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Old 13-04-2010, 19:06   #16
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Boy, yeah, that's funny all right.
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Old 14-04-2010, 04:48   #17
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This isn’t the first time that Boguslaw 'Bob' Norwid-Niepokoj has pulled a stunt like this.
In 2002, the same s/v “Columbia”, with the same captain, disappeared for 13 days on its way from Vancouver to Mexico before it finally arrived in Manzanillo.

December 4, 2002
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Old 14-04-2010, 06:13   #18
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See also the Facebook Group,
Survivors of Robs Discovery Sailing Academy SS Columbia


Survivors of Robs Discovery Sailing Academy SS Columbia | Facebook

"This Group is dedicated to all sailing Students who survived sailing on Poland-born French citizen Boguslaw 'Bob' or some know him as 'Rob' Norwid-Niepokojs Steel yacht Columbia (also called by himself the best handmade sailing vessel on the Ocean). And as monumentum for all who want to learn sail. Please, do not join his Team and enter this uncomfortable vessel, and learn to sail with this psychotic Militaryhead and notorius lying Skipper.
He just wants your money..."
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Old 14-04-2010, 15:34   #19
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Am a little confused by the media report - says that skipper not in favour of satellite coms, so I presume not fitted?

Having been driven well offshore, if only VHF onboard then perhaps not so strange that skipper did not want crew trying to alert the shore given the risk for miscommunication due to poor reception / language difficulties (to shore or passing ship) leading to a search. Easy to imagine that some crew (or family ashore) would expect immediate evac simply because the travel itinerary had changed...........so quite reasonable to keep them off the radio.

Tough on the folks onshore, but I rather suspect that skipper didn't promise a fixed arrival date and that any warnings that circumstances may conspire against were not understood or not communicated well to family ashore. (for understandable reasons).

But at the end of the day, due to circumstances outside of the Skipper's control, the boat arrived safely with no drama and only some ruffled feathers of crew / family.

Not to say that everyone would enjoy that sort of skipper / trip / boat - but the answer to that one is not to sign up
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Old 28-04-2010, 14:49   #20
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'Lectronic Latitude today published an update on this curious incident:

* * *

"Bogus Claims by Boguslaw Bob

"April 28, 2010 – Coquimbo, Chile

"Looks like the highly controversial sail training operation aboard the homebuilt steel cutter Columbia was a bit 'bogus' after all."

* * *

To read the entire piece, go to:

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude (scroll down to "Bogus Claims by Boguslaw Bob."

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Old 28-04-2010, 14:54   #21
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They guy got everyone back alive? Good skipper in my book. I'll be doing no arm-char-admiraling of this.

Sure he made some weird moves but seriously people are giving him flack for getting his crew and boat back safely in one piece? That's his only job, and he did it. Works for me.
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Old 28-04-2010, 15:03   #22
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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
They guy got everyone back alive? Good skipper in my book. I'll be doing no arm-char-admiraling of this...
It seems to me you just did (armchair admiraling); and that your standards are way too low (mere survival) for my taste. I won't be buying your book.
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Old 28-04-2010, 16:09   #23
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Note to all future Boguslaw Bob trainees -- sneak a SPOT Messenger on board.
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Old 28-04-2010, 16:22   #24
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Quote:
getting his crew and boat back safely in one piece
Quote:
That's his only job, and he did it. Works for me.
Wow, you think that is a captain's only job? I'm 100% with Gord on this one.
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Old 28-04-2010, 16:23   #25
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Just occurred to me that SPOT has a big hole in their coverage over the middle of the Pacific. At that point, a message in a bottle may be your best hope for getting an "OK" message out. Or maybe "Not so OK." . . .
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Old 28-04-2010, 19:36   #26
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This guy is a dick.

lets see what he done:
  • Lied about his ships registration
  • Fraudulently flew the UK flag
  • Didn't comply with maritime regulations of any country
  • Didn't carry enough fuel (or more likely didn't want to spend money on it) to get his paying passengers/students back on time
  • Showed no regard for the families of his paying passengers/students by refusing any attempt at communicating with them
  • Lied about his qualifications as on official ships master
  • Lied to his paying passengers that they would receive official maritime qualifications

I could go on. How anyone can defend this moron is beyond me. If he tried to come to Australia in this fashion he and his crew would have ended up in a refugee camp as boat people.

Or maybe I can learn from this guy. Why bother with all this red tape when importing a boat from the US to AU when I can just turn all my gear off and just sail straight home and not worry about customs and fees. While I am doing it I may as well get some paying passengers and tell them they will be certified ships masters on completion of the crossing.
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Old 02-05-2010, 00:14   #27
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Sorry folks; I just have a hard time caring if no one's dead or injured.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:18   #28
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With dennisail on this. Even for laid-back sailing mindset (all the way in favor of that!) and allowance for weather, isn't there an obligation to treat people decently? If someone has paid you for a certain length cruise, I would think you have an obligation to get them back to port fairly close to when you said you would.
And if you can't -- it's just mean to let all those families sit terrified (probably mourning by the end) for a MONTH just because you "don't believe in" proper communications technology.
In the end, the "everybody's alive, aren't they" responses have a point - but what if someone weren't? What if something had happened? He wouldn't have been prepared, and isn't good preparation the name of the game?
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:29   #29
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It sounds a bit like sailing with the character Quint from the movie Jaws.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:35   #30
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From the brief details (and taking the usual smug propaganda release from the UK MCA with heavy caution) sounds like the boat was registered in the UK under false pretences (him claiming an address in the UK is enuf to get on the SSR, no one checks on owner or vessel - Part 1 / Blue Book is more stringent) and that the vessel was also not coded (licenced) by the UK for commercial Charter - vessel would need to meet certain equipment / safety levels and be inspected to get coded - whether he was qualified as a skipper would therefore be immaterial, the vessel wasn't authorised to commercially charter under a UK flag.

I have no idea whether long range communications would need to be fitted (not just VHF), but irrelevent as the vessel wasn't coded.

Of course the vessel not being coded would invalidate the (any!) insurance, including for the passengers.

Interesting that the MCA have simply removed the vessel from the SSR, possibly to forestall having to explain how it got on!.........given that you could register a lawn mower on the SSR possibly a can of worms they don't want to explain..............

Obviously naughty offering charters on an unlicenced vessel - but I can't help wondering if it was priced accordingly............
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