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Old 29-04-2010, 15:28   #16
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now I could abuse my mod status here and correct the error and leave you looking silly, but that wouldn't be nice would it?

so yeah, parallel park was the phrase.

; -D
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Old 29-04-2010, 15:37   #17
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Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
Don't be a cranky pants Dockhead! Just because he posted it here and was frank about it doesn't mean he was ungracious at the time.

I would have helped, prolly about at the same time as the OP.

But then I double parks cars for people who are trying to park on my street and are clearly suburbanites and can't get into a space twice the length of their car.

And while I am very nice and do the *oh no big deal, everyone has trouble once inna while* at the time, I tell some pretty funny stories at the dinner table and while we sit on our front porch watching those who do succeed (finally) we give scores Olympic style of technique; as in Hey watch, this one is gonna be a 5! it's gonna be 3 attempts for sure!

And I have gratefully taken help that was offered on the days when I was the bozo...
Yes, I was being a bit of a "cranky pants". Sometimes I get wound up. No offense intended.
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Old 29-04-2010, 15:39   #18
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Dockhead thanks for your thoughtful reply. I can understand how you interpreted the post, albeit was truly not my intent. Levity by it's nature can be entertaining and you took my attempts in a direction I hadn't intended. Had my goal been to write a scathingly vindictive post I would have used boat name, date and location with photos that I took of the beautiful vessel. I don't recall making any verbal comments regarding those onboard beyond referring to the age, sex and positions on the vessel based on observations. I am glad I didn't put a smug post up the day, week or even month after this happened. Perhaps then someone might have been able to place this incident causing undue embarrassment to the persons involved. Not that I want to debate my lack of writing skills but rather I would like to have an actual discussion regarding what to do, or not, and why.

How would you have written the account??

A boat was unable to grab a mooring ball. I helped. Would you?

That describes the facts but neglects to add details to clearly answer. IMHO.

What about the other 30 or so boats in the mooring field who didn't lend assistance? I've re-thought the situation repeatedly and wondered what others would do in the same situation. When one offers to assist in a situation where no life or vessel is in immediate danger, one is assuming a certain level of risk. Does that risk make sense? If so, why? If not, why?

So yes, I am interested regarding the question of rendering assistance in situations like this.

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Well, I sense a certain smug schadenfreude on the part of the assembled company -- shame on you all. How skillful I am -- you all think with glee -- compared to that bozo on the beautiful 50-footer.

I also don't believe that anyone was really interested in the question to help or not -- it was just a good excuse to tell the story and laugh at someone else's expense, plus to show how gracious you were in actually helping them out of their trouble.

I remember years ago, I was sailing a cat for the first (and thank God, last) time, in the Windward Islands. The boat was anchored in Saltwhistle Bay and everyone was on land having dinner at a restaurant. A sudden and vicious squall blew up, and I could see that the boat was dragging. My crew and I ran as fast as we could and jumped in the dink, and raced over just before the boat went onto the coral reef on the western end of the bay. Cranked up the engines and got away.

Meanwhile it's blowing about 40 knots and rain is coming horizontally. We try and try to anchor, but we can't get it to dig in. Moreover, I can't maneuver for some reason. The boat pulls hard to port and doesn't obey the rudder. We can hardly see, and every time we circle around we are at risk of hitting the coral reef barely below the surface. We are getting tired.

Out of the blowing rain, a dinghy full of cheerful (although very wet) English sailors comes at us with a line attached to some mooring buoy, and quickly the situation is resolved.

No word or gesture suggested the slightest hint of the kind of disdain which is dripping out of the original post in this thread, although we must have looked like a bunch of complete idiots. No one knew at that point, including me, that the gearbox of the port engine had come apart, which was why the boat wouldn't maneuver (one of about a dozen mechanical failures on that cruise, including a prop falling off, and that was my last charter trip).

And I'm sure they didn't put up a smug post on a forum the next day. I did, however, send them over my last bottle of single malt the next morning.

On the odd chance anyone is actually interested in the question -- to help or not --

We consider it a sacred obligation to always help, no matter how much trouble it is, other sailors who need it. There but for the grace of God go I -- I always think -- and I am just grateful to have the skills or the gear to be able to help. All of us are amateurs with various degrees of clumsiness, compared to a real professional mariner.
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Old 29-04-2010, 15:47   #19
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Sarafina you understood my intended tone. The only time I was less than gentlemanly was when they were going to do damage to the vessel by improperly attaching lines over the lifelines.

It is common in this area, home to many hundreds of charter vessels, to enjoy the antics of "unique" methods to catch mooring balls and set anchors. I am sure I provided entertainment to others during my learning process too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
Don't be a cranky pants Dockhead! Just because he posted it here and was frank about it doesn't mean he was ungracious at the time.

I would have helped, prolly about at the same time as the OP.

But then I double parks cars for people who are trying to park on my street and are clearly suburbanites and can't get into a space twice the length of their car.

And while I am very nice and do the *oh no big deal, everyone has trouble once inna while* at the time, I tell some pretty funny stories at the dinner table and while we sit on our front porch watching those who do succeed (finally) we give scores Olympic style of technique; as in Hey watch, this one is gonna be a 5! it's gonna be 3 attempts for sure!

And I have gratefully taken help that was offered on the days when I was the bozo...
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Old 29-04-2010, 15:51   #20
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Help...what and miss the ongoing spectacle! The "very white haired elderly man who is and has been at the helm" was probably the same age as the kids on the bow but he now looks "elderly" because of their numerous mooring debacles. I would've followed 'em just to watch their attempts at anchoring in a deep, rocky anchorage...but I'm easily amused.
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Old 29-04-2010, 17:49   #21
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Although generally in the camp of helping out folks - in these circumstances I probably would not have dinghyed over to offer help.

Partly out of the belief that they would surely succeed "next time" but mainly from not wanting to embarass the Skipper.........from the description sounds like minimal risk of collission with others and was only the finer close 1/4's stuff that was going amiss - main risk was that they would be at it all night

Not saying my approach would be right, and if I was walking along the dock whilst someone was making a similar horlicks I would offer help.

Might have shot some Youtube though
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Old 29-04-2010, 18:11   #22
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Throw no stones!

Took us 6 tries the other day to catch our mooring! Was glad the mooring field was empty.

But then earlier the same day I got to hit my first dock of the year.
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Old 29-04-2010, 18:32   #23
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Every one, even the experienced have bad days. When everthing seems to go wrong, there is no shame in recieving help. Yes I would help, as any long term cruiser would. The hardest part is asking for help. I would offer as soon as it is apparent he was having dificulty. Better to help sooner than have to help latter.
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Old 29-04-2010, 19:08   #24
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I think it's a tough call.

Picking up a mooring ball in a 55'+ high-freeboard boat is not easy, even with experienced crew. It's especially difficult in wind.

On a boat like that, the skipper is going to lose sight of the ball once the bow is within 10 meters of it. At that point the helmsperson--especially if it's an aft cockpit helm--is going to be as much as 25 meters away from the buoy.

Even on my relatively puny 46-footer, we've evolved a system where the person on the bow with the boat hook uses hand signals indicating the direction and distance to the mooring ball. I'm fairly tall, and I lose sight of the buoy well before the bow gets there; my wife is short enough that even though she's an experienced helmsperson she doesn't like to be back there when we're picking up a buoy.

Here's the problem: if we assume that the skipper lacked the necessary skill for the maneuver, is it wise to sit by the ball in your dink knowing he won't see you on final approach?

Don't get me wrong here--I often help neighboring boats pick up a mooring if my dink is handy. But there's a point when a boat is too big for a mooring, especially in windy conditions with a green crew. It wouldn't be wise to sit there in your dink with a 150' sloop bearing down on you. Is it wise to do so in the situation originally posed in this thread?

Sometimes larger boats are better off sitting on their own hooks.
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Old 29-04-2010, 20:23   #25
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I look at this from a different perspective…. Firstly… remove all the egos and deal with the issue at hand.

  • A skipper is having a hard time connecting to a mooring boy in gusty weather.
  • His foredeck crew, for whatever reason, are not performing well and seem rattled.
  • By Round #9…A Good Samaritan comes along and offers help to make the connection,

Regardless of your experience, only an egotistical fool would recognize that sometimes we all need a little help and stressing your foredeck crew is selfish and dangerous.

Rubikoop did exactly the right thing and did not allow his ego to punish the skipper when first refused, but stood by just in case and helped guide a stressed crew from making basic mistakes or hurting themselves.

Personally, I am all for allowing skippers to make mistakes, since that is part of the freedom of owning a boat and learning how to handle it.

But I do not forgive skippers for letting their egos get in the way of protecting their crew, in an obviously stressful situation.

I have witnessed an extreme example of this when a famous Super sailing yacht owner wanted to drive his own yacht (54m Perini Navi) in very tight and hectic conditions (Americas Cup Village during Race Day), to impress his guests.

He repeatedly would loose control of +600 tons despite having his professional captain standing beside him and when my crew and his crew were putting their lives in danger fending off this fool’s learning curve I lost my diplomacy and told the captain in very blue language in front of the international media to:
“get that f===ing amateur off the helm or I will make sure you loose your license!”

It had the desired effect! ... and many free rounds from thankful crew later .. including the captain
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Old 29-04-2010, 20:38   #26
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What about the other 30 or so boats in the mooring field who didn't lend assistance? I've re-thought the situation repeatedly and wondered what others would do in the same situation. When one offers to assist in a situation where no life or vessel is in immediate danger, one is assuming a certain level of risk. Does that risk make sense? If so, why? If not, why?

So yes, I am interested regarding the question of rendering assistance in situations like this.

I think that's a good driver for this thread. Why would the others not join you?

I would think it's all part of the fun of being on the water to jump in at a time like this. I've done it with the help of others who joined in. So I have a hard time understanding why you were the only one. Was it fear for their own safety, or a liability issue for them or would they rather just enjoy the whole scene in their own smugness that this guy was incompetent and they were not? I dunno.

This is one of the justifications I use for having 2 dinks. One of them can play tug with my own boat or someone elses if needed. The other one is my sailing dink toy.
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Old 29-04-2010, 20:46   #27
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I think it totally unfair to through out words like " Smugness" That has zero influence as to my actions with others.

I dont consider myself smug at all yet I will let people be quite often unless they ask me for help.

I have offered allot of things to allot of different people...sometimes with my head choped off...after a while you can just about read which ones will be doing the snubbing of that offer...I let sleeping dogs lie in other words...nothing smug about that...just smart
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Old 29-04-2010, 20:54   #28
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It is ok to see the humour

Funny stuff happens to all of us sometimes. I was trying to slide into my slip in a brisk wind recently and was extremely grateful for help and I know I was the sideshow for the afternoon.

A couple of days ago I watched a fellow in a tender dragging a sunken boat with amazing patience and diligence. There was no question of me helping, I don't consider dragging sunken boats as qualifying, but as the day dragged on (3 hours and ten feet later) the wind came and quickly turned into a gale. I din't have my tender in but kept a close eye on this (determined?) man try to drag a sunken boat. He gave up in a full gale with waves braking at the mouth of the basin right about when I was going to go and shout epitaths at him.

Today he was at it again but at a different boat. I was glad to see him taking responsibility for his sunken wrecks I must say. This time he was pumping water out of the boat at low tide. A good strategy I thought since this one wouldn't have moved at the behest of his little tender. Slowly the tide rose and still he pumped. The boat wasn't coming up however. It became very obvious that despite an agressive gasoline powered pumps hard work the water was coming into the boat far faster then he could pump.

I was up my mast watching for a while and wondering if it would be kind to explain to this strangely determined person the principle behind what he was attempting. He was in no danger and wasn't endangering others but it was strange to watch. Especially when the water level reached within a foot of the cabin top and he was still pumping. Even as I write I can still hear the pump running, some 10 hours later. The tide is likely on its way out now so prehaps he fels he is winning the battle? In any event, as you have undoubtly guessed I decided not to go taslk to him. Maybe tomorrow?
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Old 29-04-2010, 21:03   #29
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I would help if for no other reason to return the help that was given to me one day at Angel Island in SF Bay. There was a strong current I didn't know was there and I was in a new to me full keeled boat and was fairly green. I was able to get a boat hook on the pendant but lost it (fortunately it floated) and my second attempt was just as bad as it was impossible for me to stop the boat long enough with the current and wind both pushing to get the pendant out of the water. A guy dinghyed over and handed me the line next time I came up so I could drop it on a cleat quickly as the boat headed off. He just said "happens to me all the time" and picked up our boat hook and brought it back.
I have looked for ways to help people in this situation since then and would have definitely helped this guy probably fairly early in the debacle.

Jim
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Old 29-04-2010, 21:18   #30
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SimonV, he say: Every one, even the experienced have bad days.
Running at a mooring buoy with a fresh breeze on the beam, and then charging down on it from upwind isn't having a bad day: it's bad seamanship, verging on cluelessness. That's not the same as an obviously disabled vessel, Dockhead, and you're exonerated. Please don't think you're in this guy's class at all. I've done all kinds of dumb things, and my learning curve is still steep, but his guy no idea what he's doing, and was about to pose a danger to those around him, had the light failed without someone getting him put to bed.

Quote:
SimonV, he say again: When everything seems to go wrong, there is no shame in recieving help. Yes I would help, as any long term cruiser would. The hardest part is asking for help. I would offer as soon as it is apparent he was having dificulty. Better to help sooner than have to help latter[sic].
That's the spirit: the ethos of helping others out, any way you can, up to your own defined level of risk to yourself (and, I might add, up to your own ability). I think I'd let his ego take some softening up before I offered, and the OP did it all correctly:
  • offering help after several failed attempts
  • suggesting a course of action that gave the skipper an example to follow later (coming up from DDW)
  • becoming firmer about what needs to happen (the longer line),
  • giving the crew instructions when they showed themselves to be inexperienced with the basics of line handling (I wouldn't have blamed you if you hand checked their cleat hitch), and
  • keeping a courteous, patient and sincerely helpful attitude throughout, to the point of offering to retrieve the errant boat hook.
A+, Rubi, and a good example for everyone in that field. I hope your actions inspire those other spectators to emulate your willingness to help in the future.
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