Hello, this is my 1st post as a new member
. The Rebel Heart incident has led me here. Although I have been on various fresh- and salt-water vessels throughout my life, I am not a cruiser or sailor. I've never met or spoken to the Kaufmans, online or offline. I don't work in the media or entertainment industry.
I have, however, spent hours upon hours reading the Kaufmans' blogs, as well as many of their posts on the forum and their Facebook page. I have also viewed the Air National Guard press conference regarding the Rebel Heart crew rescue
a few times. Finally, I have read various threads on various forums concerning their recent trip.
First, let me just say that I'm happy the family
is safe and back on land. I think it's reasonable to say that most if not all of us go through things in life which put us in harm's way, whether we spend our time on land or on water. Life is simply full of risks -- and also full of rewards. Many of these events
, however, are not typically broadcast in such a public fashion as the Kaufmans' story.
I recognize and understand that both Eric and Charlotte are members here, and that apparently many here are supporters and possibly have even met them offline.
I also, however, think it's important and relevant to understand and discuss some facts leading up to this incident. It is not necessarily only a sailor/cruiser story; this also becomes a Kaufman family
story. Regardless of your personal relationship with them, and regardless of your own sailing/cruising experience, I think it's vital to consider the facts which have been thoroughly documented mainly by the Kaufmans themselves -- especially those from the past few months.
I don't see many people here discussing many of these, most of which can be found at their blogs. This is the reason why I decided to register and post here. I'm interested in hearing responses to any or all of the following findings.
Without comment, here is just a list of what I have found at their blogs:
- The longest trip prior to their most recent, was just 4 nights long, taken only by Eric. This was a coastal trip. The entire family never spent this much time sailing at once. They have never been outside of coastal waters. None of them have been crew or passengers for another's blue-water trip.
- Much of their time has been spent ashore, as well as being docked.
- Prior to the trip, Charlotte and their two girls had physical health
issues, which can easily reoccur if not fully treated and healed, and can easily be re-exposed if certain sanitation requirements are not fulfilled, causing a vicious cycle of reinfection.
- Their voyage was physically much rougher than they expected, considering they had never experienced blue-water sailing, nor had they spent much time away from stepping foot on land. They were constantly jostled about, couldn't sleep well, and experienced bouts of seasickness. Couple this with Charlotte's and the girls' recent illnesses, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.
- Charlotte's mental health
was not the greatest, per her own admissions. She was very unhappy oftentimes during their trip, even asking Eric at one point early on what he thought about the prospect of she and the girls going back ashore and letting Eric do the voyage himself. Approximately two months prior to their departure, Charlotte also posted about feeling suicidal; she did not state if she received any professional psychological assistance for this. And approximately three months prior to their departure, she publicly accused her father of sexually and mentally abusing her and her sister, which apparently split their large family in two, causing emotional distress
for many, including for Charlotte, herself.
- During the California
Air National Guard press conference video, starting at approximately 2:05, one of the rescuers stated that the Kaufmans were in "decent condition" and that Lyra was "a little bit sick" when the rescuers first boarded Rebel Heart. It wasn't unil later in the conference that another rescuer made statements contradicting that. It was also not disclosed if Lyra was suffering from salmonella, long-term seasickness, or both -- all of which can lead to similar symptoms.
- Finally, this was a 3,000-mile trip which was expected to take 3-4 weeks. They were two weeks into the trip, and had only gone 900 miles.
Given the above, one can argue that this was simply a case of the captain
and crew not being experienced enough, nor mentally or physically prepared enough, for such a voyage attempt. There is no shame in admitting that. When the Kaufmans do speak, I think we'd all like and expect them to be fully open and honest. Doing so will not only garner them further respect, but also potentially help other families facing similar decisions.
I'm fully aware that I might attract some negativity from others here by posting this. This is not an attack on the Kaufmans or their decisions, nor is this a personal attack against any of you reading this or your lifestyle choices. I would expect the same respect. However, I think I've done a pretty good job in listing some facts, many of which aren't discussed much here, and again, can be found throughout Rebel Heart's blogs and in the National Guard press conference video. I strongly suggest that many of you, if you haven't already, to spend at least several hours reading through that publicly-documented first-hand information prior to responding to my post, especially the blogs from the past 3 months or so, at a minimum.
Thank you. And again, welcome back, Rebel Heart crew. Glad to have you aboard the mainland. May your experiences be lessons for all of us. And good luck in your future endeavors.