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Old 13-06-2009, 21:37   #1
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Psycho Crew from Hell!

I posted a note about a crew member falling asleep while on watch, ( Asleep at the Wheel While Underway) I ended the story with a note that the crew that fell asleep turned out to be a psyco. Steve B. wrote that he'd like to hear the rest of the story (Steve your $20 in the mail ) I didn't want to take over Rams great post so here it is. If you have a psyco/funny crew story please share.


I was first mate on a 37ft sailboat from Houston to St. Thomas. As we were heading out of the Northeast passage we were nearly run down when the new crew fell asleep on his watch. After nearly being killed by the cruise ship, (see rams post) we woke up and confronted the new crew about his stellar watch performance. When the “confrontation” got heated he began to rock back and forth and made growling noises, Seeing this odd behavior ( with our keen observation skills) we felt it prudent to back off and let it go. His behavior got more strange the further we headed off shore. After another near collision the next night, this time with a tanker, the captain and I took over all the watches/duties. We tried our best just to stay clear of him, he mainly stayed in his bunk (rocking and growling). But once and a while he would bolt out of bed and trim the sails (badly I might add) then go back to his bunk. The captain did not want to alter course to drop him off so it was 14 days with one heck of a weird guy. To top it off we got hit by one hell of a storm and the boat nearly sank (but that another story....steve?).....well in the end we did make it to port ok.


Erika

PS After the second night the captain did have a weapon on herself at all times (He was a big 6'3 guy).

This is not as funny as I thought
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Old 13-06-2009, 23:40   #2
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Old 13-06-2009, 23:51   #3
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I wouldn't take anyone offshore unless I knew them well. When I was in medical school, they told us that one out of ten people requires psychiatric assistance at some time in their life. After practicing medicine for thirty plus years, I think that estimate is an understatement of the psychopathology out there, because it is frequently masked by drugs and alcohol. Put those folks on a yacht in an unfamiliar environment without all their normal props and supports and without the "self-medication" that they are accustomed to use, and they fall apart.

Many borderline compensated people medicate themselves with drugs and alcohol, and they can hide their psychopathology until they are sleep deprived and otherwise stressed out.

Sailing offshore in a sleep deprived state in rough conditions is a psychological test. I would hate to be at sea when a scary dude or dudette decompensates.
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Old 14-06-2009, 01:36   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
To top it off we got hit by one hell of a storm and the boat nearly sank (but that another story....steve?).....well in the end we did make it to port ok.


Erika
well there is no better time to tell the rest off your story!!
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Old 14-06-2009, 02:00   #5
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Scary stuff, nothing like that popping up in the middle of a crossing to put a really creepy tinge to the whole passage.
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Old 14-06-2009, 05:06   #6
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When I was in medical school, they told us that one out of ten people requires psychiatric assistance at some time in their life. After practicing medicine for thirty plus years, I think that estimate is an understatement of the psychopathology out there,
The mental health association in BC used to run a PSA and if I recall correctly, they asserted that 1 in 3 people suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives. Of course that might just be in BC. Certainly food for thought before taking on unfamiliar crew.
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Old 14-06-2009, 06:24   #7
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Funny thing, when we got to St. Thomas, we pulled up to Charlotte Amalie Marina (spell?), before we were completely tied up I chewed him out. During the trip we couldn't say anything for fear he'd loose it. But now with the safety of land, I chewed him out for nearly getting us killed, for being so worthless as a crew, for being so mean. I vented 14 days of frustraion, I was right in his face. While I was railing He did his little rock back and forth growling routine. When I was done I hopped on the dock, walked straight over to the bar, picked the two biggest guys in the place, sat next to them and asked "if it was ok? they might need to protect me" . He left the boat soon after that and we never saw him again.

Psycho was a very angry guy I was pretty mad at him for causing souch fear in us, but now I feel nothing but pity. I hope he got some help. Not everyone can handle being offshore, it was unfair of the captain to put her (timeline/money) needs in front of the crew safety, and psycho was clearly in mental trouble. We should of turned around.
Erika
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Old 14-06-2009, 08:43   #8
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Can you change the story a little to "hopped on the dock, walked straight over to the bar, picked the two biggest guys in the place, sat next to then and asked "if it's ok, would you go over to that boat over there and kick the crap out of the guy bobbing back and forth"

It may not be true, but puts a smile on my face.
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Old 14-06-2009, 09:38   #9
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Similar event happened last Fall on the Carribean 1500. A guy really went bananas on the 8 day trip and then disappeared in Tortola. Luckily there was enough male crew on the boat to keep him under control.
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:09   #10
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I like your style, if I do that then I'll also add I won the St. Thomas lottery.

I told the Captain that if she ever wanted me back on her boat I must approve the crew. A year later, she flew me down to bring the boat back to Texas. I arrived at the boat, met the guy she chose to crew back, and as we moved from cockpit to main salon the guy grabbed my leg and nibbled my ankle, I looked at the captain and said "You got to be kidding?"
He did go and had I no problems with him. The trip was pretty uneventful except for a knockdown the Bahamas.

Sometimes I feel like Tristan Jones when I talk about getting that boat to and from St. Thomas, Psychos, near collisions, bad storms and nearly sinking-I was there and find it all a little hard to believe.

I am not proud of this, I was 19 and like anyone that age did stupid things. I'm 39 now and just finally told my parents the full story.

God protects the stupid too
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:16   #11
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Scary.....

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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
I posted a note about a crew member falling asleep while on watch, ( Asleep at the Wheel While Underway) I ended the story with a note that the crew that fell asleep turned out to be a psyco. Steve B. wrote that he'd like to hear the rest of the story (Steve your $20 in the mail ) I didn't want to take over Rams great post so here it is. If you have a psyco/funny crew story please share.


I was first mate on a 37ft sailboat from Houston to St. Thomas. As we were heading out of the Northeast passage we were nearly run down when the new crew fell asleep on his watch. After nearly being killed by the cruise ship, (see rams post) we woke up and confronted the new crew about his stellar watch performance. When the “confrontation” got heated he began to rock back and forth and made growling noises, Seeing this odd behavior ( with our keen observation skills) we felt it prudent to back off and let it go. His behavior got more strange the further we headed off shore. After another near collision the next night, this time with a tanker, the captain and I took over all the watches/duties. We tried our best just to stay clear of him, he mainly stayed in his bunk (rocking and growling). But once and a while he would bolt out of bed and trim the sails (badly I might add) then go back to his bunk. The captain did not want to alter course to drop him off so it was 14 days with one heck of a weird guy. To top it off we got hit by one hell of a storm and the boat nearly sank (but that another story....steve?).....well in the end we did make it to port ok.

Erika

PS After the second night the captain did have a weapon on herself at all times (He was a big 6'3 guy).

This is not as funny as I thought
That crew story was actually scary.

Where did you find him as a cruising companion? Local parol office? Outpatient psych clinic? Animal shelter ?
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:19   #12
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The mentally ill in BC .....

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The mental health association in BC used to run a PSA and if I recall correctly, they asserted that 1 in 3 people suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives. Of course that might just be in BC. Certainly food for thought before taking on unfamiliar crew.
I've heard the stats in BC are higher than elsewhere in the world
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:24   #13
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Forget the flowers & candy....

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I arrived at the boat, met the guy she chose to crew back, and as we moved from cockpit to main salon the guy grabbed my leg and nibbled my ankle, I looked at the captain and said "You got to be kidding?"

He did go and had I no problems with him. The trip was pretty uneventful except for a knockdown the Bahamas.

God protects the stupid too
The way to your heart is a little ankle nibble, obviously. Noted.
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:31   #14
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The poor guy couldn't understand why I didn't swoon at his display of admiration
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:37   #15
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Does anyone here with a real psychiatric background have any idea what disorder would lead to rocking and growling? Just curious...never know when ya might run into this sort of thing...
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