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FLIBS17: Checking the Tide: What scares you?

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Inherently the work of yacht crew can be dangerous. They often work with heavy equipment, are responsible for people’s safety and more. We were curious to learn, out of all the things that can happen onboard, when they were the most scared. Photos by Dorie Cox

Capt. Rafael Cervantes Mataix

Capt. Rafael Cervantes Mataix
M/Y Azteca
236′ CRN

“We were going over the purchasing contract and the owner wanted to sign it. He came the next day and said that was not the right boat. I showed him the photos and he said that’s nice, but that’s not my boat. ‘Yes it is,’ I said.”

 

 

Capt. Ted Morley

Capt. Ted Morley
COO, Maritime Professional Training

“When I was chief mate on a transit in bad weather. The fairing compound was popping and the captain completely shut down. Even the doors were flexing. We faced imminent loss but he went to his cabin. Watching him break down was frightening.”

 

 

 

Capt. David Kane

Capt. David Kane
M/Y Watta Ryde
92′ Selene

“I was on the radio with traffic control in Seattle at night and I was diverted across the path of a tanker. The tanker calls and says, ‘Get the hell out of the way.’ And traffic didn’t say a thing.”

 

 

 

Clayton Swart

Clayton Swart
Former yacht mate
MHG Insurance

“We were going from Panama to Jamaica in a storm. We were on the bridge and green water was washing over. And there was a whale in the wave. I swear. It was the most petrified I have ever been.”

 

 

Capt Rusty Allen

Capt Rusty Allen
M/Y Pegasus
130′ Broward

“We left Bequia and the weather service said it was great, but it wasn’t. It was unsafe to continue and was also unsafe to turn broadside to turn around. We had to wait a long time for a break in the waves to make the turn to go back.”

 

 

Capt. Richard Stalford

Capt. Richard Stalford
Looking

“I don’t get scared often. I’ve been an engineer for 25 years and I’m very anal retentive about my work. The scary thing is interpersonal relations, dealing with crew.”

 

 

 

 

Chief Stew Tenielle Dunkley

Chief Stew Tenielle Dunkley
M/Y Nomadess
121’ Benetti

“The fire alarm went off at 3 a.m. on a crossing. Something broke in the steering gear and it smoked. We had just trained all day, but we could feel the fear.”

 

 

 

Stew Camille Rivera

Stew Camille Rivera
M/Y Spirit
125′ Delta

“Rough seas on a trip to the Bahamas. We always make it, though. We have a good captain.”

 

 

 

 

Chef Trisha Bromfield

Chef Trisha Bromfield
M/Y Spirit
125′ Delta

“When the captain passed out on the aft deck. He went to the engine room and had heatstroke, and we were underway.”

 

 

 

Capt. Scott Sanders

Capt. Scott Sanders
Freelance

“We were off Cape Fear and the storm took a turn. Only the TV worked and they said, ‘Don’t be here’. I was there. We were off the Atlantic graveyard going backwards.”

 

 

 

 

Mate Johnny Schoppy

Mate Johnny Schoppy
M/Y Southern Star
112′ Westport

“The first time I drove by myself docking. Just the fact that there’s no one there to help if you mess up. Now, it’s no big deal.”

 

 

 

Deckhand Tom Leese

Deckhand Tom Leese
M/Y Vabene
156’ Kees Cornelissen

“When my mate dropped the crane control and dropped the boat [tender]. He thought he killed me. Those things make you smarter. (It wasn’t on this boat.)”

 

 

 

Deckhand Anton Henry

Deckhand Anton Henry
M/Y Cloudbreak
257’ Abeking & Rasmussen

“I’m paramedic onboard and what I consider scary is different from what other people consider scary. As paramedic on land, I’ve seen car accidents, decapitations, children in accidents.”

 

 

 

Capt. Brett Dobbins

Capt. Brett Dobbins
M/Y Heartbeat
90′ Hargrave

“The first time was when I was young on my parent’s boat and the bow broke. We took on water so bad we had to back through 10-foot seas.”

 

 

Capt. Mark Howard

Capt. Mark Howard
Looking

“I was in a mistral in the Med with a mechanical breakdown, then we went back out to sea and got stuck by a French navy convoy of 12-15 vessels with no lights or navigation. We didn’t know what was coming and had to go between two of the boats. I said, ‘If I ever get out of this, I will never get back on a boat again’.”

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

One thought on “FLIBS17: Checking the Tide: What scares you?

  1. Rick Rahm

    Spending Hurricane ANDREW at Spanish Wells. 200 mph wind with gusts higher during the height of the storm. Yacht Big Dipper 80 ft Burger. Survived by putting Yacht on the spoil Bank west of Yacht Haven after getting blown off the dock. Capt Rick Rahm

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