Foxtrot Uniform November has Been Approved

When we interviewed Captain Clem Chowder about a typical day at Ride the Ducks, we were excited to hear that even though each day brings new guests and new stories, Captain Clem’s day starts very much the same way every time: with a great dose of awesome company camaraderie.

“Like any other Captain, when I arrive at the Duck Nest in the morning, I look to see my assigned Duck, grab a walkie-talkie and begin my DOT and USCG pre-inspection of my vehicle. As I near the time that I am ready to leave the Duck Nest to head to the Ticket Booth, I start to motivate myself to be ready to show our guests a great time on the tours for the day. The Fleet Maintenance Manager, Joe, puts a smile on my face every morning and helps me get motivated.

Just before driving out of the Duck Nest, I signal to a mechanic for help with the last part of the inspection: the infamous “prop check.” Joe, like clockwork, will stop whatever he is doing to walk around to the rear of the Duck, check the propeller engagement and with the low, booming voice of authority, the big man will say “You’re good Hero!” Then, as I near the exit, he will always say “Be safe. Be good to my girl. Have a great Duck day! Have fun and take no prisoners!”

Then, as an overall feeling of completion comes over me, I say the words to myself “Foxtrot, Uniform, November has been approved.” After a short toot on the horn to announce my day’s birth, I will start the song “Born to be Wild” and head off to the Ticket Booth. I am now ready, complete, and well-armed to be the best Duck Captain I can be.”  We’re lucky to have a great team here at Ride the Ducks!

Off the record Captain Clem noted that in Joe’s absence, it is hilarious to see other mechanics, much smaller in stature, put forth their best effort in the lowest voice they can muster to try to imitate Joe’s catch phrases. We agree.

Joe (left) and Captain Clem Chowder (right)

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