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Well, today was a pretty sad day for me. Robinson and Jessica were asked to leave the boat, and under pretty unpleasant circumstances. I'm sure that their story will bear no resemblance to mine, nor is it one I really want to rehash, so I won't bore you with any details, but a general explanation is in order.
Suffice to say that I have very few restrictions about what goes on aboard the boat, but those I do have are pretty important to me and I don't tolerate exceptions. They are all stated repeatedly in previous blogs, and are things I mention explicitly to every crew member that comes aboard. The most important ones are 1) do not bring illegal drugs on board, 2) put in at least one solid hour of work a day on the boat, or whatever is required at the moment, 3) man your shifts sober [that includes not being hung over], 4) respect me, my boat and its equipment, 5) do not yell or argue with the captain during critical situations such as docking, anchoring, bringing in sails, etc. [save that discussion for a calmer moment], 6) do nothing that will endanger yourself, the crew, or the boat. Most importantly, don't whine, pout, fume, grumble or bitch. In under one week, both Robinson and Jessica managed to violate all of those rules in one manner or the other, repeatedly.
It was a very difficult last few days, there were several arguments, and a lot of tension. I understood that introducing Jessica to Robinson might create a distracting dynamic, but I underestimated how much of an impact this would have. I believe, on their own, either of them would have been perfectly reasonable and capable of pulling their own weight. But together it was like throwing gasoline on a fire. Bringing them to Cabo San Lucas was like tossing in hand grenades. Their party animal attitudes quickly became a costly liability, resulting in hundreds of dollars in additional costs to me, and unnecessary delay, not to mention having to deal with very drunk behavior and a complete lack of help. They were more interested in getting wasted than getting things done, and it became apparent to me that this pattern would only continue if not get worse. So we parted ways.
Unfortunately, that means I am without crew for the moment, and facing a pretty difficult trek north by myself. On the bright side, this is a solid boat that I have sailed almost four thousand miles in blue water through some pretty tough seas. It is easily handled, stout and capable of taking on whatever you throw at it. I'm not sure I can say as much for the captain, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I've researched this next leg pretty thoroughly, and many folks have done it single handedly, even in winter. There are some risks in going alone, but none that aren't already part of sailing.
In the meantime I jumped back into the marina for a day, but it isn't cost effective to stay there, and need to look for a better harbor to rest and prepare. There are some additional items that I need to address before heading north alone. Minor things that could have waited, but items that I want fixed now if I'm going to be out at sea by myself. I'll probably head up the coast a bit first and look for a quiet anchorage where I can accomplish these tasks and rest up.
In the mean time I wish you all a happy new year, fair winds and following seas.
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