Thanks so much for all the replies and advices! You were all very helpful and contributed each one for my decision.
I'll walk you through my process, as i left out some details and discovered some others along the way.
So, this started out as an invitation from a friend of a friend to tag along a passage
from Menorca to Lisboa, Portugal
. I had met him before and knew he had a boat
and sailed frequently. We had talked about sailing a couple times and setting up a crew for regattas. He would be the skipper
. I assumed this was going to be a pretty simple and sweet deal. I would get some time off, slick sailing and experience points, cool.
I was super excited to go and made up time to get away for two weeks.
Then i had a meeting with a third crew...
He introduced himself as Team Leader, and said his job was to lead and organize the crew. He made it very clear he was in charge. He also said he didn't know much about sailing and that i would play a major part in this, as i was the most experienced. (I know...i know...but i really really wanted to go)
So i tried to figure out exactly what he meant by Team Leader...sometimes people don't know what they're talking about...He explained to me that he was a friend of the owner and that she had entrusted him with setting up and managing a crew to sail the boat
. So i asked, isn't that the skipper´s job? (the other guy i already met) He replied, yes, well...i'll need you to skipper
of the passage
. -Why on earth, i asked? -Oh it's no big deal, the skipper is more than qualified and skilled, he´s just very hard to deal with and it's your job to second him and substitute him if need be or i see fit. Also, that i was more experienced than him. (I know guys......but i really really wanted to go)
My first impression was that he knew absolutely nothing about sailing or seamanship. But he also knew nothing about the boat. So i assumed (dumbass) that he knew nothing at all, including being in charge.
After the meeting i stated that i would not skipper part of the passage, nor would i skipper all of it because my license
doesn't allow for it. I would not substitute a skipper over criteria from someone that had no knowledge base to back it from. By the time i found myself explaining what a skipper was i gave up and i went to clear this out with the skipper.
Skipper kept cool, said i shouldn't listen to the other guy and that he knew what he was doing. Immediately i knew thay had issues between them. I asked about the boat and its specs and i got a link with the boat portfolio, but no specs. It was a brochure for sailing tours in Menorca, but the boat was remodeled couple years ago and from the pics i deduced it was a 40ft mono from say 1990. Looked preppy, bad painting job though.
So, i have a skipper that may know his stuff, a supposed Team Leader that knows no stuff, me, and a fourth crew i knew nothing about. Why is this feeling sooo itchy..?
From the (no) specs and the skipper i learned that the boat had no AIS
. So i got the whole picture and prepared my mindset for a sail with no batteries
. This wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, but it depended much more on the skipper's skill now and the time/weather window.
I don't like fog
. Im used to regatta
mode and some short-medium passages but i hate fog
. Im Portuguese, we get fog. So i got stuck on the idea...Why no RADAR
I thought, hell i'd give it a go with a reasonably skilled sailor anyway...but here i got the idea that the hierarchy was not clear or sound. I was brought to attention to this being a serious issue on board on this thread and i definetely agree.
I set my mind to make it work
. (I know...call me stuborn)
This thread kept bringing my attention to all the red flags
i already noticed, and i was still sure i could make it if i could bring the crew together.
Long story short, and after a week of weird arguments and me explaining all about seamanship, over a crew whatsapp group...
I wake up one morning and read a message from the Team Leader that said "Luck favors the bold". I just snapped. I don´t snap easily, this was just the pinnacle over a ton of stupidity i endured. I tottaly lost
my ****. I don't want to bother you guys with the details but it ended up with me calling him an ignorant and saying that he had no business in managing a sailboat crew and that he was the biggest risk factor. I said that i would not board a ship with someone in charge that could not make good decisions. I said he was a fool. And that this was a very bad idea. I wished them Good luck and fair winds and left the group.
Wait.... The skipper asked me if my decision was final. I am a bold sailor. But i looked at myself and, if i was to go, i was going against a lot of sage advice
, just like the ignorant Team Leader. Besides fog, i just hate "I told you so".
There was no way now, because i would never board a boat with that man, there would be no chance of understanding, and tried really hard to talk some sense into his head
. Seriously, he's the kind of crew you fear, because he does not listen, nor learns. And definetely should not be in command. Overall, i don't like him. And that's bad.
I could not be useful to a crew that depended on my experience but i had no control over. And if i had control, i would never come up with such a crew.
I told him i would help out in anyway i could with planning. I would send him the awesome tips you guys left me (i need to remember to tell him to join the cruisers forum) but in these conditions it's going to be a pass for me, sorry skipper.
I wished him goodluck and fair winds.
He said he understood perfectly and that he was sorry that he was so busy with his Coastal License
. He had passed and had more time to study the passage now.
I'm going to give him PHIL's number tomorrow. (Got your site Boatman61)
Thank you all so much for your contribution. I think it was actually a good thread, although im sorry it evolved kinda randomly due to lack of info (!) it contains so much good stuff|!