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
Here is where you and I disagree on a few things.
I will first say that Nick and I agree on the sanctity of the captain, as I believe he said in a previous thread. I believe in that because everything that goes wrong and all responsibilities are his in the end. The buck stops with him, so he demands considerable respect and as the recognized leader - period. I have already tried to express this in some detail earlier in this thread.
My issue here is that you guys say (or infer... correct me if I am wrong) RD and Jake should not have gotten on that boat in the first place. Seems that way to me too, but it was the captain that should not have let them on. He should take the blame for them being on that boat, not them. This is assuming he knew exactly what he was getting when they showed up and they were up front with their experience. Why didn't he try to get to know them before the race and spend time with them? Test their knowledge and their sailing skills? Let them test his? I am not suggesting months of prep. This isn't the AC for Gawd's sakes. But they could have at least had a decent idea ho they were going to get along... right??
SO they did or they didn't have enough water when they left? Although I see that as an important issue, the more important one is why didn't the captain sit down and explain to his crew the circumstances and why they were taping the faucets? Why he was rationing? Why he didn't fill the tanks? WHat their allowance on water should be?
Hell, they apparently couldn't even decide on whether to use the auto pilot or which course to steer! WHy didn't he tell them why they couldn't or shouldn't and which course to steer?
He couldn't fly a spinnaker at night (purportedly) while Jake and Rd could. Someone asked why they didn't split up their shifts. I ask you why HE didn't split them up? WHy didn't he set the watches?
Do I think RD and Jake, from the story we have read, screwed up? Yes, I do. I think a lot of the things that Nick have said make some sense. My issue, with all due respect, is that what RD an Jake did is kinda irrelevant because it was a lack of leadership from the captain that caused it. Nick says they shouldn't have been on that boat (right Nick?) and could have done a lot of things to make that ride better. I say maybe, maybe not, but if they were let on it then the Captain should have the responsibility for that and any short comings they had.
I personally think that Nick (and you George) have an issue with the OP here because of how they acted or things they did on the race. That may be true. Where I am coming from is that it is irrelevant because if the captain had been a leader, these issues would not have happened. THe reality is that I suspect Nick and yourself put yourselves in the captains shoes, and you get really PO'd (understandably) when you read this and imagine your crew doing that to you. Hey, more than most on here, I completely agree. But what I think you fail to see is that it would not have happened to you because you would have taken control. You would have explained. You would have resolved the issues probably before they ever left the dock. You would have had more preparation. ANd maybe (or maybe not), they would have never been on your boat to begin with... or they might have been the best crew you ever had. Seems to me that communication killed this voyage (in more ways than one).
I suspect RD and Jake didn't know what they didn't know. In some respects, this is like shooting the messenger. But like you guys, I take all and full responsibility for what happens on my boat. I have to. I raise kids on this boat and 'I'm sorry' or 'you shouldn't have' just doesn't cut it if they get hurt or killed. You think you get stressed before a race, try taking your children offshore. That is real stress (and pleasure).
PS I want to emphasize that my opinions are based on the fact that the owner has not responded so I am inferring a lot of stuff based solely on what I read from RD and Jake. The owner likely has a completely different story and may or may not have done some of the things above. But like you said George, his isn't here, so I am assuming (and we know what that stands for).