The Captain of the Atyla, Rodrigo De La Serna, came and visited Portsmouth. The home of the Royal Navy. The current resting place of HMS Victory. Soon to be the registered port of the Sail Training Ship Atyla.
Rodri is still 25. But he has spent most of his life around his ship. Admiral, the Lord, Nelson was only 23 when he was given his first command.
I walked Rodrigo around the HM Navy Base, Portsmouth. He was mightily impressed by the huge wooden ship which was sat in her dry dock. He did not recognise her as HMS Victory, as there are no yards on her at the moment. I gave him a brief history lesson about the 21st October 1805, when his brave Spanish ancestors were accidentally on the wrong side for the Battle of Trafalgar. And I had to explain how the man who now lives on top of a column in London ( surrounded by pigeons) convinced his sub-ordinates to sail straight into the broadsides of the French/Spanish fleet. “England expects that every man will do his duty” , etc.
Leadership of course. That is part of the Nelson Touch. We will be giving oppotunities for our young crew to practice leadership on the Atyla.
I don’t want to write huge amounts about the many different styles of leadership in this blog. There is enough on the internet.
BUT, I explained to Rodrigo that sometimes, one needs to look like a leader. This helps when others are trying to identify who is the leader. On the Sail Training Ships, Sir Winstion Churchill and Malcolm Miller, for a while, the watch leaders had red smocks, while their watch trainees had blue ones. We stood out visually, when we were up the rigging.
Another way to denote job function and seniority is the use of hats. I am a fan of hats. I have many hats. This is, also, a fantastic English idiom. In my life, I have been a soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor, rich man, poor man, begger man (scrounging things for ships) and a professional tax accountant.
Here are pictures of hats:I am buying Rodrigo a Captain’s Hat for his birthday.