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post #130 of Old 12-11-2012
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Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

From some of the responses to Captain Jan Miles' "open letter" I am guessing that you have no idea who he is.
I have known Jan, pronounced Yon, since the early eighties when we were both sailing vessels in the Caribbean. He is held in very high regard by his peers in the industry and has logged more miles under sail than the majority of you on this forum put together, I would imagine. He is, and has been the captain of the Pride of Baltimore, and one of the most beautiful and well known of American tall ships for many years, as well as captain of other famous and well known tall ships. He is normally a soft spoken and mild mannered man, so rather than calling him a publicity whore, perhaps you should try to understand what he is trying to impart to you "sailors".
This was a completely avoidable tragedy, perpetrated by a very experienced and knowledgeable captain.
You have no idea of what effect this will have on the commercial sailing industry, no matter that it was a completely avoidable tragedy totally the captain's fault.
When an alloy power pontoon passenger boat about 30 feet long capsized in Boston Harbor in a squall some years back, with several fatalities, the USCG, in it's infinite wisdom, decided that every passenger carrying vessel they regulate should reduce their passenger carrying capacity by 30%, voluntarily. When they approached me as captain of an 84' steel schooner built expressly to USCG passenger carrying specifications to do this, the owner and I refused. Comparing that pontoon boat to that 84' steel schooner was like comparing a 4 wheeler to a tractor trailer rig.
There is, IMO, no place on this forum for those who have not walked (sailed) in the shoes of a truly knowledgeable person like captain Miles, for comments such as those above. He is not guessing, he knows what he is talking about. He has known the Bounty and her captain for many years. The sea is a harsh mistress and those captains who make their living on her are, in the end, responsible for their decisions. The loss of the Bounty and two of her crew was not an "act of God". It was because a very experienced and knowledgeable captain made some very bad choices.
Rather than criticize others, you, as a much less experienced sailor, should make good and sure that the decisions YOU make do not cost the lives of you and those sailing with you.
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