I really enjoyed the tour of the Hespérides yesterday afternoon. The researchers who were showing us around the scientific facilities on board the ship were gracious, enthusiastic about the work they are doing, and patiently answered all of our questions.
The only thing that marred the experience was the unfortunate conduct of the local shipping agent. It seems that the public tours of the ship had not been cleared through him, so he was visibly agitated from the moment he stepped aboard. I DO understand that it is a matter of harbor security and that he has a job to do to make sure things are done according to state and federal regulations. Maybe the oversight could have cost him his job. Maybe he was just having a really, really, really bad day. However, he certainly could have handled the situation in a much more tactful manner instead of being so confrontational right from the start.
He was very rude to the folks who were in charge of coordinating the tours and it was very bad form to chew them out in front of the members of the public who were there for the tour. How hard would it have been to pull them aside to talk in private? It was embarrassing. It certainly gave the public a bad impression of the local waterfront community. There is already a disconnect. This sort of thing does not help. To make matters worse, I wonder what sort of impression it left on the international researchers and the Spanish crew who also witnessed his behavior?
A little aloha would have gone a long way…