The crew be you.

Some, never having sailed before (in their entire lives), might find this a little intimidating. Not to worry. We all have to start somewhere. And no better time or place than this summer on "Mass Transit 105," under the watchful eye and experienced tutelage of the infamous and legendary, "Captain Nick."

​If you're not afraid to get your hands wet; to haul on a line or two, (OK, maybe a rusty chain); to stand stalwart in salt spray  at the helm or as look out; to learn an entire nautical language crammed into a 45 second lecture and then take orders in that language from a grumbling, calloused captain; to deftly steer 50 plus tons of an ocean-racing thoroughbred thru gentle ground swells, whitecaps and narrow, rocky channels between islands...then this job's for you. No pay included.

​Of course it helps if you can sing. Sing along, that is, with the Captain who loves, simply loves, an embarrassed, captive audience (with no place to run or hide). The captain hopes and expects you will all be in fine voice and that someone in the group can harmonize or at least "take melody" while he strums away on his salty guitar, calibrating the wind o'er his brow. Needless to say, you will be expected to know his version of the lyrics of every song he plays. Bongos, tambourine, cow bell and concertina are provided but not necessarily. If someone plays flute or french horn please bring it the motley crew,  just like The Mamas and The Papas or, better still, The Beatles, can prepare for its next tour.

Oh, and another part of the job description. Very important.  The captain loves hordevoures. Be sure to bring some along....the most expensive kind. (Why is it always potato chips and pretzels?) And, if any fish are caught by "the crew," (and it happens), one shall be formally and ceremoniously presented to the captain to take home for his dinner at the end of the sail. If only one is caught, preferably a blue or a striper, so be it, with captain's name upon it.

​But everyone on and off ships knows the most important job of any crewmember on any vessel is keeping the captain happy.  Being crew and what it is to be crew is never about the crew. It's about the captain!

Member of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce. Vineyard Haven, MA

Member of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce. Vineyard Haven, MA