This week on Great Lake Warriors, as Captain Ted fights Lake Michigan and a failing engine, Captain John Selvick discusses family ties in his legendary tugboat empire.
On his own boat, fans will know that Captain John is training an eager-to-learn first mate. But, is Porkchop the guy that Captain John Selvick could trust with his life in the right—wrong—situation?
Well, fresh out of the Academy, Porkchop doesn’t have a lot of practical experience, but Captain John does have high hopes for his first mate. But, closer to home, Captain John has even higher hopes for his stepson, Captain Nathan Schley, who viewers will enjoy getting to learn more about in this week’s new episode on the History Channel Thursday night.
At only 34, Captain Nathan is one of the youngest tugboat captains ever on the Great Lakes. And, after 15 years in the wheelhouse, it is Nathan who John is hoping will be his replacement someday.
“It’s either in your blood or it isn’t,” Captain John says of being a captain and working in the tugboat business in general. “Right now, I’m grooming Nathan to learn, so he’s going to be taking over in a few years.”
And, in this week’s episode of Great Lake Warriors, a dicey trip to Sturgeon Bay that Captains John and Nathan typically take together will be a test for Nathan, to see if he is ready to step out of his stepdad’s shadow and into his shoes, as he ships out on the month-long trip on his own. It will be his first time leaving the fleet without John—will he make it, and prove he is up for running the company? Or will he run into problems and have to be rescued by The Legend?
“I just gotta hope that he does okay,” Captain John says bluntly.
“The Selvick name is synonymous with tugboats on the Great Lakes,” Captain Nathan says, “So, it’s a lot to live up to. In John’s case, there are big shoes to fill. It’s important for me to know that John feels that he’s gonna be leaving the company in good hands.”
Not All Family Created Equal
While Captain John has big plans ahead for his stepson, he has some doubts about his 26-year-old nephew, Ricky. As a deckhand for seven years, Ricky, knows his way around a tugboat. But, after paying his dues on deck, he wants to be a captain.
“I want to get away from the elements,” Ricky says, laughing about how he would love to be up in the wheelhouse, bossing around the freezing crew as he sits warm and in charge. Ricky would like to go to captain’s school, and should have enough money saved by the end of this season. But, Captain John isn’t sure that his nephew has the focus needed to become a captain yet.
“Oh, Ricky’s got a lot of potential, but you’ve gotta have your mind set, you know?” Captain John explains. “Ricky thinks he knows more [than he does]. … The captain’s job is to make sure that everybody’s doing what they are supposed to be doing … Ricky don’t want to hear it, but [his behavior] just ain’t cuttin’ it,” he says of Ricky’s work on the deck. His nephew has a choice to make, as Captain John sees it: Grow up and be an asset to the company, or continue to be “Ricky the Clown.”
Why is Captain John so frustrated with his nephew this week? Does Captain Nathan make his stepdad proud with his solo run to Sturgeon Bay? And, will Captain Ted’s overworked engine make it through his haul this week, or will the ailing motor put him and his crew at the doorstep of disaster on Lake Michigan?
Stay tuned—and tune into the new episode of Great Lake Warriors on the History Channel on Thursday, August 16, in the show's new 11/10c timeslot.
Image: Courtesy Towers Productions LLC