I need a rant and a bitch, There are some people who should only be allowed on a boat if you intend to drown them en-route.
I'm on my way back to the UK after a visit to the Canary Isles but we're tucked up in the marina at Rabat in Morocco
for a few days. Until a week or so ago we had a crew member
who surely was sent by the devil. She came highly recommended by an acquaintance who asked if I could help her get more sea hours. Later I realized he'd been sleeping with her and probably wanted her out of the way. He's married.
Leaving Weymouth on a really calm day she vomited all over the instrument panel. I should have turned around then but you know, sea sickness
can happen to anyone. A more considerate aim would have been appreciated though, as would help in cleaning
it all up. A few hours later, when I thought she was in her bunk, the main engine
just stopped. It took me 30 minutes or so to realize that everything was fine, no breakdown, she'd been in the engine
room and playing with the fuel
manifold and managed to turn off the tank we were using. I'm still none the wiser about what she was doing. Then two days out she started sleeping during her watch. Not dozed at the helm
, she got on the settee and slept. After lots of apologies from her and claims of not being well, I started doing a watch with her plus my own. No more problems until we get to Gibraltar
, where she disappeared for 24 hours or so, keeping us in port for an extra day.
A smooth trip down to Tenerife followed and I started to relax. A mistake.
We had wifi
whilst we were there but she decided to go to a cybercafe and save her mail to a usb stick and then plug
that into the boats navigation
computer, when that didn't work she tried the back up. Neither had any email software
but after she'd finished both had an aggressive virus. There's a big notice on both saying that nothing is to be connected to them Grrrrr. Thank god the satallite comms with it's laptop
is in my cabin
. She claimed not to understand why we have a couple of general use laptops already equipped with wifi
. I didn't discover this until four days later when we were ready to move on to the next island. I may have spoken a little harshly.
Six hours reinstalling the software
plus a dongle problem solved
and it's too late to move on easily that day and anyway, she'd disappeared ashore. At 00 dark the following morning, the fire alarm
went off, there was a fire in her cabin
. When I burst down the locked door she was so drunk she couldn't stand up and her bed
was on fire. Smoking in bed
. The fire out with a lot of smoke damage and her carted off to hospital with smoke inhalation problems, we weren't going anywhere for a few days.
It was ten days before she was fit to fly, then I bought her a plane ticket home, gave her money
for a train ticket from the airport
and extra for a cab home from the station.
In the mean time the rest of us were cleaning
up the mess, it's amazing how much mess a dry powder extinguisher makes, especially when that's not enough and you use a foam one from the engine room. I may have to replace all the head
liners in the forward cabins area to get rid of the smoke smell. In her cabin, whilst trying to salvage
as much of her stuff as possible, we found a big block of cannabis resin that went over the side.
Two days after she went home, we moved on to Gran Canaria where we were met by the customs
who spent 8 hours searching the boat. Thank god we found the cannabis I thought.
The following day I got an email
from our erstwhile crew member
asking if we'd enjoyed the visit she'd arranged. I'm sure we were watched the rest of the time we spent there. To make matters worse, when we pulled into Rabat the customs
gave us another good going over and I wonder if the Spanish Customs passed on the information they had received.
I don't know if there are any lessons to be learnt, I'm probably still too angry to think it all out but writing it all down has helped a little.