Join Date: May 2002
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On board conflicts
I know this board has not had a response in months, but, hey, I can''t help it.
For years I served as second crew on delivery yachts until I got enough experience to be first crew. For the most part the captain (my lover) and I had men as first crew. After my 9th or 10th voyage, I realized that many of these men had not had as much offshore experience as even I had. Some poor souls were even seasick for days, if not the entire voyage. In cases like that, I have to admit my maternal instincts took over and i did take over their cooking and maintenance duties if they were that badly sick. (Of course, if anyone had been unable to eat, etc., we would have had them airlifted, but thank God that never happened.) But I noticed discrepancies in basic knowledge as early as my third voyage. I always handled it the same - let the person know that this or that needs to be done, they always did it, whether it was something they needed to do while I attended the helm, or something I needed to do while they attended the helm, or a 2 person project. I never, ever had a problem with men following my directions. If anything was questioned it was in a matter of fact way, and once I explained the task was done. Albeit I never waited until there was an emergency situation that needed immediate attention, but still... (And where would you charter that was so filled with life or death emergencies on such a consistent basis?)
The most trouble I ever encountered was trying to direct a female crewperson. I inveritably got a "Why?" or an "I''ll do it in a minute". While we would get along fantastically during the rest of the voyage, they would always balk at receiving directions or suggestions from me. This I don''t understand, as in the days before the voyage you grow close to the people traveling with you. Even since becoming a skipper (no shame, great pride in that monaker) I found it much harder to work with women than with men. Women always question my judgement, while men (haha) "do what they''re told". I don''t understand some of the experiences on this board, as they seem to have been the exact opposite to mine. But - I have never, ever raised my voice to anyone onboard save once, when I was crew on a yacht going into Cleveland yacht club (for the first time, and after dark) and the skipper was headed straight for the rocks and was involved in a conversation with a guest in the cockpit as I was on the bow trying to give directions. I have to admit I did holler before we hit the rocks, but I think that was excusable.
Best of wind,