My Captain

by Mary on 01/29/2016 · 0 comments

in Family & Friends, Personal Thoughts

So 2016 has been a tough year for losing celebrities, but now the loss has become personal. When I joined the Maintenance/Sail Crew at the Maritime Museum, I did so, in part, in hope of being able to sail the Star of India. My hard work was rewarded in 1999 by being chosen to sail on the Star, something we did four times that summer. It was in those days of sail training that I first got to meet Captain Rich Goben. As we started sail training, Capt Goben took the time to explain the physics of how the ship and the wind worked together to travel. He was explaining the larger picture of square-rigged sailing, not just which piece of rope did what, so that we would have a complete understanding of how the ship worked, and what he had to keep in mind as Captain. I heard him repeat those explanations over and over in the 11 years that I worked around the Star and the Museum’s other ships. He diligently repeated himself because he know that there were new crew members who could benefit from his lessons, and that was part of why they were at the Museum.

In 11 years, I saw his helpful, cherry attitude deal with all sorts of situations, always with grace, understanding, and strong leadership. He could be quite silly, when the situation called for it. In 2008, when the Star of India wasn’t able to sail, Capt Goben and a small crew took the Medea out to see with HMS Surprise and Californian. I’m not quite sure why, but Capt Goben set up a fishing pole of the aft deck of Medea. He had to clear the line many times, and never caught anything except seaweed, but it seemed the perfect  addition to our day ride on the 100+ old steam yacht (or fishing trawler, I guess).










And the crew knew that when Capt Goben picked up his mandolin or violin to join the music on the main deck, we could all take a break as well. Cause we knew that he wasn’t likely to yell, “Ready About” in the middle of a good reel. Sadly, Rich Goben died on Monday after a short illness, and now I’d be happy to hear him call for a tack or a wear or just about any command I can think of. Fair Winds and Following Seas to my friend and shipmate, we’ll not see his like again.

Capt'n Fiddles 11:15

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