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Old 23-03-2015, 09:02   #91
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
I didn't claim there to be any other "alleged abuse" but as was stated in the last page or so, a confident captain should have no reason to yell at the people who are obeying his orders and doing everything he says. When we're being called stupid, I consider that verbal abuse. I'm not going to do any work for you. It seems like you have only been reading the replies that agree with you.
Yes, certainly. Yelling and calling names, if that is what happened, is a sign of very, very poor leadership. In fact, it's a sign of failure of leadership.

A key part of the RYA Yachtmaster exam is evaluating how well the examinee leads the crew. Any yelling will disqualify you instantly with most examiners.

But still -- the answer to your question is the same. Smile and buck up. Don't complain. Don't go back again.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:08   #92
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

I also never meant for this to be a complaint (not that you are exactly accusing me of it)
We didn't complain to the captain for sure. But I was just trying to share a story, one of the only stories we have about sailing, to see what others thought. I should have realized sexism is going to exist everywhere, and that just means I have to work that much harder, and I am fine with that.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:09   #93
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

It seems to be a case where neither party is in the right and both should not have been on the same vessel together for longer than a day or two.

Having crewed only for people I know well and trust and having turned down very interesting opportunities from people I either don't trust sail wise or do not like as people or both, I believe psychological factors, especially on a trip longer than couple of days are paramount. Everything else incl. one's technical abilities, etc can be adjusted to if all parties have the right attitude and the ability to accept peacefully each other's idiosyncrasies, etc. I'm 100% with Dockhead on this issue.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:14   #94
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pirate Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
ij
what would i have done ??
1--i da sucked up my noodles which should have been given AFTER the busy time
I'da chucked em overboard.. don't do cheap crap loaded with additives...
2--i da learned what i coulda learned as much and fast as i could while asking questions about rationale
Watch how others do things.. Monkey See.. Monkey Do.. the whys come later at the end of the day or in 'Down Time..'
3-i da had coffee or somesuch on land to see if personalities meshed.
HOWEVER, as you are still too new to know what to ask, this could be most difficult.
asvyou statev hat you have a boat-- go out and sail it.
learn to read weather before you are stuck in a bad situation
learn what to ask on next big adventure.
the only way to learn this is to DO it.
have a merry life
oh and btw...sailing IS sexist. always was always will be. grow thicker skin or find some kind of girl play.

yes i AM a sailing female curmudgeon, and i been learning since i was seven years of age and lived aboard in a mans world since 1990..yes i too am a neophyte as are we all in this lifestyle, until we die, hopefully at sea.

btw..i DO know BAD skipper/ owners and yes i have sailed with them ...yours was not a bad cpt. he was testing you. you unfortunately failed.
sorry. facts and nothing but the facts
what to do now?? when i was stranded in a strange land by a yelling bligh i went home n used my new found knowledge base to my advantage.
i went out sailing again on opb with a curmudgeon for a near year and.learned even more.
now i cruise my own ketch in warm tropical waters.

this captain is bad stuff is important in learning and development and growth.
those who stay with this lifestyle grow thick skins and continue to learn.at least yer not a male nurse in a womans world. talk about sexism.....
For the rest.. it more depends on you than the skipper.. there'll always be little clashes.. learn to put things in their perspective and do things without asking.. its part of being crew.
Want to be molly coddled.. don't crew.. I've had shouting matches with crew in the past.. and 2hrs later we're down the pub laughing and joking.. and you get the chance to call someone a 'Dickhead' without offense.. the moments passed..
Baggage is a pain on small boats.. and useless baggage more so..
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:15   #95
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
Thanks Dockhead! We are very honest when talking about our abilities. I believe it can only get you into worse trouble if you claim to know what you're doing, and not have a clue. That is why I have said on here, yes, we have the basic knowledge necessary to sail a boat, but I won't say we know how to sail a boat in gale force winds, or high swells.

We went off shore near the GA SC border, and it was extremely calm and nice on the ocean. I know not to expect that from the ocean all the time. Brace for the worst.

We honestly did feel our safety was a risk, and the naysayers can laugh all they want. We used our best judgement to assess the situation, and made a decision based on that. It wasn't an over night decision, we contemplated all of our options, and jumping seemed the best option for us at the time.

I have already admitted that yes, we should have talked to him about it. We were wrong not to, but the damage is done. I don't think that this is a typical crewing experience, I realize people are just people.
Skills are not all that important for most passages. Tons and tons of unskilled labor is required to run a boat on passage. I can teach anyone how to keep a watch, and there is no end of other work -- cooking, cleaning, carrying things, etc., etc., etc.

I am pretty relaxed about people's skills when I choose crew. Of course, when you do run across a really good sailor, it's nice bonus.

One tip I would give to other skippers is that crew whose main experience is racing are mostly "rail meat", and many of these are nearly completely clueless on sail trim, navigation, helming, etc. The best crew, in terms of skills, are cruisers who own their own boats.

People very often overstate their skills, but sometimes the opposite is true. I had two young English girls on board last summer for a tough North Sea crossing -- hard on the wind the whole way in strong conditions. They did not claim to have any particular sailing skills. But in fact, they were both more than decent sailors! Cheerful, hard-working, and excellent in every way. We had a happy crew of five for this passage, so there was no risk of personal issues, but the passage itself was very hard and very uncomfortable, heeled at 20 or 30 degrees and hard bashing through the short North Sea seas in conditions ranging from F5 to F7, for a couple of days and nights. Hard watchkeeping dodging wind farms and oil platforms. Almost impossible to sleep and hard as hell to cook or do other basic functions. Did these two young girls ever complain of being uncomfortable? Not a peep! In the event, they were as tough as any old salt. That's what makes great crew.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:19   #96
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
I also never meant for this to be a complaint (not that you are exactly accusing me of it)
We didn't complain to the captain for sure. But I was just trying to share a story, one of the only stories we have about sailing, to see what others thought. I should have realized sexism is going to exist everywhere, and that just means I have to work that much harder, and I am fine with that.
OK. You deserve the benefit of the doubt. We haven't heard the other side of the story.

Your sharing of the story will make people presume that you had a bad attitude or were complaining or at last displaying resentment. But that might not have been so at all! We can't know that. Anyway, that's all for you to digest in whatever way you see fit.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:22   #97
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Dear NoQuarter, I think you missed out on an opportunity. The BEST captain I ever sailed with was 80 years old, a smugger of conch, and didn't like me and told me so almost every day of our passage. He was supposed to be teaching us (we were paying for the opportunity) and he spent most of his time below sleeping (during the day while we were sailing) He sailed us into a storm on the Gulf Stream, into the Bermuda triangle, and in and throughout reefs that made our hair stand on end in a vary deep draft boat. And the whole time he carried on how we were a bunch of lame no good landlubbers (the entire crew was experienced sailors with their own boats). It was great!
We learned things like sailing smoothy in storms.
Identifying rocks by the changes in swells/waves over them.
MOB at night
and the list goes on. .
I love this story! A real classic, beautifully told

The message here is that whatever experiences you have at sea are more than anything what you make of them yourself, and not what others make for you.

This is so true. It's actually true on land, too, but at sea for some reason it's like 1000x truer.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:24   #98
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK. You deserve the benefit of the doubt. We haven't heard the other side of the story.

Your sharing of the story will make people presume that you had a bad attitude or were complaining or at last displaying resentment. But that might not have been so at all! We can't know that. Anyway, that's all for you to digest in whatever way you see fit.
I understand that, but that's why I opened it by saying I was reluctant to post it, because I didn't want it to reflect on us as bad workers. We are more than willing to do what we gotta do all day and night, but now I have probably blown any chance we had as getting on as crew with anyone on CF with this thread, which I certainly did not meant to do.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:41   #99
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

If it had been my wife and I on board and we had such an experience as yours we would have done just as you did. Just slip away quietly but I would have left a note explaining that we were departing and not returning.
We have had some good crew on board and we have experienced the other end of the spectrum as well. Its best to depart before things get to heated.

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Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
I have been reluctant to share this story on this board, because I don't want it to reflect on my partner and I as workers, but I would like to know what others would do in the same situation...

We were living aboard at our marina in the Chesapeake Bay and a guy came through solo heading to FL from NY. He seemed like a nice guy, we exchanged contact information, and once he was done in FL he wanted crew to help him back up north. He helped us get from VA to FL, and we crewed on his 30 footer for about two months until we got to Beaufort, SC. We had an amazing experience. It was our first time crewing, our first time on the ICW... there were a lot of firsts for us on this trip. We tried to stay positive, but the captain had been being pretty rude and demeaning to us. As a female, I felt like he gave more of the "manly" jobs to my partner, and I was just there to help the men.

The whole trip was pretty much like this. I don't think we ever pumped the head out, which was a big environmental strike in our minds. He would also empty the bilge out into the water, which I understand to get water out of your bilge that's fine, but I also thought that you are not supposed to dump any oil into the water. I understand some is bound to come out and it's inevitable sometimes, but you would at least try to stop it as soon as you could before oil starting dumping out, right?

What really got us was the night coming into Beaufort. It was our first time offshore, and our first time night sailing. The captain had made us some Ramen Noodles and gave it to us without any utensils. When I asked him for a fork, he got pretty upset with me. We went up the Port Royal sound in the dark, with no spotlight and unmarked channel markers, and we jumped ship the next day.

I know that "jumping ship" is bound to give you a bad reputation in the sailing community, but we had fought with ourselves a lot to try to talk ourselves into holding out. We learned a lot, experienced a lot, and met a lot of great people. I would never say it was a wasted trip, and we 110% appreciate that he gave us the chance to do a trip like that. But I am the type of woman who believes I can do anything a man can do, if not a little better. So to be treated like the housewife in a field that I want to know everything about was pretty disrespectful to me.

I apologize if I ranted on a bit. What would you do in this situation?
Thanks everyone.

EDIT- I also forgot to mention that there were times he would yell at us to "Pull that string" in regards to pulling in the jib sheet. That was something that was frustrating to us as new sailors, because he claimed to have over 30 years sailing experience.
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Old 23-03-2015, 09:52   #100
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
I didn't claim there to be any other "alleged abuse" but as was stated in the last page or so, a confident captain should have no reason to yell at the people who are obeying his orders and doing everything he says. When we're being called stupid, I consider that verbal abuse. I'm not going to do any work for you. It seems like you have only been reading the replies that agree with you.
So. He called someone stupid and allegedly "yelled"...

What was the someone doing that he thought was "stupid"?
What was happening when he "yelled"?

Whether you answer or not, I think most experienced skippers can imagine the possibilities.
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Old 23-03-2015, 10:00   #101
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by NoQuarter79 View Post
I understand that, but that's why I opened it by saying I was reluctant to post it, because I didn't want it to reflect on us as bad workers. We are more than willing to do what we gotta do all day and night, but now I have probably blown any chance we had as getting on as crew with anyone on CF with this thread, which I certainly did not meant to do.
Nah..If you come onto my boat I will know that you are the one to raise the main sail,you are the one that gets to go over board and remove the crab pot from the prop and I will even get you to pump out the head,to hell with all that chauvinistic stuff..
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Old 23-03-2015, 10:54   #102
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Newt, 99% of the time, I agree with your posts, this one time, not so much.

Yes it was his boat, but that doesn't excuse abusive behavior. You learned under an abusive captain but you didn't learn because of the abuse, it was despite the abuse.

When I got to my first sub, the CO was very abusive, throwing food and chairs at the crew. We did our jobs, but nobody was giving 100%, more like about 85-90%. There was rampant disrespect all through the ranks. It was like the CO was crapping on all of the officers, and everyone on down was crapping on each other....

Sure, some crusty old sailors have a lot of knowledge, but that doesn't mean they all make good teachers. Verbally abusing isn't teaching. Yelling just causes some people to shut down, completely.
I too respect your opinions socaldmax!
What I was trying to say was you can learn from all types. I can take verbal abuse...my captain found out I was a MD as told me every day "I don't like docs, they make me take it up the $#%#@@! and more specificly "I don't like you, your one of them damn docs!" I really think it was because I almost lost one of his MOB dummies at 0300. But I learned a ton from him.
NoQuarter:
If you can only learn from those like you you'll be learning very little from your crewing opportunities. The old captain mentioned above didn't btw, just ride me. I don't think he liked the women in his class. And his 50 foot boat had antiquated, barely readable electronics (cathode ray tube type) and copies of paper maps. He took people out in the ocean every week. And his classes were full.
I guess the point I was trying to make was he didn't sail safely IMHO. I told him not to go out in the gulf stream with strong northeries. It wasn't safe. He just looked at me with a grin and said "Well, your not the captn are ya?" But nobody jumped ship in Bimini or hailed a USCG cutter. (though we were tempted)
His abusive personality didn't make him a good captain. But he was a good captain and we were willing to put up with his abuse to learn seamanship.
At times I may appear abusive. I have roused the entire crew at Midnight, made them put on survival suits and lifejackets and tie in in the cockpit till we passed standing waves of unknown height on a dangerous bank. I didn't tell them why, I didn't have time too. Once over I thanked them and told them they could go back to bed, we would be in port in 2 hours or less. I have yelled at people doing unsafe things.
Sure he may have been abusive. If you want to bail, that's your decision. But your asking what I would have done? I would have stayed, learned and then never darkened his door again. That is what I did with the guy mentioned above.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:00   #103
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

The fundamental responsibility of a captain is the safety of the boat and crew. Not being nice to people, although the best captains I've met had a way of inspiring confidence and providing leadership, without resorting to undue shouting. I say undue, because if you're about to do something lethal, better hope the captain is watching and has a good shouting voice.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:07   #104
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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I understand everything you are concerned about and I would say you are a little thin skinned and most likely a very decent person that would like to be treated as such..That being said everybody else is not like that or at least not all the time.. You had a run in with a fellow that rubbed you wrong,learn a lesson and move on dont let it bother you and do unto others as you would have done unto you and all should be ok..You keep jumping in the middle of this gang and we all become Captain Bligh ..You learned a valuable lesson(inadvertently) and now its time to move on..
That brings up an interesting point, and it might not be popular but I think it's correct.

People don't "bring out" anything in other people. If someone acts like Capt. Bligh, it's because that was lurking somewhere down there and that person decided to act like that - but that isn't anyone else's fault.

I was at lunch with a business associate and the waitress brought his lunch out and the order was messed up. He started throwing a big **** fit right in the middle of the restaurant as if she'd tried to poison him or something. She apologized profusely and took it back. I gave him a cold stare and he went back to his obsequious sphincter smooching. I realized what kind of disgusting animal he was right then and there and had nothing to do with him from then on.

He wasn't a nice person, he was a total (fill in the blank.) He smooched my butt because he wanted something, but at the very slightest provocation, he showed his true self - the nice guy was an act with a very thin veneer.

Most people put on a big act when they meet someone new - whether it's fake airs or extreme friendliness and it's all an act. That's where the problem comes in. Friendships start based on this "best behavior" and after a while, the guard drops, the facade slips and the actual person comes out and it's not pretty.

I don't judge people on anything they say. I listen and remember it all, but I file it away as "talk." When it comes time to find out what a person is really made of, watch their actions. Does the man walk on the curb side of the sidewalk? Does he open her door all of the time, or only when they're dressed for a fancy dinner? Those things will tell you if a man has manners, or if he just pretends to have manners for certain occasions.


People can't make other people do things, unless they're a hypnotist. Your behavior under pressure or in awkward situations is how you truly are because you're distracted enough to stop acting. Some people will run, others will try to save the person next to them, even if it's a total stranger, in both cases, that is who they really are, with nothing hiding it.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:12   #105
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

Sounds like you did him a favor by jumping ship. Obviously, this was a bad match from the start. You got your experience and he got an awol crew. Next time have the captain fill out an application for you to make sure he doesn't get your panties in a bunch for violating any gender, racial, political, or emotional boundaries you have.
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