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Old 05-09-2011, 23:09   #31
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

As suggested in an earlier posting by Gord, I read John’s blog. I admire his courage. Even without an illness, sailing over the horizon requires a special spirit. Risks are taken, assumptions made, and then the leap of faith. John took risks. He missed taking the boating safety course before setting sail (else he would have known the significance of red and green nav aids in the ICW.) I suspect he received a lot of encouragement along the way. I often read “Go for it!” posted on this forum and it is a philosophy I generally agree with. .

So here is my problem. John’s crewman may have been guilty of stretching himself when he volunteered for the Hawaii passage. Just like John did when he entered the ICW without knowing its rules of navigation. Regardless, the crewman most certainly was destined to make mistakes on an unfamiliar boat. But I wonder if the crew was as incompetent as he is made out to be in the blog posting, that he undermined the efforts of two skilled sailors, and single-handedly caused the voyage to be abandoned. I suspect the picture is more complicated. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. But I wish the skipper had not used his pen as an executioner’s sword.

The crewman’s parents, wife, children, and friends probably read the blog so they could share in his dream. Instead, they found their hero is an incompetent, unhygienic liar. It is a one sided account that delivers a harsh punishment.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:55   #32
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I agree, crew failure is inevitably the skippers fault in my opinion. If you are the expert and he isn't, then you have to train him. I have very rarely met anyone who can't be utilised on a boat as crew.

I sympathise with your problems, but reading your blog I suspect you are a difficult man to get along with. That's very intimidating for new crew.

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Old 06-09-2011, 07:24   #33
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

The ICW incident could've been avoided. If I had been able to find charts. Which I looked for all the way from St. Maarten to Daytona. As I typed in my error I inched my way past the post. The worse would we woul've been aground is what could've happened. So take me out & shoot me for being human. I am okay with that.

As far as being difficult. I have met dozens of members here, and even had one crew with me from Green Cove Springs Fl. to Cartegena. He was honest, and admitted to knowing very little, and he learned a lot by having an open mind. I don't think of all these people I would be described as difficult? Maybe, but I doubt it. I am extrememly difficult if you lie to me, or cheat me. I was patient with this man for weeks trying to help him understand trim. Telling him to pump the head more didn't sink in for a month. He even told Mel he pumped it, but she pumped it, and cleared the line herself, and called him a liar on his last day on the boat. I have barely touched on everything that happened. There is so much more.

Since I have written my blog. Mel has told me numerous problems she had with him. She kept them from me trying to keep things friendly. He brought a sat phone with him, and called family weekly. When I told him not to touch the boat any more. He called his mom, and told her he was denied working on the boat. Mel told him he wasn't denied he was demoted, because he lied.

Hitting the log that shook Imagine violently. When I went to the cockpit, and asked what happened. He told me not to worry it was just a log. This clearly shows his lack of concern for our well being. I immediatley went to the strboard hull to check for water. Turns out it split the stem, and peeled off some fiber skin to raw wood. It hit the keel. and deflected off the skeg leaving a nasty imprint, and possibly more skin damage. I can't see clearly without my glasses underwater.

He clearly stated he had been trained in heavy weather, and clearly understood reefing. Would you like me to post that e-mail of his too? Turns out he once reefed a 27ftr.....ONCE! He refused to answer if it was at the dock, or the lee of land. He just walked away. Understanding the theory of reefing, and doing it when it's blowing stink in a squall are 2 different things. He couldn't even get it right trying to raise the main after a half a dozen times in extremely light air.

He was a know it all, and refused to have an open mind. Damn right I became difficult, but I never showed it until my glasses were lost. He told Mel they just fell off from the wind. He told Mel she didn't know how to organize a pantry, and he would show her. Now that takes balls to come into a woman's home, and tell her how to do things. Especially when you are a complete stranger.

I have asked before, and I will ask again. Point out where I was difficult up until he was demoted. No one has done that yet. I was scared to leave him on watch, or any responsibility for fear of damage to the boat, and his as well as our safety while I slept. This built up over 2 weeks, and not over night. He pushed my patience, and he saw it come to an end. He is so thick in the head he doesn't even realize he did anything wrong.

You can poke someone so many times with your fiinger. Sooner, or later it will become tender, and sore. I am keeping a blog of what we go through on this journey against cancer, and time. I am going to be honest, and that will include his failures. I am sorry for his family, but not for him. He chose to lie, and he will have to live with that decision. My mistake was accepting help for the peace of mind for Mel. I was trying to leave with just us, or alone. My other mistake was relying on someone to be honest, and accepting their help. I was completely honest in my health issues. Tell me if there is any doubt for what I am asking for here in my request for crew. It seems today's world is willing to accept excuses. People want to find reason why it's okay to lie, cheat, murder.This only enables them to continue their ways. I have also asked why it was okay for him to decieve us? No one has answered that either.

If you have read the blog than maybe you have read MAKING LEMONADE. That's what I am doing here in Costa Rica. I am making lemonade out of the sour lemons handed to me. I am a whole lot smarter now, and I am a whole lot more determined to finish my sail.

The cancer left my neck, and throat. It moved to my liver without responding to treatment, and I was told to prepare for where I take my last breath. I am going to take it living life as a human being, and not a damned guinie pig withering away making office visits to fatten the accounts of doctors. I won't apologize to those who find me difficult, and for asking for help. I won't be asking for help again.

There are 2 sides to the story. The crew knows about my blog, and that I am here. He can step in any time he wishes, and type his side. There is a measuring tape alongside the door at 7/11 stores. It's because one witness will describe a midget while another will describe a giant.......i2f

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Old 06-09-2011, 08:47   #34
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

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Originally Posted by Tom1340 View Post

So here is my problem. Johnís crewman may have been guilty of stretching himself when he volunteered for the Hawaii passage. Just like John did when he entered the ICW without knowing its rules of navigation. Regardless, the crewman most certainly was destined to make mistakes on an unfamiliar boat. But I wonder if the crew was as incompetent as he is made out to be in the blog posting, that he undermined the efforts of two skilled sailors, and single-handedly caused the voyage to be abandoned. I suspect the picture is more complicated. I donít know. I wasnít there. But I wish the skipper had not used his pen as an executionerís sword.

The crewmanís parents, wife, children, and friends probably read the blog so they could share in his dream. Instead, they found their hero is an incompetent, unhygienic liar. It is a one sided account that delivers a harsh punishment.
Tom there are a few things that can not be ignored on a sailing boat hitting something is one of them. When close to shore it must be dealt with right away. Offshore it can be tragic. The boat has to be checked immediately for leaks. I know that I am biased towards believing I2F but if someone educated does not have the foresight to see how important it is to know how to reef there are going to be problems.

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I agree, crew failure is inevitably the skippers fault in my opinion. If you are the expert and he isn't, then you have to train him. I have very rarely met anyone who can't be utilised on a boat as crew.

I sympathise with your problems, but reading your blog I suspect you are a difficult man to get along with. That's very intimidating for new crew.

Dave
Perhaps I am a difficult man too but I have seen this on boats where I wasn't in charge. Some crew just don't mesh. I have seen people who were good crew freeze when they get out of sight of land. I have seen crew abandon a trip b/c they were afraid. Personal characteristics and relations intensify when you are on a boat. I don't know the exact situation and I am sure that John's crew has a different view of it but there are a few givens: 1) It is I2F's boat, 2) I2F felt it necessary to turn around and drop off the crew b/c of the safety of his boat, and 3) I2F has cancer and needed a reliable crew. With these three statements I am going to grant I2F more leeway then other folk and find his story more believable and closer tot he truth.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:13   #35
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

john did great-- he had a crew who misrepresented self and pretended to be more experienced than he was. that is dangerous to the point of potentially fatal.. from the postings i have read of johns over many years, i think john was doing the best he could for his wife and boat and self by ridding boat of him. it is a shame that folks not there can bash a good man as is being done.
there is a big difference between sailing icw as a virgin and pretense of knowledge in crew position application.
hitting a log is a really bad thing-- many boats do not tolerate that. causes obvious damage and can sink boat. not good, at best.
just how many MILES does john have under his belt now, since the icw incident--we are all virgins at some point.
the only morals of this story are that potential crew SHOULD not lie. they do, but they shouldnt. i had that experience, also..i am glad mine chickened out.
also--when a skipper complains of crew not passing muster, is good to listen not to bash.
i feel for john as he is weakened a bit by his illness and a potential crew took advantage of that situation to gain.....what, i dont know.
as far as the family of the man who misrepresented himself---i dont feel for them--they know the experience level of their family member-- they know the man lied and they know he was in way over his head. seeing john's words shouldnt be a shocker to them.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:07   #36
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

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The cancer left my neck, and throat. It moved to my liver without responding to treatment, and I was told to prepare for where I take my last breath. I am going to take it living life as a human being, and not a damned guinie pig withering away making office visits to fatten the accounts of doctors. I won't apologize to those who find me difficult, and for asking for help. I won't be asking for help again.
My .02 cents...Save you energy for your journey and not the past. You learned and you are better for it. Oh, and thanks for sharing. I will be following along. I am envious and wish you smooth seas.
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Old 06-09-2011, 13:08   #37
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

I don't know John. On the one hand I can understand what you are going through physically. I like to think I would make the same decision you have made; to do all the living you can instead of resigning yourself to more and more treatment that may or may not extend your life. Go for it.
Your treatment of the crew seems angry and difficult. A boat is a difficult place to get to know someone and everyone has to enter it in good faith. You sound impatient and quick to judge, and just be completely frank these words sounded angry.

Quote:
Up comes crew dressed in a foul weather jacket, and shoes on. Now I have watched him struggle to get his shoes on. He refuses to let loose the laces, and has to force his feet in.
Judgemental. I have struggled to get my shoes on at sea. I suspect most have.

Quote:
It plucked me in the head, and knocked off my glasses. In slow motion I watched them sink, very slow motion. Thatís when nice stopped! I went to the cockpit, and let my temper cool down. He came back, and said something he thought was funny. I looked at him with disgust. I told him he no longer had any responsibility to the boat. DONíT TOUCH MY BOAT, and keep your distance from me will be the best thing to do.
It sounds like you were losing your temper way too easily.

Quote:
For 2 days there was a tension so thick. A bulldozer couldnít get though it from me. He came out, and asked what on earth he could do to ease this tension. I told him in a disgruntled voice with plenty of tension. There is nothing on this earth that can remove the tension.
So he offered the olive branch and you refused. I think if we heard the other side of the story we might get another view. Maybe email him and link him to this thread and see if he cares to comment. He might want to do it.

The bottom line is you sound way more stressed out than is healthy. In dealing with your difficult situation you should use your excellent writing skills to begin to deal with the anger inside. If you can make yourself happy, less judgemenetal, more understanding etc you will have accomplished a lot and will enjoy the life you have left. And I hope it's a lot!
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Old 06-09-2011, 19:08   #38
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

Let s see now


#1, Do you really need your shoes on when you stand in the cockpit? Taking the time to get dressed when a squall is building. I would think showing up in your shorts enough? Mother Nature isn't waiting for you to get dressed. The main was lost, because of this dilly dallying delay that was unneeded. The first day on the boat he came up with just his underwear on. Granted they do look like shorts, so it wasn't modesty holding him back.

#2, Yep I was angry. For 2 weeks I showed nothing but patience. As I typed you can be poked, and it is nothing, but keep it up day after day. It will eventually get sore.

#3, The olive branch was to relieve his own guilt, and make his life easy. We turned around, and I lost my chance of using our insurance if need be. If something is growing inside me. Being in Hawaii, and having the chance to get more chemo. Well that chance was taken away from me. I made the decision to no longer risk our 3 lives, or my boat.

If you have not been through chemo, and radiation, or someone close where you see everything that happens to the human body. You wouldn't understand. Chemo only made me lose my hair, but it stopped the tumor drastically, and it shrank. After time it started to grow again. It's a 3 day ordeal where they do I.V.

Radiation on the other hand cooks you alive. Withers you drastically, and melts your muscle. It cooked my throat, and still I have a hard time swallowing. I sometimes have to vomit, because I can't swallow. Sometimes I am choking to spit out the food no matter how chewed it is.

I can't believe that in asking for help from someone with complete honesty. That people believe it is okay for crew to lie. To describe themselves as trained in heavy weather. In reality no clue what so ever, so they can get a seaman's card, and fulfill a lifetime dream. How selfish is that? It's real simple here. Honest is good, and lying is bad. Do you raise your children it's okay to lie, and make excuses for bad things they do?

I am no longer mad at the crerw. I am deeply disappointed in having the chance to make my decisions concerning my life, and health taken away from me. What troubles me is people like yourself, and a few others who have posted compassion for a liar. Worrying about his family reading what happened, and how they may feel. What about my family? What about my friends? Do they not count? The truth is the truth, and as I typed. He read my blog, and knows I am here. He can reply anytime he wishes. I am sure out of curiousity he has read it since he left, most would. I do know the sailing club he answered from has read my blog. I am sure there are still some that do. I do know our mutual friend reads every update.

It's only human nature to raise your hand in self defense when someone takes a swing at you. Still no one, and I have asked, has pointed out where I was heavy handed, or difficult up until I turned around. The eye glasses protecting my eye from pain. It was only the straw that broke this beast of burdens back. Even after we turned around I was patient. I Told him it was to repair the sails, and gave him no greif. I laid no blame on him. Eventually enough was enough..........i2f
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Old 06-09-2011, 22:47   #39
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

I hesitate to belabor this departure from the main thread, but I am in a unique position to comment on what it is like to crew for John on Imagine. I answered Johnís crew wanted post on CF in 2009. He needed someone to help him sail from Miami back up to his home base in Jacksonville, since Mel had to fly home to work. I had limited experience on cats, and no experience sailing at night or keeping watches. Most of my experience was coastal day-sailing of monohulls in So. Calif. So, I was not a seasoned sailor, but I knew my way around boats and was a quick learner. When I met John at the DQ (thatís right, Dairy Queen) in Miami, I took an instant liking to him. Over the next 48 hours, I learned a tremendous amount from John and we had a great sail up the Gulf Stream to Jax. I never detected a hint of frustration, irritation or anger with me as a relatively inexperienced crew on Imagine. Perhaps because I did know how to remove a winch handle from the winch, flush the toilet, and trim the sails. Perhaps because I gladly took the dink to get provisions while John worked on the engine. So, when John describes a crew that cannot even do basic stuff on a boat, I can understand his frustration. I can assure you that John is not difficult to get along with. On the contrary, John was friendly, and refreshingly open and honest about himself. John is the ďreal dealĒ. He worked his ass off to get Imagine, and then to get the means to go cruising. The cancer John has would have stopped 99% of us in our tracks. But he is not giving up. He is an inspiration to us all.
Keep on truckin, John.
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Old 06-09-2011, 23:23   #40
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

I had just read Joseph Conrad's "The Ni... of the Narcissus." A good story about the personalities of crew members, and how they are brought into conflict during a challenging voyage. Then I read John's account of the Hawaii passage. Let me tell you, John has got the far better story. If he's inclined, I hope he will rework it, and examine the events from different points of view. Not as a log, but as a literary work. His writing and his tale have real potential.
Zeehag...I don't think anyone intended to bash John. But he offers a one sided version of what is obviously a complicated story. Since the crew member has no way of defending himself, I think John's blog invites a challenge.
One more point and I'll step out of this. I don't understand what Charlie, Zeehag, and John would have had the crew do differently with regard to the log. The boat hit a submerged log in the middle of the ocean, which is more an act of god than an act of the crew on watch. It is impossible to see such a log during the night or during the day in most sea conditions. So the log sends a shudder through the boat, and the skipper and other crew are on deck in nanosecond. The watch reports what happened, then apparently maintains his post (good idea) while the two crew most familiar with the boat check for damage. This seems as it should. Was it just the wording the watch used to report the log that created the offense?
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:11   #41
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

Seems some people just don't understand the "it's my boat and therefore my rules" concept.

John please stop defending yourself and responding to people who are giving you crap on how you operate YOUR boat! Screw them!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:24   #42
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

I have no complaint with hitting the log. As described it can be no ones fault unless seen and evasive action wasn't taken. I do not believe this is the case. It was the smile, and casual remark of it's nothing to worry about it's just a log. That was my point. He had no clue it could be endangering his own life, ours, and Imagine's. This from a man who claims he was trained in heavy weather sailing, and can't trim a sail.

Conrad? That's quite a compliment...thanks



Hi Jerry,

I had forgotten about our sail. Thanks for the positive in put, and reviving my memory of a good couple of days.

Don,

It has turned into a game now. I am enjoying making the bleeding hearts look like,......well bleeding hearts. I have the confidence to know what I did was right. I am writing a blog, and what happened between crew, Mel, and I is part of the story. No reason I should worry about crew's feeling when he didn't worry about us 3. Thanks for the vote of confidence from yourself, and all the rest. I am going to have to clear my P.M. box soon. The notes of support are filling it up......i2f
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:11   #43
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Well, what a series of harsh comments. " it's my ball therefore I'll tell you how to play the game " if I crew , and I'm an experienced sailor I expect you to recognise that and take my advice etc I have sailed with more owners that think they know it all. , but were rubbish sailors but couldn't or wouldn't admit it to the crew.

As to your blog, I'm sorry, your personal health circumstances don't give you the right to run roughshod over people. There's nothing to be gained by describing in detail your run in with this person. You could have summed it up in a few words or even glossed over it. To me it sounds like an attempt at revenge for not making Hawaii

I'm a sailing instructor and have done many deliveries. I find that very few crew are hopeless cases. Where there has been one or two it's my fault that I didn't spot the problems.

Somebody as bad as you make out would be identifiable in hours, not two weeks. Bad crew remain the skippers fault.

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:25   #44
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

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As to your blog, I'm sorry, your personal health circumstances don't give you the right to run roughshod over people. There's nothing to be gained by describing in detail your run in with this person. You could have summed it up in a few words or even glossed over it. To me it sounds like an attempt at revenge for not making Hawaii
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It's a blog for Pete's sake! Of course he has the right to express his account of the events as he remembers them. This Forum is full of threads of cruisers describing the "crew from hell". How is this any different? He didn't post the individual's name.

It is interesting that you criticize John for passing judgement on his crew, and then you turn around and pass judgement on him, without any firsthand knowledge:

"I sympathise with your problems, but reading your blog I suspect you are a difficult man to get along with. That's very intimidating for new crew".
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:59   #45
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Re: Costa Rica Check-In

who is john riding roughshod over???? someone endangered his home, life, and woman. as well as his medical future....
what would YOU say or do?????
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