking of lines, but the tugs receive their instructions direct from the bridge.
Study of tide, wind, and local conditions, as well as knowledge of the vessel herself, aid in smoothness in the performance of this evolution.
Have handy, heaving lines, cork fenders, and if necessary have a running boat and crew ready to carry out the lines to the wharf. Send men on the wharf rather than trust to help from casual loiterers.
When Alongside. When alongside, see proper spring lines led so that vessel can be shifted fore and aft as may be necessary in the working of the cargo.