Originally Posted by Bene505
After thinking about this a bunch, and explaining the thread to my wife, I've come to a simple conclusion of my own, based on what I've read so far - yes Harry hasn't been heard, so this is based on what I know so far. I'll state it as if I'm talking to Harry, because that's the simplest way to explain it.
1) If you don't know how to use your spinnaker in a downwind race, you can't claim that you purposely left with partially full tanks. Simple as that.
EVERYTHING else flowed from that part of the chain of events that likely started with your being rushed to start. The end result was destined to be the use of the autopilot. You didn't have the water to proceed quickly enough with your current steering skill level.
You weren't racing, you were going for the grandma-was-here pickle dish. You never told that to the crew, so they had no idea that was your true goal, no idea that the boat was going to be slower than normal due to no spinnaker, and therefore they were less than concerned about the tanks being topped off.
Part way through, when your spinnakerless progress was slow, and after the crew had time to think about it, the water situation became evident. It was a real eye-opener to the crew. Two members of your crew realized it long before you did.
Now for part 2.
You lacked the leadership skills to setup a contructive environment where crew ideas would be valued, or at the very least you didn't have the listening skills to listen to them. That coupled with #1, meant that a "vehemment disagreement" was preordanied. Again, simple as that.
Either way, when the crew realized their predicament and you could not, they were forced to act to save their own hides.
In my opinion, Dawg and Jake saved your life, your wife's life, and grandma's life, at the cost of the pickle dish. I think you should thank them, but I'm not sure you will.
The responsibility for the trip rests with you. From this (admittedly one-sided) account, you demonstrated a lack of leadership, planning, and organization. You never communicated your true goal, which is against leadership 101 principles, if not downright devious. You needlessly endangered others.
That is all about your behaviours, it's not meant to condemn you. Far from it. And hearing your side of things would be wonderful for the sailing community -- for those eager to learn and those who follow us. If my summary is wrong please tell me. If my summary is correct, there's even more for us to learn from each other (like how to not be rushed at the start). For we all need to learn, progress, and move on.
I'm sincerely hoping you participate. None of us are perfect.
PS. To Dawg and Jake: Best you can do in these situations is remember that feelings are facts. Communicate that you are scared. Say it, and say why. Say it again, and why. It helps others start to realize that maybe things aren't going well.