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Old 11-04-2014, 21:08   #91
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

In todays nanny society people are afraid to do much of anything. The sence if adventure is dwindling. .kids just plsy games and socialize on facebook. America is turning in to a bunch of wimps. Most boaters will never see 200 miles offshore never mind 900 miles offshore. I don't think it will change either way as far as boosting the number of interested people.

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Old 11-04-2014, 21:11   #92
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I am agnostic about Rebel Heart. For one thing, we don't have all the data as yet -- or at least I haven't seen it -- on what exactly went wrong above and beyond a sick kid (which, if it's what it appears, is quite enough to justify Eric's actions).

I would disagree with the OP, however. What happened to Rebel Heart -- an SAR of a "milk runner" far from shore, does happen on average a few times a year.

Considering the number of boats out there (I've heard 10,000 at any given time, which I know is just a guess), this is statistically insignificant. Even so, any single event, especially one involving small children, is going to get considerable (and mostly negative) media attention.

So, aside from more crowded anchorages and inured locals, the greater the number of cruisers out there, the greater the chances of such disasters, especially if the added influx is from folks who see the technology as a crutch.

I'd never discourage anyone, but I am not sure how aggressively to encourage, either.

There's a self-selection that goes on when most of the world's landlubbers are telling you that you're nuts for even thinking of crossing an ocean. This frankly (do I dare? ...) is why I was not a fan of the Bumfuzzles. Their attitude was that anyone could flout preparation and "forehandedness" and just go. Some of their attitude was probably self-promotional schtick, but some people no doubt will stare google-eyed and slack-jawed at their success and take an ill-considered leap, thus bringing even more unwanted and mostly uninformed scrutiny down on all of us.

No, choosing this lifestyle should be a little bit hard, I think.


I'm glad you brought up the Bumfuzzles in reference or contrast to Rebel Heart. I read the BF blog and was pretty entertained by their blasé approach to preparation. As long as the next destination had pizza, they were good to go. LOL

For the most part, they got a lot of disdain and ridicule from most on CF, yet they managed to circumnavigate without any major mishaps or injuries. That's pretty significant given their lack of experience and qualifications.

Now contrast that to the outcome of Rebel Heart, which to quote most of the posters who've weighed in, "Was as well prepared as anyone can be to cross oceans." They only made it 900 mi and then got rescued. I'm no expert on sailing, that's why I came here, to learn. But anyone with any common sense will realize that taking off for the other side of the Pacific with a bby and a 3 yr old is essentially single handing it. I don't care if your wife is superwoman, feeding and changing diapers on 2 babies is a full time job, there isn't time or energy left for her to stand a watch.

I'm all for kids traveling, I traveled most of my life and it was a very eye opening experience for me and I've never forgotten it. But we didn't take off with 2 babies in a boat. If I had 2 kids, I'd have waited until the youngest was 7 or 8, so neither of us had to carry any kids as we went sightseeing. They might even be able to stand short watches during the day. But there is no way I'd burden one parent with that much work, then hit the high seas.

I do have a lot of questions as to why a lot of this unfolded, apart from the kids. Why didn't she use Scop patches before they left to prevent seasickness? Why didn't he trim the sails for a smoother ride from the beginning, instead of waiting for days until she asked him to do something about it? Why couldn't the boat have been saved? Etc, etc.


As for Eric drawing more people into the cruising lifestyle, I highly doubt it. This is the population that elected Obama based on sound bites and Twitter feeds, not substance and information. For the most part, non-cruisers have roundly condemned them for their decisions. They are not being held up as role models by the lame stream mafia media. Most people are pointing at their rescue and saying, "I could have told you that it was going to end like this, and I don't even own a boat."

If they had successfully crossed a couple of oceans and the kids grew up strong and independent and they had a sun and fun filled blog showing them on pristine beaches, roasting marshmallows and strumming guitars and having the times of their lives on remote atolls, then yes, I could see them inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

But it's going to take a genius at PR to spin this rescue into anything but an aborted disaster that ended a short 900 mi off the coast, especially with the negative (or at the very least, non-cruising friendly) entries on Charlotte's blog. It's very obvious she bought into this because it was his dream, and once they got knee deep into the reality of it, she wanted to fly back to her sister's place. I'm not going to argue whether she really meant that or not, she posted it for all of the world to see, so it had better be the truth, or that opens up a whole different can of worms.

I think the best they can salvage from this at this point is to take her very good writing talents, hire a media expert, and try to get some exposure on the talk show circuit, then pitch this as a potential book to the publishers, followed by a script and movies rights. They could easily buy a better boat (how about a 50' cat this time?) and sail off into the sunset with older kids, plenty of money and a lot less seasickness.
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Old 11-04-2014, 21:12   #93
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Eric, in particular is far from blameless. This was an avoidable event. But I think that type of criticism is best left till he returns, if he returns.
Rhetorical tricks w/o substance. Fingers pointing left and right, then pretending its unimportant or you never said it.

Your wife is fugly. Fuglier than hell. But I think that type of criticism is best left till she returns, if she returns.
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Old 11-04-2014, 21:12   #94
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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Bill, glad you popped up and corrected me. I have a lot of respect for you and wasn't up to date on the HAM numbers. Do you think this was because of dropping the code?

I would always have HF SSB on a cruising boat.

I am up to date on the GA numbers, and the number of Private Pilots has fallen in the last 30 years.
The number for american teens getting a drivers license is dropping.

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Old 11-04-2014, 21:16   #95
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Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Originally Posted by captainbri View Post
In todays nanny society people are afraid to do much of anything. The sence if adventure is dwindling. .kids just plsy games and socialize on facebook. America is turning in to a bunch of wimps. Most boaters will never see 200 miles offshore never mind 900 miles offshore. I don't think it will change either way as far as boosting the number of interested people.

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And this is evidenced by....... What exactly. My father complained we listened to nothing but " jungle music" ........


Most boaters never saw 200 miles offshore anyway , a few years ago , if you sailed around the world on a leisure yacht you got a knighthood. Today, every landlubber with a boat is at it.
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Old 11-04-2014, 21:22   #96
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Oh i don't know. I think there are seriously a lot of people who have had enough, and the idea of going off the grid became validated by RH. Not a big increase, but an increase just the same.

Its going to be a sellers market

EDIT: Its a difficult world these days to cruise, though. The open arms of the world has changed.
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Old 11-04-2014, 21:59   #97
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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I was wondering the same thing.
It is just the spin factor and me not wanting to participate. You have heard the media phrase "...as quoted by a professional industry insider", well I don't want to be quoted in an area that I have so little experience, i.e family cruising. If asked about the Exxon Valdez, which would be a lot more in my swing zone, I would comment, such as if the Mate that was on watch gave credence to the young CMA cadet that first spoke up that the ship was on the wrong side of channel markers, they would not of grounded.
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Old 11-04-2014, 22:02   #98
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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At this point, I don't think we have enough information to really pick apart the decisions made. In my view, everything was actually going pretty well until Lyra got sick. She was cleared to go and they went. I don't see that as an error on RH's part.

There was nothing really wrong with their boat other than the usual minor issues on any crossing. They were in some real slop for a couple days and it was unpleasant, but they would have made it through. Another day or two would have settled the sea conditions and hopefully they would have ended their trip with a nice downwind run in classic tradewind conditions.

Force 5 had nothing to do with the rescue and I don't know why people keep bringing it up. They didn't bail because they didn't like it or couldn't handle it, they bailed so their daughter didn't die. I have no doubt they would have made it just fine otherwise. Sometimes passage suck for a while. Usually we decide to put up with that for the nice things that come on the other side. My bet is that they family would have kept going and made it at least as far as NZ. They've been through a lot over the last couple years and always kept going and enjoying life.

As far as experience goes, I think they had plenty of experience and knowledge and the right boat and gear as well. There was nothing wrong with their decision to set off on this voyage, in my view.
The following is not in any way meant to be an indictment of Eric or Charlotte, merely a discussion of what I would have done, NOT what I expected Eric to do. We all have our priorities and our levels of judging success or failure.

If there was nothing really wrong with the boat, why did they abandon it and scuttle it? I come from a long family tradition of "let the doctors do their job, we only need one family member there to make decisions and sign paperwork." So in that position, if there really was nothing wrong with the boat, I would have single handed it back to Cabo.

Here's my logic: by choosing to cross the Pacific with essentially 2 babies who need to be fed, clothed, diapered, etc, Eric was essentially single handing it. Charlotte wasn't going to stand 1/2 of the watches and tend to the kids, they're pretty much a full time job even when they're not ill. But throw in a little seasickness, a lot of rocking, a little time of the month, and 2 kids who need constant attention, then just add in one more little mechanical issue of some sort, now you're shorthanded, broken down and physically and emotionally beat. Even if Lyra hadn't gotten that ill (and if she really was THAT ill, they would have taken her off by helicopter days before meeting up with the ship) Charlotte had already posted she was done with it. Single handing it back to Cabo would have been a shorter journey than continuing to their original destination.

Yes, they emerged with their lives, but they lost everything else. So, if the seas weren't bad enough and the boat wasn't broken enough, then something must have gone wrong to end it like this. There is the possibility that if the children had been older, the salmonella might not have affected Lyra as badly, and they would still be on their way. We'll never know for sure.
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Old 11-04-2014, 22:16   #99
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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All kids have to pay the price of their parents bad judgment, and all parents have bad judgment from time to time. Some are worse than others, of course.

I would seriously question your assertion, though, that taking minors on a crossing is bad judgment. I don't think it is at all.

Letting your kids grow up to think that taking any risks, not matter the rewards is a bad idea... Now that might be poor judgment.

I would say that taking risks that outweigh the benefits is equally poor judgement. What exactly is a 13 month old baby going to learn, or remember about crossing the ocean? Nothing.

I learned to calculate risk/reward from my mom. She called it "common sense" but it's not very common at all.

How many watches did Charlotte stand in between feeding, burping, clothing, changing, consoling, monitoring the babies? None. So essentially, he was single handing it across the Pacific with a wife who just wasn't as into it as he was, and she had her hands full.

I hope they spin this into a book/movie deal, bank the money, buy a cat in a few years and have a much smoother, safer trip with kids who can enjoy it and learn along the way. That's the point, not to see how many diapers you can change while rocking across the pond.
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Old 11-04-2014, 22:17   #100
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Ken's nine points about RB are worth discussing, but I don't know that they are necessarily the conclusive proof or that they would be accepted widely without more discussion or more knowledge of what really happened.

For the first point, were the kids still on medication or had they completed their courses? Certainly they were medically cleared. I'm not sure 1. applies here.

As for the second point, "2. Have some prior offshore experience"
What counts? Are there people who are so experienced that they've never had to cross an ocean for the first time? Is it possible that the Rebel Hearts thought they had enough ocean experience by virtue of the long-distance coastal cruising trip down to Mexico? Was this too tame to be real preparation in their case? Would a longer history of coastal cruising with more variety of conditions have sufficed better? Or is there really no substitute for true blue water? How many ocean-crossers did a real blue-water long-passagemaking apprenticeship, and how many have been limited to relatively coastal experience before a first crossing?

3. (how stress is handled) Do we really know this from the blogs?

4. (foul weather) Was this relevant? Or might this be more about voyage planning vs. motion comfort, etc., and the sea sickness issue in no. 7.

5. People will vary in their ability to fix things and most don't come to cruising born with diesel and systems certifications. Eric knew how to fix lots of stuff. And some of this will come down to budget, rather than knowledge, and few young cruisers will have all the tools, training, spares, etc., so there will be a point at which cruisers need to make do. Does a first-timer really need to know how to rebuild everything blindfolded, or where might the standard lie?

6. Jerry cans? Well, maybe not specifically tank farms waiting for a nice big wave, but, yes, reserves are good and departure with a tank issue wouldn't be.
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Old 11-04-2014, 22:30   #101
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I enjoyed your post very much. But, the book idea... who's going to want to read it? The movie idea has already been done, I think it starred Robert Redford. The ending would be a little different and the language used by Charlotte might necessitate an "R" rating. What would it be titled?

"How I Totally Screwed Up, Placed My Family at Risk & had to be Rescued by the US Navy & National Guard"
Nope... too long, won't work.

"All is Lost" is probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen. He doesn't talk to anyone, and it was very slow paced, as if watching Redford make multiple mistakes and then compound them wasn't frustrating enough. He deserved to die, if only to appease Darwin.

This is a completely different story, with a lot of potential angles and if one bases it very loosely on events, a lot of elements that audiences will love. They love kids, especially adorable, cute kids. Throw in a lot of love between the parents, maybe a gratuitous sex scene to christen the boat while the kids are at granny's, a nice beach bonfire scene in MX before they leave, the make the drama heighten with a lot of mechanical failures, a leak somewhere, play up the illness...

then along come the heroes, flying in on parachutes to save them all. Throw in some tension as Eric doesn't want to scuttle the boat, so the biggest PJ has to pull a gun on Eric, one of them falls into the water getting off the boat...

you know, the usual Hollywood treatment all done up as if it was written by Hunter S. Thompson, but without all the drugs and maybe fewer Eff bombs.

Hollywood has made a lot of money taking much more boring stories and really taking some literary license to it. With the proper actors, release date and studio media buzz it could be a real money maker.

The title has to be something short and catchy. something like "Pacific" or "The Cruise" or "The Rescue" or "Almost Paradise."
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Old 11-04-2014, 23:03   #102
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

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Oh, I know, I participated in such threads defending against his and others comments. I've seen strips on this forum pulled of the skipper of wolfhound or the Atlas cat. But f course they weren't CF insiders.

Eric, in particular is far from blameless. This was an avoidable event. But I think that type of criticism is best left till he returns, if he returns. In the meantime we can look to use the incident to help the cruising community as a whole.

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I like you already. Good sentiments and agree. Cheers.
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Old 11-04-2014, 23:07   #103
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Re: Rebel Heart's contribution to the cruising community

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I enjoyed your post very much. But, the book idea... who's going to want to read it? The movie idea has already been done, I think it starred Robert Redford. The ending would be a little different and the language used by Charlotte might necessitate an "R" rating. What would it be titled?

"How I Totally Screwed Up, Placed My Family at Risk & had to be Rescued by the US Navy & National Guard"
Nope... too long, won't work.
I would have to agree on this movie. Sounds like the most boring thing ever.

What even happened?

Story line: Family goes onb journey around the world. 10 minutes after the previews are over, the movie ends with them calling in a medical emergency and leaving the boat. Lots of pissed off movie customers that wanted a more than 10 minute movie.

Compare this story to any other. Nothing even happened.
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Old 11-04-2014, 23:12   #104
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Hollywood can always add pirates, sharks and zombies!

It will be a hit!
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Old 11-04-2014, 23:29   #105
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Re: Rebel Heart's Contribution to the Cruising Community

Hi, everyone,

FWIW, part of what I think has gone agley here is that we have not made an effort to hold ourselves back from reading the blogs, and perhaps lost track that blogs are imperfect representations of what actually went on. Details are left out that are too boring to the writer to include, for one, and inadequate time to express oneself thoughtfully, for another.

If we could wait either till RH post here or on the other thread before commenting, for all the reasons put on the first thread, for maybe a month, that would at least make a space for the media to not dog our paths.

'Bye for now,

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