In the opening, when Maturin and Aubrey meet at a concert, I was surprised that their meeting almost resulted in a duel! Aubrey couldn't help tapping with the beat and bumped into Maturin. Fortunately, when they met the next day Jack apologized.
The story is so much about relationships. When Jack takes over the Sophie he has to navigate his way through the Navy hierarchy in his new role to get the ship parts and supplies. Even getting all the men he needs is a delicate process.
Having read the whole series I am surprised at how many themes that will come up later are already there. For example, Admiral Harte is already against Jack and suspects him of having eyes on his wife, which he does. The steward, Killick, has already made his appearance. But as of yet he is not described as mean or ill-natured.