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Old 18-09-2015, 08:15   #1
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First Mate or Admiral

In a book that my Wife and I am reading to prepare her for sailing with me over horizon one day, there is a very strong statement that, if the wife is not the skipper, one should never call her "First Mate". I don't understand this statement. What is derogatory in calling her first mate?

I have experience in chartered yachts only. Before I got my skippering license, I was first mate on several cruises (and on some cruises thereafter too) and I was enjoing every single moment of it. I know some people who have higher sailing certificates than I have but still they like to sail with me as first mate and they are called like this then (also in the yacht log).

Now I imagine that when my Wife and myself are the crew of two on our future boat, one of us is necessarily the skipper, and the other one will be:
- crew
- first mate
Calling the so-to-say less responsible crew member "admiral" seems to me a little... megalomaniac. Even more than calling the skipper "captain".
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:19   #2
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

You are the captain your wife is the admiral don't lower her rank to a first mate.
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:24   #3
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

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Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
You are the captain your wife is the admiral don't lower her rank to a first mate.
Yes this is what I read. I just don't understand why is it so.
Please explain:
- who gave me the rank of captain? I have never been to military nor merchant navy
- who gave her th erank of admiral?
- why do you consider the rank of "first mate" LOW????
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:25   #4
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

They are both titles of indearment and not actual ranks.
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:28   #5
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

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Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
titles of indearment
OK now it starts making sense, thanks!
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:30   #6
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

I mean really, calling me a Captain, doesn't make me one. In actual fact I dislike being called that as I'm not an actual Captain , I didn't earn it.
I'm a Warrant officer, I earned that, call me Chief if you like

But calling her the Admiral is a pure joke is all.
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:52   #7
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

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I

But calling her the Admiral is a pure joke is all.

I always thought an admiral thought about the big picture, not the day to day running of the ship. I see my wife as having a better picture of our general state of affairs not so much about the damn oil leak coming from the water pump.
In some countries I am called the master.
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Old 18-09-2015, 09:09   #8
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

But calling her the Admiral is a pure joke is all.
Oh dear................
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Old 18-09-2015, 09:21   #9
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

I have been hailed by large freighters in the middle of Lake Michigan in a pea soup fog. I was referred to as captain. I don't call myself that nor do I encourage it in others who are guests on my vessel. Skipper is ok. PIC (pilot in charge) is ok but just sounds weird.

My wife is the Admiral. A term of endearment and recognition that there are some lines I just won't cross with her. Captain controls the vessel - the Admiral controls all else.

I can't delete the comment that it is a joke, my dear wife - I did NOT make that remark.
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Old 18-09-2015, 09:22   #10
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

We aren't even on a boat yet, and this is how it operates at my house...

I am the Captain. I make quick day to day decisions that affect our lives. I chart the course and get us there.

She is the 'admiral', and in large part, determines WHERE the 'there' is. It sounds corny, but yes, what I do as the Captain is mostly for her and my children. (Otherwise, I'd REALLY be on a boat in the Bahamas by now.)

She is also the 'first mate' because she does alot of the 'first mate' kind of activities. I cook some, but usually when the admiral is around and the 'first mate' is taking a day or two off.

There are entire comedy routines predicated on this concept, that the man thinks he is in charge only because the woman lets him think he is. I'm not sure this is unique to the sea, and may be the secret to a happy and successful marriage.


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Old 18-09-2015, 09:32   #11
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

I refer to her as "She who must be obeyed"

While I would think she would like that, oddly she doesn't? Go figure.
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Old 18-09-2015, 09:36   #12
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

Off the top, how about just calling each other by your own names? This whole notion that you've got to have titles or firm assignments seems silly in the context of a cruising couple. You're both going to have to do pretty much everything, interchangeably, if you're going to sea as a couple.

In my neck of the woods, and on most sailing forums, "Admiral" is a slightly demeaning term typically applied to the female partner of sailing couple. The Admiral oversees, but the Captain does all the real work and is the one really in charge. It is a term I most often hear used by older men to refer to their wife/gf. It is a gently sexist term that thankfully is slowly going the way of the dodo.

First Mate has fewer negative connotations (at least in my world), but I rarely hear it used.

I rarely hear actual cruising couples talking in terms of "Captain" or "Admiral". Master seems to be the legal term most required by bureaucrats when clearing in/out. Other than that, I suggest (and prefer) real names.
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Old 18-09-2015, 09:36   #13
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

There can be only one Captain on the vessel, that is the person who stands responsible for the actions of the vessel, condition, and welfare of the crew. That doesn't mean, the Captain does not take advice or counsel from the crew or "Admiral" or any number of sources that the Captain deems reliable in order to make good decisions. That does not make the Captain infallible, just responsible. There are various different configurations that have been adopted on this forum, it doesn't change the fact that when it comes down to the bottom line, one person is responsible ultimately, and whom ever that is, is the Captain or Master.
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Old 18-09-2015, 09:42   #14
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I refer to her as "She who must be obeyed"

While I would think she would like that, oddly she doesn't? Go figure.

My wife is a big fan of "Rumpole of the Bailey", a British TV show popular years ago. Horace Rumpole would refer to his better half as "she who must be obeyed". Leslie enjoyed the show very much. I referred to her in that way........once. I couldn't figure out why she didn't like that either.

But, then, Horace didn't actually say that to her face, so.......
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Old 18-09-2015, 09:45   #15
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Re: First Mate or Admiral

I don't get the Admiral thing either, like Mike, I refer to people on the boat by name and they do the same with me.
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