Just one thing...as RDawg mentioned, I wouldn't take the "Navigator" moniker too seriously. You guys are assuming he sold himself as that. Did the 86 y.o. really sell herself as the pitman? Seriously?
Look, in my book, all this is the responsibility of the captain. Pure and simple. He chose his crew - and only 2/5's of them could sail, and he didn't like either one of them. He also took his boat and crew out woefully unprepared. Every bit of that was a bad call. And it's on him.
That's I agree with the Captain took his boat out woefully unprepared. This in spite of two other know ocean races that he participated in before .
He increased his burden with Rockdawg. We have seen him on here gaining experience through passage making the last two years if we belive his posting. We do not know how he presented himself to the Captain though. Maybe the Captain thought he was getting someone as experienced as Randolf , as we don't know what kind of credentials he presented.
As far as the term navigator, on a racing vessel such as the Americas Cup or phrf races that means something. On a Transpac race of at least 10-14 days all crew has to be accomplished at almost everything. Setting and mataining a spinnaker is Racing 101.
Again the Captain erred, when he chose the 86 old, and two inexperienced racers, inexperienced navigators, inexperienced passage makers, inexperienced in the Pacific, to attempt 14 days in the open ocean. He didn't even have enough experience to provision , put all the safety equipment on board timely.
Now we get to the crew. No way I would ever risk my life no matter how much experience I woud gain in this situation. I know my limitation and would know my place as being supportive crew with much more experienced ocean racers like Randolf and his friends. Rockdawg has poor judgement in not recognizing his limitations and lack of eperience and not at all recognizing the dangerous situation he was putting himself and others in. He even told Jake he old race with the Captain alone and that it was ok for Jake to bail. The REAL sailors like Randolf and his fiends recognized the situation as too much of a risk and in he name of safety said no way. Rockdawg in his bravado says illl do it alone. This is an obvious and telling clue into his thought process and what is more important, Safety or personal accomplishment. Most accomplished sailors would not have not left he dock with this Captain in this situation with this crew. This is a risk of life for what? He knew he had major doubts but continued on ignoring a slew of red flags. That type of risk taker is not who you want in charge, or even in your crew.
Then they get underway. It seems everything the Captain did was wrong in Rockdawgs mind. Remember the Captain has more experience in ocean racing already and knows the rules too. But RD arrogance raises its head again with criticism of everything the Captain does. One has to wonder how much this was and open and direct challenge,
Imagine you are the Captain. You take on a crew of unknowns , someone who has openly expressed distain for boat owners and probably displayed that. Someone who never set a spinnaker in an ocean race challenging openly your decisions and tactics. Someone who won't shut up and just be the crew but believes he should run the boat. Someone who calls the Coast Guard, the race organizers, the military and who knows who else.
A sign of maturity came from the Coast Guard who recommended tht Rockdawg lower the confrontation threshold. Maturity is when you see the volatile nature of the Captain not to wave. Red flag in front of him, but try and lower the confrontation level. Did Rockdawg do that. Well if his posts on here in terms of confrontation are any pre- indication of what hed do on this mans boat I doubt it. In fact he kept openly challenging him. If I were the Captain and had the right crew...I'd have hog tied him and duct taped his mouth shut and locked him in a cabin till landfall.
So yes Smack is right about the Captains responsibility , but this post also bings into focus the responsibility of the crew.