Mmmm, good question!
As a captain, make sure you do have a stash of “goodies” hidden away that can be produced when needed. I also keep the ingredients for making crumpets, which are simple to make and are a good boost for the crew when it is cold and wet, served drizzled with syrup and with a mug of strong hot chocolate.
Then there is nothing better than baking bread. I always bake two loves at a time and into one I put a large handful of raisins – there is nothing better than the aroma of freshly baked bread and then everybody gets stuck into the raisin loaf whilst it is still hot. Cut into “door-steps” and served with butter goes down a treat.
Make sure you have a few packs of cards and the instructions of a few simple games.
My taste of music is normally not the same as my younger crew. The rule on board my boats is always to allow music to be played on the boat music system during daylight hours but not in a manor to disturb other crew catching up on sleep. Normally, when I am off watch in the afternoon, I tell my first mate that the crew can “let rip” with their own music – I go to my cabin and relax with my iPod whilst the crew do their own thing with “the old fart” out of the way.
Then I also run a competition on a leg where we will be sailing in shipping lanes – normally between St Helena and Trinidad or Gibraltar. It is a Ship Spotting competition, which is normally quite competitive as the person who spots the most ships wins a bottle of good rum (or local brew) when we arrive in the next port. The results are marked off on a paper plate stuck above the chart table. The aim of the competition is to keep all crew alert for shipping and the fact that they can also have a good time when in port.
And finally, tell all crew that it is “fresh water shower day” – this really has the crew perked up!
The Delivery Guy