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  #751  
Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Smack I've stopped racing years ago and have very limited experience but part of my pre race was to show all the crew where all the safety equipment was and review the major systems.knowing where the thru hulls , how to check fresh water volume when the bilge was full and stuff like that . Seemed like a good idea then and probably current racing skippers feel the same. Would think if I got on a boat and did that because skipper did not do a run through first and skipper was offended I would hope I would have enough sense to pick up my sea bag and leave.
Yup, once again we are reminded how astoundingly poor was the organization and preparation aboard AQUARIUS for this race...

Last 2 races I did to Bermuda, and Montego Bay, every member of the crew received - at least one month prior to departure - a detailed schematic diagram of the boat with the location of every thru-hull, every conceivable bit of safety gear, tool, medical supplies, you name it... And, another one of the deck layout, indicating the run of every halyard, sheet, running back, etc... Plus, even a Raymarine quick reference guide for the sailing instruments, and CP/Radar... Then, when the crew arrived, each was presented with laminated sheets of the same, to stow with their personal gear... And all this, despite the fact all but 1 or 2 had sailed aboard the boat previously, and were already well acquainted with her...

NO detail was overlooked, the preparation and forethought was meticulous... And the result was a happy, confident crew, with trust and respect for the watch captains and owner, especially from crewmembers with even greater experience than the captain...

It's really not all that difficult, to get this sort of stuff right...
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-13-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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  #752  
Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Last 2 races I did to Bermuda, and Montego Bay, every member of the crew received - at least one month prior to departure - a detailed schematic diagram of the boat with the location of every thru-hull, every conceivable bit of safety gear, tool, medical supplies, you name it... And, another one of the deck layout, indicating the run of every halyard, sheet, running back, etc... Plus, even a Raymarine quick reference guide for the sailing instruments, and CP/Radar... Then, when the crew arrived, each was presented with laminated sheets of the same, to stow with their personal gear...

NO detail was overlooked, the preparation and forethought was meticulous... And the result was a happy, confident crew, with trust and respect for the watch captains and owner, especially from crewmembers with even greater experience than the captain...

It's really not all that difficult, to get this sort of stuff right...
That's cool Jon. I'm not a racer but that sounds like a pretty good plan for a cruising boat as well. I'd love to see a separate thread about that and how different captains handle distributing that info.
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  #753  
Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

For those of you that put some much weight on the experience people have as to how they will perform, take a guess as to who this Captain is:

From Wikipedia:

Early career Following college, on June 10, 1968 he was hired as a Third Mate by a **** Company, which later **** Shipping Company.[4] His first ship was **** based in Wilmington, North Carolina.[1] The Capt climbed the ranks of the merchant marine until he obtained a master's license at age 31. By age 32, he was the youngest captain working for ***** when he took command of *** Philadelphia, in 1978. In 1985 he was master of ***** Chester when the asphalt carrier ran into a storm during its New York to South Carolina trip. High winds damaged the ship's mast including radar and radio communications antennas. Though the crew was prepared to abandon ship, the Capt rallied them and guided the ship to safety.[1] In 1987, he became the alternate master of ****** which subsequently received ******** Fleet safety awards for the year of 1987 and 1988.[5][6]


This shows that as Capt, you are only as good as your last voyage, no matter how much experience you have, same goes for pilots. Hats off to those folks.
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  #754  
Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

Ok so after reading the vast majority of the 76 pages of posts here's my two cents.

Obviously you can't lay all the blame on one person. 99% of the time in life that's just not how things work. Therefore everyone has to get some part of the blame.

I think most of the blame belongs to the captain. Obviously he was very ill-prepared and not ready for this race. If you believe even part of the posts from RD and Jake you can see that, as well as the posts from the local sailors who decided not to race with him. Not being able to sail with the chute up is a serious issue on a mostly downwind race. Obviously he had MAJOR communication and interpersonal issues and couldnt' control his temper. So clearly he shouldn't have entered the race in the first place.

As for RD, i don't think he should've agreed to crew on a boat with an owner he hadn't met before. This past summer I started sailing seriously with a program in the detroit area who found me via a crew board. I then met the owner at a yacht club work day and I agreed to sail with him for the season. After our first 3 day event, I asked if he needed help for the Port Huron-Mac race, and he said I'd be welcome. I didn't want to ask him that until I had sailed with him and his crew and knew what his racing philosophy was like, and I'm sure he didn't want to offer that to me until he knew my skills and personality. I think it's very rash and irresponsible to sail on a much longer race with a crew you didn't know.

Also, I think that even if you were signed up as navigator, you clearly didn't have the experience for that job. If you're going to be in charge of the navigation of the boat, and be partially responsible for where that boat goes, you need to know how EVERYTHING works on board the boat. It's completely ludicrous to expect that on a 5 person crew with an 86 y/o woman on board that you wouldn't be expected to go on the foredeck and handle problems. If the problems came all the time, then it was perfectly reasonable to talk to Harry about it and try to correct the issues. But going on the foredeck at night in 17 knot winds is part of the job. HTFU.

Sorry for the post, I'm sure everything I've said has been said before, I just want to get it off my chest, and writing it down helps me think it through more clearly.

RD and Jake, I'm very sorry for your awful experience on what should've been an awesome race, I hope this doesn't discourage you, but I would also caution you about doing something this rash again. Get to know good sailors, build your resume, develop a reputation and then start getting on some good programs. That's the best way to have good racing experiences. Also, seriously, HTFU.
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  #755  
Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
For those of you that put some much weight on the experience people have as to how they will perform, take a guess as to who this Captain is:

From Wikipedia:

Early career Following college, on June 10, 1968 he was hired as a Third Mate by a **** Company, which later **** Shipping Company.[4] His first ship was **** based in Wilmington, North Carolina.[1] The Capt climbed the ranks of the merchant marine until he obtained a master's license at age 31. By age 32, he was the youngest captain working for ***** when he took command of *** Philadelphia, in 1978. In 1985 he was master of ***** Chester when the asphalt carrier ran into a storm during its New York to South Carolina trip. High winds damaged the ship's mast including radar and radio communications antennas. Though the crew was prepared to abandon ship, the Capt rallied them and guided the ship to safety.[1] In 1987, he became the alternate master of ****** which subsequently received ******** Fleet safety awards for the year of 1987 and 1988.[5][6]


This shows that as Capt, you are only as good as your last voyage, no matter how much experience you have, same goes for pilots. Hats off to those folks.

Joseph Hazlewood?? Just a wild guess.
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  #756  
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

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Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
Joseph Hazlewood?? Just a wild guess.
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  #757  
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I would agree if that were the case. But obviously there are some real discrepancies in all this wouldn't you say?

On the one hand, you say that LetsGo's estimated 18 days' of water should be plenty. On the other, severe rationing is instituted by the skipper on Day 11 or 12. Why? What happened to a week's worth of water?

Did the skipper and his lady take long hot showers together? Or was it RDawg and LetsGo, assuming that the skipper did what he was supposed to do? Or did the old lady feed the elusive Pacific manatees sweet water along the way? Or was there actually plenty of water aboard and the skipper and his lady were just being jerks? Or was LetsGo's estimate off? From what I've seen, the bottom line is we don't know.

One of your assumptions has been that the crew needlessly freaked out about the water situation. Yet the skipper, who ignored the reminder to fill the tanks in the first place, institutes the rationing. So unless we have some evidence that the crew is needlessly "wasting" all the water, creating the problem in the first place (which I don't think we do), that argument is a red herring. As I said, whether it's an actual survival situation, or simply punitive withholding, it's clearly the skipper's screw up.

On a more general note, I do have one honest question for you and other racing skippers/owners though... If I, as a new crew member, come on your boat just before the race and start opening inspection ports on tanks, pulling stuff out of lockers and the lazarette to go through your safety gear, etc., all to see if I, the crew member, agree with how you, the skipper, have set things up - do you just look on with pride that I've taken the initiative for my own safety?
Who said that anything happened to a weeks worth of water? It "appears" that they began rationing when they had a weeks worth of water remaining, and about 9-10 days of sailing to make Honolulu. You're not suggesting that stretching your water supply should begin when you're dry are you? Your logic seems rather confounding.
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Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

Smack, you gotta put the water thing into proper perspective. Mariners have been running low on water since before Columbus’ time. Yes, perhaps they left without topping off a tank, they also could have easily suffered a leak in a tank or line (sound familiar?), they could have had a stuck valve, cycling pump, sea water contamination, or even over usage (that is my guess). All we know is these guys were down at the halfway mark. What really counts is how they handled the adversity. It seems that only the boat owners were concerned with rationing and RD/ “Jake’s” only solution was to sail “faster” (isn’t that the whole point in racing anyway?) and not to conserve water.

One of my Dad’s stories was how the desalinators on his can in WWII couldn’t keep up with the boiler needs when they were screening for TF58. The Captain ordered the fresh water be TURNED OFF to the crew (except for meal times) and divert all available water to the boilers. A couple of crew who were caught sneaking water from an unguarded bib were brought to Captain’s Mast, confined, and subsequently reduced in rank and pay.

Smack, can you use your computer skills in reproducing for us the track’s from Yellow Brick? (link below) You might find the track very interesting. You can see that they were pretty much always below the rhumb line and pretty much the southernmost boat in their division. You can see pretty graphically that the wheels fell off at the halfway point. I suspect that this is about the time when reality and fatigue set in for the crew resulting in a series of really poor decisions being made. They probably lost a day here in their bickering and inability to set a single course. When they did their final course change to fetch Hilo, they were closer to Honolulu, albeit, the AP most likely couldn’t hold the deep wind angles required. Knowing that Tropical Storm Flossie was bearing down on the main island, why would they go there (impaired judgment from lack of experience?) Also, with water running short, wouldn’t you want to stay in the shipping lane if you needed help. Heck, RIMPAC is going on at that time and you can’t swing a cat without hitting a warship when you are within 500 nm of Pearl.

I’m not sure I would want to have a crew onboard, who didn’t personally familiarize themselves with everything on the boat. The last few days before a race or crossing are usually very hectic and things can be overlooked on even a well-run boat. That is why crew need to check and re-check everything. RD & Jake’s experience level was showing when they didn’t see the warning signs when they first stepped on the boat, and then not checking and helping get the boat ready for sea. Don’t get me wrong, “Harry” appeared to have made plenty of mistakes himself, but as he hasn’t responded to this thread so we can only speculate )and spin any scenario that suits our personal bias).

Transpac 2013 PUBLIC - Powered by Yellowbrick Tracking
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  #759  
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Smack, you gotta put the water thing into proper perspective. Mariners have been running low on water since before Columbus’ time. Yes, perhaps they left without topping off a tank, they also could have easily suffered a leak in a tank or line (sound familiar?), they could have had a stuck valve, cycling pump, sea water contamination, or even over usage (that is my guess). All we know is these guys were down at the halfway mark. What really counts is how they handled the adversity. It seems that only the boat owners were concerned with rationing and RD/ “Jake’s” only solution was to sail “faster” (isn’t that the whole point in racing anyway?) and not to conserve water.
I'm with you GB. And, yes, the water leak sounds very familiar! Maybe that's why I'm so interested in this whole water thing.

As you point out, the problem is we don't really know what the deal was. We only know that the skipper made a decision to forego taking on more water at the start, then "selectively" rationed it at a dangerously low level midway through the race. I'd love to know more details about this. Because I agree with The Sal-inator that everything in this story turns on this issue.

I'll see if I can figure out the YB thing.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 08-13-2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

GB - you're right about things getting crazy right in the middle (purple)...Alaska...no Tahiti...no Alaska....no Tahiti...

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