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post #531 of Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

Originally Posted by weinie View Post
I vehemently disagree with your vehement disagreement!

The notion of captain as master and commander, pun intended, goes back to days when "recreational" boating was non-existent and the laws of the sea evolved to cope with issues that arose on ships; ships that were used for commerce or warfare. Both of these institutions had inherent checks on a captain's authority. Kings would appoint admirals and captains and there would be an established chain of command. Merchants would need to answer to their kings, lenders, or stock holders. Thus, it was in the best interest of a fleet to make sure that any captain appointed to duty was capable of the task at hand and should the captain not perform his duties well, then his position, livelihood, or even his head was at risk! A shipowner hiring a captain to transport spices would not leave his valuable cargo and ship to someone who was not capable of making a successful run, lest he go bankrupt. Similarly, an admiral would not have incompetents commanding his ships in an engagement at sea. Should the admiral lose the battle, he might also lose his rank or even his head as well. Obviously, it would be in his best interest to find the best captains he could find to command his ships.

Recreational boating instills no such checks and balances. This is even more true in the age of the internet where anyone with some extra cash in their pocket can buy a fancy boat, post an craigslist ad for crew, call himself "captain" and sail off into the sunset. You can't just expect someone to blindly follow orders from someone who unknowingly, may have just yesterday been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia!
Tell you what...drop your rig on a member of your crew, turning he or she into a paraplegic, and you'll find out right quick what his and your insurance companies, and the U.S. court system thinks about your premise. Your boat, your wallet, your responsibility. I've done the last two Pac Cups, the first as crew boss/naviguesser, co-captain on a sled, and the second as skipper/navigator of my own boat. Both were impeccably prepared, and we still fixed a few things on the way over. I will tell you though, watching the GG bridge disappear aft and knowing that I was responsible for 8 and 5 lives respectively for the next 2200 nm was very sobering. I didn't sleep much.

Perhaps knowing exactly how much physical, mental, emotional, and financial effort is required to execute one of these programs is why I'm so spun up over this thread.
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