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Old 30-12-2008, 15:51   #46
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Agreement

I2F: I think most everyone here agrees with you in general. The problem in this specific example is we don't know enough details to say whether it was a case of stupidity/laziness/ignorance or if it was the smart thing to do given the situation at the time. And the only person we know of who could have made that call was the person who did make that call - the skipper.

I think we should focus on the lessons to be learned from incidents. One of those lessons is spotting which skippers should be respected, and which not. Sometimes it's clear cut, other times it's not and a prudent sailor reserves judgment.
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Old 30-12-2008, 16:07   #47
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Id sail with you any time i2f...Right on the nail head my friend.
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Old 30-12-2008, 16:21   #48
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I don't question their decision to get off the boat... given their skill level, the condition of the boat, and the condition of the weather, that was probably the right thing to do... they all, including the boat and the rescuers, survived. But I really question their decision to leave when they did... I'm in the area, the storm was well forecast, and was happening when they left... and it was nasty. Nobody with any sea sense at all would want to be out in that weather.

So we may not know enough details about whether they should have called for help, but I think anyone who was in the area can state emphatically that they shouldn't have been out there. The stupidity/ignorance had to do with why they left when they did, not whether or not they should have called for help.

They were not caught by surprise by some kind of freak storm; they left right in the teeth of it. That's just plain stupid, no matter whether they eventually needed help or not.
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Old 30-12-2008, 17:25   #49
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
We claim we are resourceful, and independent. Then let's act that way.
Poignant story I2f and I don’t think anyone could argue with the above sentiment.

After all it is that determination and sacrifices which enables us to succeed in getting our boat and managing our escape.

To me, the big lesson is to choose your crewmates wisely and assess the skipper’s capabilities before signing on to an offshore journey, including weather gauging.

1st lesson as a delivery skipper is to be prepared to single hand the boat thru a storm if the rest of the crew went down.

Failing that and incapacitated only a few miles from shore with sick passengers (they are no longer crew), I don’t judge a skipper harshly in asking for help. Safety always comes first. We don’t know who deployed the epirb in this case. With a Father and Son, their might have been one too many captains, but the important thing is that they are safe and if they were towed in….sounds like an easy rescue

Anyone who knows me would laugh at the thought of me being called Politically Correct as I have put the fear of God and shamed crew into overcoming seasickness and standing their watch many times.

But when the boat is no longer in control because of crew failure I don’t judge them by my own standard, I only hope they survive by whatever means and think twice before heading out to sea again.
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Old 30-12-2008, 20:48   #50
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Quote:
1st lesson as a delivery skipper is to be prepared to single hand the boat thru a storm if the rest of the crew went down.
Why would you do a fool thing like that? If you put yourself in that position you screwed up so far beforehand that you don't deserve to be a captain. Never hire a captain that thinks they are Superman or is convinced they can sail without a crew. It means the crew is considered expendable. Unreliable crew is a reflection on the captiain.

If things turn bad and everyone gets back in decent shape then how it happens is not important. Most real failures happen several times before the final event. Multiple screw ups and opportunities missed are more often the source of total failure. This story ended with all crew returned. I don't see any failure or the need to grandstand on perceived past personal accomplishments at the expense of this situation. It is boastful at best.
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Old 30-12-2008, 22:32   #51
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Unreliable crew is a reflection on the captiain.
Paul, not too many people volunteering to do an offshore delivery as Crew have experienced a storm at sea.

A delivery captain is being paid. His employer might want to crew the rest of the boat with trusted friends or family who have already sailed with him and know the boat.

The paid captain can not look them in the eyes and determine if the will be incapacitated in heavy weather, so you use the KISS principal with all systems, be prepared to float thru all watches and plan for failures both Human and mechanical.

99% of the time there is never any real issue and the volunteer crew are great but if you get caught in something like a Tehuantepecker WINDS: Images and Animations: QuikSCAT a prudent captain should be ready to keep everyone safe if the volunteer crew get overwhelmed

Nothing boastful about that, just some observations after a career at sea where you can not always choose your shipmates and sometimes it is safer for everyone if they stay below and conserve their energy until the storm passes.
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Old 31-12-2008, 09:54   #52
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I'd have to agree with Paul. Starting out believing you can do it all yourself if foolish unless you are single handing and are rigged for that.

As a delivery Captain I would think insisting on at least one crew member of your choice would be prudent. If that's not exceptable let someone else do the job.

If nothing else fatigue can get you. I've found myself nodding off at the helm not a comfortable feeling. Felt like I could have used more that one backup.
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Old 31-12-2008, 11:51   #53
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Each time I put an offshore crew together, I pick two crew that I know can pull their own weight and more, and then I add one who is a good coastal sailor, but has no offshore experience. With a solid core of three sailors, the newbie can learn a lot, and it won't seriously cripple us if he can't handle it due to seasickness or whatever cause.

I got my first chance to sail offshore that way, and I always felt that I needed to return the favor.
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Old 31-12-2008, 12:15   #54
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Hud, Makes too much sense!

Herb Hilgenberg says " Don't leave a safe port without a reliable 5 day forecast"

Leaving a safe port in a December, new england gale is not to be taken lightly.


todays forecast:

National Weather Service Marine Forecast

Happy New Year, and safe Passage!

Tempest
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Old 31-12-2008, 12:23   #55
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My point being.....you do what you have to do to take care of the vessel.The vessel will then take care of you. Jumping off a perfectly floating vessel to jump in a liferaft, rescuer's basket, or up a ships net does not appeal to me at all. I'll take my risk with the boat.

I forget the family that built a tri in the mountains of South Africa, and then sailed to Australia with granny aboard. Her famous line was, " and this too will pass!" Sooner, or later all storms will pass.

Yes, of course single-handing isn't easy. Sometimes it's just what you need to do. I did it for 4k miles. My choice was to stay home, or single-hand. It was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. Bad back, head split open, and all the other things that went wrong....HEY! maybe I am crazy after all?
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Old 31-12-2008, 12:23   #56
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Hud,

Sounds like 4 on 8 off. Which has always made sense with a ships crew. Makes even better sense when three is all you have. Lets face it between what takes two ,during watch change, and just little things like food prep.. Actual bunk time may be 4hrs per watch.

How did we get to this from a bad decission to sail at the gitgo. I'd have to agree with bob that was the error in judgement. Although seeing that much tatters sail ? I wouldn't have had anything up but double reefed main running down wind and praying. Following seas aren't my favorite.
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Old 31-12-2008, 18:12   #57
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What Hud describes is right on the money if you are putting a crew together and you get to choose.

In the paid delivery business, the reality can be a bit different and you tend to sail with strangers who are often paying you for your expertise to keep them safe and also to teach them a bit about conservative offshore tactics and perhaps celestial.

Usually you find one or two who are good sailors and you focus on teaching them to be your replacement in case you get hurt.

Perhaps foolishly on my part I have trusted those stronger ones to adapt to heavy weather and 99% of the time they usually do. Yet twice in my early career I found myself alone at the helm with the rest of the owner’s crew “retired below” from the affects of their first storm. Not nice but you do what every solo sailor does and keep the boat’s stresses to a minimum while you ride it out.

Those early experiences taught me to be prepared for that possibility and my “lesson learned” observation was that if the skipper/son had taken early action to reduce sail to a minimum for control…. the fact that the rest of the crew were seasick should not have been cause for a mayday.

Being older, wiser and not in need of an income these days, I only sail with people I know who are probably assessing my own encroaching limitations.


Life goes on!
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Old 03-01-2009, 21:23   #58
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Paul, not too many people volunteering to do an offshore delivery as Crew have experienced a storm at sea.

A delivery captain is being paid. His employer might want to crew the rest of the boat with trusted friends or family who have already sailed with him and know the boat.
Rule #1 as a delivery captain......(at least MY rule #1).....Never make a delivery with the owner on board. There can only be one captain on any vessel. Putting the owner on board makes the line far too fuzzy and is a recipe for disaster IMO.

I have refused many a delivery over that issue. One time, I was delivering a brand new 60' ketch from NZ to Fiji for an owner. He showed up at the last minute and insisted on going. I told him that I would have to back out of the trip. He finally relented.

The trip was rough (as that passage usually is) and there was a lot of gear failure, including a furling main that wouldn't furl in 30kts of wind. I had to climb the mast and cut the sail away because the wind was supposed to get up to 50+kts. That boat didn't need the mainsail anyway. It sailed quite well under jib & jigger.

When we got to Fiji, the owner had a fit and wanted to take the sail out of my pay. He screamed at me like a 16-year-old. I'd hate to think what would have happened out at sea.
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Old 04-01-2009, 00:58   #59
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Ummmm...Im guessing lost crew at sea?
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Old 04-01-2009, 17:44   #60
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Well, without trying to get into any sort of flame war, I take Pelagic's side on the delivery game. I should be so lucky that I could (like Kan) turn down deliveries!! Indeed, the majority of mine are "owner assists" where I often find myself the only sailor on the boat....

There's the old story of the garage mechanic who charges twice as much for the work when the car's owner is looking over his shoulder....perhaps I should try that approach?

Finally, Professional Deliveries normally take place in the "bad" seasons: this is because the owner hasn't got the time/experience/inclination/permission from his Insurer/you-name it/ to do it; yet the boat has to be, say, in the Caribbean for Christmas but cant leave the East Coast before late November...... Tony
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