Horrible Guests, Terrible Crew 2018... Next year will be better.
Here’s the story:
A good portion of our 2018 cruising season was basically ruined by a few invited guests who’d agreed to help crew on passages and basically tour Maine
, Nova Scotia
with us. We’ve known each of the three individuals for many years, but had not spent time on a boat
with them, although two of them have extensive experience on their own 55ft sailboat. The purpose of this thread is not to vent or complain, but rather put it out there so hopefully, these issues won’t happen to any one else.
Our goal when purchasing
62, was to provide a platform for us and invited guests to reconnect and see parts
of the world together.... create lasting memories, but unfortunately the memories so far haven’t been pleasant ones.
The first two guests I’ll discuss, agreed and seemed quite enthusiastic to join us in Nova Scotia
for two weeks then take part in an Atlantic crossing
over to the Azores
, then onto Gibraltar
. After we picked them up in Halifax
(the port and marina of their choosing), within days it became apparent they were just along for the ride. Besides cooking
one meal of Shepards pie.... they did nothing else in the way of helping out, keeping watch or paying for fuel
and marina fees
. They were also the type who would insist on going out to eat at each stop to a restaurant of their choosing (expensive), order several drinks and appetizers each, an expensive meal along with a bottle of wine, offer a taste of the wine to us (my wife doesn’t drink), then.... always want to split the bill when it came. One time unknown to me they ordered a $200 bottle of wine and pulled this, so my wife ended up paying $80 for a plate of spaghetti. These folks also sent us a bill after being on our boat
for two weeks, expecting US to pay for THEIR unexpected credit card charges and international currency transaction fees
and some booze he’d forgotten that was left onboard (we don’t drink except for an occasional beer). They also bailed out at the last second on helping with the Atlantic crossing
by declaring “the boat is unsafe,” which left us short a crew member
. Time ran out and the boat remains in North America.
Guest number three was in a league of his own... A former employee from 35 years ago, now living in Europe
who connected with me via facebook the same day I left for Italy
. I thought it would be nice to catch up since I hadn’t seen him in eight years, so I invited him to join us on the Oyster
53 in Dubrovnik and head
down to Montenegro for VAT reasons, then back up to Italy
. My wife and I could hardly recognize the guy when he arrived, although he’s the same age as us at 61, he had the body and frailty of a rather sickly 80 year old. It took the two of us to get him in the dinghy
and onto the boat safely... and it wasn’t easy, it was like I was working as a nurse back at the nursing home on my boat. That evening we got to hear all about his multitude of medical
We set off the next day to Montenegro, first checking out of Croatia
in Dubrovnik where there was some difficulty with the guest’s passport and he was detained by immigration for an hour, but he was finally allowed to exit and we were assured all was fine. My wife and I checked into Montenegro along with the boat six hours later... no problems; however the guest was once again detained by immigration, but this time his passport was confiscated by interpol and ours were held. We were instructed to remain on the customs dock
for eight hours while the police and interpol decided what to do with our guest, meanwhile our engine
and generator batteries
we’d planned on replacing in Montenegro began to fail, so we couldn’t turn off the engine
. Finally at 2:00am, my wife and I were given back our passports, instructed to leave immediately and to take our guest back to Croatia, there was no way he could stay... the police were very nice to my wife and I insisting that we were “welcome to return the next day... but only without your friend.” They kept his standard USA passport per interpol orders.
After two hours on our way back to Dubrovnik, our engine and generator batteries
began to overheat and smoke badly, so we made all necessary preparations for a possible fire emergency
... it was not fun, it was not a drill. Ditch bag, life raft, tender
, life jackets, fire hose, fire extinguishers, flares, my wife and I were ready. We pulled back into Dubrovnik early morning 8am on diesel
fumes having not been allowed to refuel in Montenegro as we expected to do, only to be held at the dock
while our guest was once again detained. It was only after I showed the border police the status of our batteries and fuel
situation along with an expected Bora (wind storm) due in 3 hours, that they agreed to let us stay, but our guest was sent to the US embassy.
What caused all of this you may ask? Unknown to us, he was a convicted sex offender!!! When he eventually returned two days later with a new passport, it was stamped with an endorsement stating that “THIS PERSON HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AGAINST A MINOR.” He was wondering when we could leave for Italy? I said never, kicked him off the boat and hope to never see him again. He admitted filling up his computer up with child pornography and pleading no contest to the charges. These people never change, they can’t be rehabilitated, he couldn’t understand why it was such a “big deal.” In his words... “it’s really no different than peeing in the park.” He was on our boat for less than 36 hours and cost us over 1500 euros in lost
savings on duty free diesel
and marina fees.
Our trip down to Montenegro was ruined, again time ran out. I think from now on we’re going to be using a written contract
with guests and sticking with current
friends we know well, and forget about reconnecting or anything to do with Facebook.
Here’s hoping your 2018 went better than ours.