Originally Posted by Patient
Speaking from experience here. Many, many, years ago my family chartered in the BVI right when the Moorings had just started to develop its operation there (80s). Not many people were bareboating either, you had to do an exam and sail with a captain for several hours to get the "clear". My father at that point had been sailing for close to 30 years. He also was an avid racer, commanded a sense of safety without effort and was just a hell of a captain not to mention a nice guy. We had a young family "friend" aboard that was skittish with the trip from the get go. I think what looked like a fun trip on paper turned into a nightmare for her once she stepped aboard.
During a tight and nervous entrance in to Anegada ahead of a nasty blow she did the unthinkable. It was hard to see the bottom with no sun left in the sky, but the water was still calm, so with the help of a local on a skiff we ventured, slowly. Well, while everyone was on deck keeping an eye on our route, we nicked something slightly. No big deal, was to be expected to be honest, but that sound had our "guest" hiding down below busy on the radio frantically calling Maydays on any button she could press. My father in a heart beat jumped down and grabbed the radio our of her hand and spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince other people from venturing out for no reason. He forced her topside, pointed at the front and firmly said, "You see that? You almost made people cross that for nothing." The next morning was a quick detour back to Tortola to drop her off. We continued to charter around the world as a family for the next 10 years, never once doubting our captain, never once questioning his wanton desire to keep us safe, even during a gutwretching Hurricane Mitch. Some people though, just can't handle situations in which they do not have total control and more dangerously refuse to listen to those that do.
Very nice story, thanks for posting
That raises also another fundamental question that is the unquestionable confidence on the Captain and the problem is that confidence is not a thing that you can impose but something that you have to earn, deserve and that other people have to feel.
The biggest prof of confidence that someone had shown to me was given by my mother. I always liked to do things that had to do with control of my body and control of my body over vehicle so since very young I have done a lot of sports, fly airplanes, racing motorcycles or be out there with the bikes for days on the mountains, sailing into the ocean or doing underwater chase, sometimes hunting sharks.
My mother was constantly worried about me and afraid I got hurt. When I was on my late thirties I was just getting ready for a big motorcycle race and mother was at my home. Suddenly I noticed that she was very calm and not with that nervous and slightly reproachful look that had been in is eyes every-time I was preparing for doing some "madness".
I gently asked her: Hey Mom are you not afraid for me this time? And she said something that I will always treasure: No son, I am not afraid. All this years you have done all sorts of crazy things but I now understand that you always new very well what you were doing.
Oh man, I cannot say to you guys how proud that make me feel!
And basically that is the confidence that a Captain should deserve from his crew and that does not happens many times or because the Captain really does not deserve that confidence (because he really do not know enough) or because the crew (should I say passengers) do not know him sufficiently well or simply do not know enough to understand that he knows what he is doing.