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Old 21-04-2018, 10:11   #31

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Re: crew from hell stories

Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
My crew is obnoxious, has issues with authority figures, isn't a team player and cantankerous... and I'm solo sailing.
Mine's lazy and just want to balance the sails, set the autopilot, and listen to music. But at least they always show up to sail on a nice day.

--Another single-handed sailor.
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Old 21-04-2018, 11:10   #32
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Re: crew from hell ?

Just to add some additional information as to what I knew about the three bearded crew from hell, who just wanted to come along for the fun of sailing from Cabo to L.A. , and still stand watches. Not hired on as crew at any time.

And Erica, as to her back ground as well. Which is more than most humans walking the earth.

What I knew about the three guys.

All of them had professional training thru the sailing club, , and had been day sailing and made several catalina passages under sail from newport beach.

Whisker No. 1. : Great guy, good sailor, and an engineer and could fix darned near anything mechanical or electrical. I had a lot of respect for him. I felt him a good asset.

Whisker No. 2. ..... Owned his own bar and restaurant, very responsible. been thru the training courses....these sailing courses totaled 42 hours of basic, intermediate and advanced lessons, plus systems and emergencies at sea classes, and add on a full weekend coastal piloting course. There were written tests after each evolution that had to be passed.

Plus their check outs on board, which included reefing, rigging sails, systems checks and sailing a 30 foot vessel out of the docks and after the check out on sailing skills, dock single handed under sail. No engine running. The were required to handle the main sheet, helm, dock lines and tying up with proper cleats , and securing the vessel. No 2, would stand watches and help with the sailing, and also he loved to cook, and fix meals for the crew.

Whisker No 3. ... Worked as a dock master at the sailing and had some lessons, I had not sailed with him ever. NO worries, he could help out at the helm and with sail trim.


Erica: Medical doctor, private pilot, aerobatic pilot, PADI certified diver up thru rescue diver. She had been thru all of the manditory classes, plus celestial navigation, and the North Sail Sail classes on racing and sail trim.

She also owned and sailed her Pacific Sea Craft, Crealock 37, cutter rigged. she is also a black diamond skier, hiker, sky diver, kayaker, etc.

She also was sailing club certified for sailing vessels up to 46 ft, and also certified with the moorings for vessels up to 42 feet.

Seemed like a viable crew to me, maybe not to some others . However, even tho we all would party at sailing club functions, I had no idea that all three of those fellows were stone alcoholics. They never showed it.

As mentioned, the only one that I could count on was Erica. Neither of us drink when underway. The party starts , after we are anchored, moored, or docked. All sails squared away, lines make up, engine on to the charge the batteries, and if anchored , bearings noted in the log. Then it is rum and jimmy buffet, dancing in the cockpit, etc.

Remember , these were not paid crew, but wanted to go along for the hands on experience.

As skipper, once aware, I did not go ballistic, I used them as I would an auto pilot, and to stand watches. Erica and I handled the rest of the responsibilities. And, the vessel was returned to the owners slip with all of the gelcoat and equipment and sails like we found them. And also returned with all of the crew .

That passage from Cabo San Lucas, to Los Angeles actually was a good time at sea , great sailing, and we maintained our professional attitude and kept the crew together, as best we could.

The lesson learned, no booze on board, except that taken care of by myself, and only brought out in port, when it was time to splice the main brace.

As to drugs, they were all warned well ahead of time. If they brought any ganga, or drugs on board, they would be put ashore at the next island, with their duffel. Find your own bloody way to where ever. Period , end of story.
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Old 21-04-2018, 12:21   #33
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Re: crew from hell ?

Sea stories? I swear this one is true. I think it was Spring of '73 when I was auditing a demolition at AEC's Savannah River plant near N. Augusta, SC. I got a call from a former SAC pilot with whom I had flown a few sorties, and shared London birds. He had become a "Captain" at the Annapolis Sailing School, and purchased a Morgan 33 in Charleston. He wanted to take the vessel 'outside' up to Annapolis, and needed a navigator (among other things). Sounded like an interesting gig, so I enlisted a neighbor and my 18-y.o. son, Tom--an experienced St. Thomas hand. A date was set, and we three arrived at the designated slip mid-afternoon. The owner/"Captain" (actually a Lt. Col.) was hosting a farewell party in his slip. (That should have been a warning of what was to come.) He informed us we would be departing at 1900. At the time we arrived, the tide was out and the boat was on the bottom. Whatever. Everything looked squared away, so when the boat floated we departed as planned, motoring to a fix at the departure buoy. Since I was to take the mid-watch, I marked the chart and hit my bunk.
I was awakened violently, rolled out onto a sole ankle-deep in sea water. Sticking my head out the hatch, I observed my neighbor (I've forgotten his name) hanging on next to my son, the helmsman--both white faced--as the boat was drenched by the next following sea. Hmmm. Looking forward, the "Captain" was seated with legs wrapped around the mast, apparently attempting to shorten sail. As I watched, the vessel pitched and another $5 shackle flew overboard.
Paul (the "Captain") had been very explicit with his briefing about wearing a safety harness when forward. Picky, picky, as a bomber commander, so I yelled to him, "Do you need any help?"
I remember being amused. I could see his mouth working against the squall wind, but couldn't hear his reply. With a free hand he beckoned as we slid down into a trough.
"I don't have a harness," I yelled in the lull.
"**** the harness," he said. Captain's orders.
As is said, to make a long story shorter we got the sails under control, and the Captain at the helm. Neighbor was sea-sick, son was traumatized, and the water below was above ankles. We were sinking. Tom was set to manning the manual pump, while the neighbor tried to start the engine so we could come about. Being under water, not likely. Press on, easterly. I queried the Skipper concerning our position.
"I took a moon shot about an hour ago," he said. "The figures are inked next to the hatch."
"O.k." Out of the rain below, I attempted to interpret his notation. Impossible. We couldn't be 100 miles out, in the Gulf Stream. 40, maybe. So, when the wind and sea calmed a bit, I took the helm and turned due north.
When the sun came up, a nice clear day, we were a couple of miles off shore. The "Captain" popped up with his 35mm camera to get a picture of me (hanging now in my living room). Just west of Cape Fear, it took all day to get to the mouth of the river, taking turns pumping. We sailed up to a marina in the dark (engine never worked).
At the next daylight, the "Captain" donned his scuba gear and plopped overboard into the mud to inspect the shaft, where the leak originated.
Our red-headed neighbor was badly sun-burned, so I rented a car and drove him back to N. Augusta. After repairs, son Tom accompanied the "Captain" via Inland Waters to Annapolis (another hilarious story), where I picked him up later in a Cessna 120.
Paul flew a bit for Northwest, but was fired for alcoholism. My last contact with him was being asked to navigate some clandestine flights from S. America. I declined. Those were the days.
Hon. G. T. "BadBud" Martin, PhD. (Ret. O4 USN/USAF)
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Old 21-04-2018, 12:28   #34
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Re: crew from hell stories

Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
My crew is obnoxious, has issues with authority figures, isn't a team player and cantankerous... and I'm solo sailing.
Fantastic response.
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Old 21-04-2018, 15:29   #35
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Re: crew from hell ?

I have sailed with some really bad crews and owners. Several were pot heads and one was menopausal. But none came close to Manuel, the loose canon. He deserves a book and he got one!
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Old 21-04-2018, 16:07   #36
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Re: crew from hell ?

Every single sailing man has his bad crew stories. Every crew person has theirs. I have heard and told some myself. Iwas always looking for a long term sailing partner so always accepted women only mostly in my age bracket. Then 56 now 64. Here is what I learned. There are many women over 50 who woke up one day and said “ I need some adventure in my life.” Then after some thought figured cruising would be a great way to do just that. They dream about what it might be like and read a magazine and a book or two and decide to go on Find a Crew, Crewbay( my favorites in that order) or worse yet Lovesail. I have been cruising as asingle man for going on nine years so have had a number of so called Crew. Worse name ever for that position. Conotates some crazy pidea that they are doing you a favor and might even should be paid for doing it. I like to disabuse them of this notion by mentioning the price of a fully found 40’ Captained Chartered sailboat per week.
I have had some really good ones and some that didn’t last two days before I was giving them their months notice to find another boat or what ever.
The truth is a woman who wants their home cruising all over the worls is as scarce as hens teeth. It took 8 years and I had to come half way around the world to New Zealand to find one.
Get references as to their experience level. How were they to have aboard. If at all possible contact the Skipper who sailed with them. Experience is the only way to have any idea how they will be on a crossing. See how they respond to taking orders. I once saw a gal on Find a Crew who said she responded well to suggestions. I promptly blocked her. Women captains and Men captains alike on occasion yell to be heard and because they now just how bad it could go if the crew doesn’t do their best to follow their direction. There is no time for soft soaping it when things go to hell. If in your conversation she sounds a little iffy about taking orders she is a no. Experienced sailors just don’t have problems with it. Not to sa,y a Captain Bly who is so full of himself or more likely insecure he is a non stop yeller. I never expect sex from crew. Jesus the ultimate power over life of crew went out with the Square riggers. So if you do expect sex from your crew...They should not go out with you because you are a dumb ass.
My best crew before my present one was a 42 year old retired from the Army Trauma nurse. She was as gay as ever could be. Amazing woman and as fine a crew as ever couls be. Still good friends. There are many gals out there who want a nice vacation and if that suits you rock on. Cheers and Thats my two bits worth
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Old 21-04-2018, 16:11   #37
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Re: crew from hell stories

Tasmanians are always the best!
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Old 21-04-2018, 16:18   #38
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Re: crew from hell ?


Cessna 120, one cool classic tail dragger. Good on ya !

And one heck of as great sea story.

A lot of pilots are sailors and a lot of sailors are pilots.

Seems, both just kind of meld in with each other.

Here, only two years of college so we never went with the airlines, but used the Vietnam GI bill to go thru about 2.5 two years of flight training. Private, commercial ,instrument, CFI, and multi engine.

Flew as a CFI , charter pilot , corporate pilot and the last 17 yrs, an Instructor Pilot for Air Combat USA, with about 2500 missions of yanking and banking , rolling an pulling in 5 and 6 G dogfights.

Sounds like you may have been flying the heavies . Excellent.

My addled brain is not familiar with London Birds but recognize strategic air command... B-52's ? Lots of heavy ordinance on your missions.

Most of our Air Combat pilots were, F-14 and F-18 drives from the naval air, and Marine F-4 pilots, and A-4 scooters, and Air Force f-15 and F-16 drivers, with some of the old century fighter air craft guys, and a few harrier pilots from the marine corps. Yep, the best and most fun 17 years of flying that I could have experienced.

Sailing and Flying . Fantastic life .

You understand, you have lived it yourself.
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Old 21-04-2018, 16:59   #39
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Re: crew from hell ?

A friend of mine once bought a boat in the Med and took on a couple of inexperienced crew to take it back to Scotland ... I haven't spoken to him about the incident directly, but I got the story from a mutual friend ... so some of the details are a bit unsure

Some where out in the Bay of Biscay the weather started to pick up ... the crew being totally inexperienced, freaked out and demanded that he turn around and head for port. However knowing that there weren't any nearby ports with easy access in heavy weather, and also knowing that they and the boat could handle what was coming their way he turned away from land to get some sea-room ...

well this utterly freaked out the crew who had no concept that it could be safer further out to sea than closer to land, and they became convinced that he was suicidal heading into the teeth of a storm that would certainly sink the boat, not caring if they lived or died ... so they did what any crew would do in the face of a mad suicidal captain ... they mutinied ... them being two and him being one, they overpowered him and tied him to the mast below ... and activated the EPIRB.

A helicopter came and rescued them and took them to Spain, where they told their story ... the coastguard was not too impressed to learn that the skipper was still tied up in the boat ... so a second helicopter was dispatched.

By this time he had managed to free himself, and was back in control of the boat, and when the chopper arrived he told them he didn't need rescuing ... I don't know how the conversation went (I imagine there was some strong language used on both sides), but eventually he was forced off the boat and taken to Spain. The boat was towed in.

He then had to undergo psychiatric examinations because of the claims his crew had made about his mental state, and then had to face a court hearing, and ended up paying 4000 Euro for the Salvage of his boat.

Naturally the press coverage concentrates on the story of the crew: "innocent couple terrorised on the high seas by maniacal Ahab" ... rather than his side: "inexperienced crew panics."
BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Yacht drama couple head home
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Old 22-04-2018, 05:51   #40
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Re: crew from hell ?

I once sailed with a cat from hell....
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Old 22-04-2018, 05:55   #41
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Re: crew from hell ?

I once sailed ON a cat from hell (well, technically, from a monohull perspective, that could be any of them)...
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Old 22-04-2018, 10:40   #42
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Re: crew from hell stories

Originally Posted by View Post
Well i hsve a good story about crew from hell one of my past crew a lady attacked me with a knife ( large ) while on the hard in Trinidad she wss escorted off the boat and out of yard the next day by the security.Jealousy is a terrible thing.
So, did you divorce her? 😜
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Old 22-04-2018, 12:52   #43
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Re: crew from hell ?

Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
I once sailed ON a cat from hell (well, technically, from a monohull perspective, that could be any of them)...
Yeah, pure hell it 'tis, not sure I can take it anymore! 😆
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Old 22-04-2018, 13:56   #44
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Re: crew from hell stories

Originally Posted by ferrailleur View Post
Too bad that there are more negative stories that positive experiences here...
I know for sure that I'm more than an ideal crew for any sailing over the Chesapeake Bay!
Forgive the hyper bragging tone... Just my humble me.
I'm going Sunday to the Annapolis Boat Show and later to the Spin Sheet party....
Hope to meet a "captain" as amazing as me!!!!

Well, you'd never crew on any boat of mine. With an ego that big there wouldn't be room for anyone else.
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Old 22-04-2018, 14:08   #45
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Re: crew from hell stories

Originally Posted by scallowayuk View Post
hi, ist time i crossed the atlantic 1985, i picked up 2 crew in gran canaria , a dutch guy and a tasmanian. had them on the boat for a week, they seemede fine. a week out i went below to find the dutch guy injecting himself, i asked what it was , he said yelloow fever, i knew this to be untrue because i had that jab, you cant do it yourself. a few days later he covered himself in cooking oil . said he was drying out you can imagine what the boat was like .oil over the seats floor cockpit , after two weeks christmas day i cooked a pudding and custard in a pressure cooker, the boat was rolling heavily under twin headsails . the 3 of us sat down to eat, when i took the lid off he stood up fell forward and put both hands in the cooker then fell back and hit mick the other guy in the face with boiling custard. he still wouldnt sit down and on the next roll fell forward and tipped the contents over me still boiling hot, i lost it, picked the cooker up , he could see what i was going to do and made a run for the hatch. the cooker hit him on the back of the head knocking him forward into the cockpit, the cooker went over the side. by this time he had completely gon gaga , sat by the mast talking to himself and glaring at us whenever we tried to approach him . me and mick discussed what to do and decided to tie him too the mast and keep watch on him . two weeks later we arrived at barbados , we couldnt leave him there as he was on our crew list, i would have to pay his fare back to holland, so we sailed to st lucia ,same story, im financially responsible for the crew on my crewlist. we stayed a few days in vigie cove where he made friends with some fishermen. as we left hge jumped over the side and swam ashore, i threw his rucksak after him. when we arrived in martinique we explained what had happened. i didnt get into trouble but i have sailed alone ever since.
This one beats my story but still - we picked up a crew in Cape Town to go to the Caribbean. My wife and I didn't really need crew but it was a long way and the idea of getting a bit more sleep was attractive. Anyway, the woman we picked had done Cape Town and seemed down to earth and useful. Once we got going (too far out to go back) she announced that she got nervous any time our speed got over 4 knots (her previous passage was on a 35' steel boat and they once got to a 100 mile day). After about a week she announced that she wasn't comfortable standing a watch by herself at night, so my wife took to sleeping in cockpit during this woman's watch (I was doing two three hour watches). I was ready to pitch her overboard after a few weeks and I am a very easy-going person.

I realized that we did stop in Namibia, St Helena, and Ascension and I just remembered she never got off the boat. If anyone is looking for crew in CT I can tell you who you do not want.
Have taken on the restoration of the first Nonsuch, which was launched in 1978. Needs some deck work, hull compounding, and a bit of new gear.
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