As a delivery skipper
in the past, I can sympathise with several sides of your tale. I think you probably underestimated the challenge of ocean sailing, its not the sailing thats at issue, its the challenge living with people in a space the size of under the stairs.
I think the "get off the boat" immediately argument is unfortunate, Crew on long trips, especially where they are stressed and tired, build a connection with the vessel, they view it as much as " their " vessel as you do. They have to be "let down "gracefully , given a few ( 2-4 days) to unwind and detach themselves from the boat. This is despite your desire to " get your boat back" , I think you could have handled that better quite frankly , but Id say it was a learning
experience. Clearly the Skipper
attempts at the letter stuff was quite bizarre, but I can see the issues in their mind, it the way they went about it that was way off beam.
My own answer would have been to placate them to get them to St. Lucia, agree they could stay for a few days, then deal with the issue on shore after everyone gets some sleep and the elation dies down. Most likely they would have seen the logic anyway and moved on anyway. most temp crew do. Its very hard on long distance crew to be chucked off the boat the instant it gets to the destination
. it happens , I avoid it ( and I make that clear with the owner at the start). On short trips yes its standard stuff and its no issue. ( I allow about a day/day and a half, per week of sailing )
The last week is the most stressful one on the ARC, the expectation of landfall often disrupts watches and sleep and hence tiredness build. Once you see crew beginning to fail to maintain some sleep that should set off major warning bells. Beyond a certain point, tiredness causes psychological changes in peoples character and exposures personality traits, some of which can be alarming. I have dozens of such stories.
Putting crew together for a challenging crossing , I did one ARC where we had 40kts and huge swells and squalls all the way across too, is always a bit of pot luck , even crews that sail together or land-friends are no guarantee that the relationship will work, Tiredness plays a big part. You have to allow for it. At least you dodnt have the 40 to 40 roll for 3 weeks. !!
Furthermore as a delivery
skipper , the big issue is that the owner MUST back off and not command the boat. You either rely on your skipper to skipper or you finish the contract
and take over the job yourself, you can't dabble in it. Its why most delivery skippers hate having owners on board. ( and often vice versa)
I notice you struggled with the waves and darkness and sounds etc. Well I suggest you get used to it, all ocean or long distance crossings feature this. Learn to trust the boat. Learn to love the sea, I can spend hours watching it, and hours at night watching the stars. Im happiest when land falls away. If not you'll find deep sea sailing difficult and boring ( and it can be difficult and boring)
More ARC boats have more crew fall-outs then you can shake a stick at, and its a funny
thing that character defects that are not obvious on land , can become huge issues at sea. I ve seen crews fights over incompetence, fear, sexual tension, odd personal characteristics, food
, bedding, etc etc. You need a skipper with a strong hand and a good leadership style and you as owner if you are crew, then you must develop the mentality of crew. The boat isn't , for that time, yours.! ( harsh but true)
The fact is your skipper got you there in one piece, that can't be ignored. Your crew performed their jobs, even if there was obviously some interpersonal friction.
Ive sailed with all sorts of oddballs, they'd probably say them same thing about me!!. Ocean saying attracts the "type", if you need crew you have to learn how to manage it.
" but sunrises, sunsets, stars and 3 crew members who will become great friends. I am grateful. I am nervous. I will find out what I am made of."
Never assume crew will become friends or actually expect it, at the best they will, but often it never happens, nor is it necessary. As you develop your skills as skipper, you'll see this.
Great job and well done, learn from it, look at your own actions as well as theirs, Review and store away. I say you its was a learning
Perhaps you'd be candid enough to summarise now at this remove , the lessons you learned.?
I must say the blog is racey!!