Monday, October 1, 2012

Its barely October...

...but when the Universe drops such an awesome post in your lap that you don't even have to write you pony up and post it, no matter what you said about updating on the refit. Sorry, no pretty photos on this one but sometimes you don't need one.

If you need the background, read it here: Word of the Day...

Mr. Michaud feels strongly enough to comment on our little blog. Here is what he has to say without any editing what so ever.

"Gents, you clearly do not understand the point of my letter. My rather extensive, not armchair cruising experience has led me to arrive at a factual not emotional response to how some of you approach cruising. 

I too took time off in my early 40s (41-43 to be precise) taking two trips down to the Caribbean via Bermuda as well as four trips to Down East Maine. This was done on a really fine 52 foot sailboat which I upgraded to the nine’s creating a lot of good jobs for people right here in Rhode Island. I subsequently sold this vessel to a very fine Canadian Family that undertook two trans Atlantic passages. In over 40,000 miles of sailing I am happy to report that the boat is still in tip top shape, no one every had a injury or illness remotely approached the incident that was discussed in Sail Magazine. This is due to proper preparation of the boat, with a well-trained crew. This is the primary responsibility of any Captain of any vessel that chooses to venture offshore.

While a cruising vagabond, does indeed have the right to venture offshore in vessels that are undermanned, not properly maintained, or underequipped you do not have the right to except gratis assistance from search or rescue staff from the US, Bermuda, Canadian, or other Coast Guards to expend human and financial resources to save you when you run into serious trouble due to inadequate preparation arising from an inadequate resources.

About 20 years ago a good friend of mine, went offshore from what was seemingly a modest passage from the Bahamas to the West Palm Beach. He did this in a sailing vessel that was not up to the task (with respect to design, equipment, or crew) despite being advised against the trip by his part time Captain (who refused to go) and the dock master at the Marina in the Bahamas. The result was the loss of the vessel and crew (including a visiting Mid West couple) and a massive sea and air rescue search by the US Coast Guard that covered thousands of miles up the Florida Coast and Gulf Stream.

I was also tactician during a Nautor Swan Regatta in the 90s when I saw major sailing hardware fail with a near near serious/fatal injury to a crew member (a young woman along for the ride). This accident occurred because the owner (a friend of mine) chose to jury rig a mainsheet traveler and drill out tab on an undersized hydraulic backstay adjuster to receive an oversize pin for the rod rigging. The net cost savings was a few hundred dollars (which I am sure many of those Sail Magazine readers who have responded negatively to my letter who applaud). However, I think the young woman who could have been fatally injured disagree with these Sail readers.

I also did a delivery on a 70 foot S&S designed yawl Petrol in the late 1970s from Bermuda to New York City. During an unexpected full gale, the seems opened up with the crew having to pump like mad. Moreover, the boat was undermanned (part of the crew were two rather attractive female greenhorns that were useless) resulting in only 4 capable crew to deal with a 70 foot 40 year old boat in 60 knots. 

The result of may past experiences that I have witnessed is that I NEVER go out on anyone else’s boat unless I know the history of the boat, the capabilities of the Captain and crew, and how well the yacht is maintained.

At my point of life 61, I am only interested in logic and facts not emotion. That is how I approach decision-making and life strategies. It has worked rather well for me. I am not sure what next boat that I am going to purchase or have built as I have, by choice, little time outside of my company due to my responsibilities to my customers, my partners, and my employees. I do find that my decisions now are driven by what do I really need rather than what can I afford."

Sorry Den, we did not miss the point of your letter. Perhaps it was not your intent but what your letter conveyed perfectly is that you are kind of a name dropping douche. Your follow up here not only further illustrates this fact, but also lets us know you are a sexist douche to boot. You do realize that not only is this blog written by a woman, there are a whole bunch of women who while being rather attractive, can sail the pants off of any boat, anywhere and many without the benefit of a degree from Brown? Cheers.


  1. He apparently does not know the difference between "except" and "accept", and thus is a failure as a human being.

  2. "You do realize that not only is this blog written by a woman,"

    Wait wait wait... You're telling me that women can write now?

    *ducks* >:D

    Looking forward to seeing you guys! The weather is SO SO nice today.

  3. Hilarious. I read this guy's original letter when it was first in SAIL and was surprised they even published it, except then realized they probably did it for the buzz and shock value--and it probably worked. Funniest thing is that I had just finished reading all about Matt Rutherford's heroic voyage on his very modest vessel when I read the letter. I would love to get the two of them together. Thank you for reprinting this follow-up. Michael

  4. OH wow. How did I miss that first post? Yes, what a snob, but really, I think it's a dude with no self esteem who did not get enough hugs as a child. Maybe a middle child who always felt like his older brother (clearly NOT his sister) got more attention than him.

    Can't wait to meet you out there on our voyages, you vagabond you :)

  5. Hahaha...arrogant bastard. I'm surprised he would even stoop so low as to respond to people like you (and me)! His ego is so far up his a** I bet he has brown eyes.
    I'll never understand people like him, nor do I care to.

  6. I'd shake his hand to congratulate his clear and obvious "success" in life, but both of his seem to be busy patting himself on the back.

    I'm always surprised (but shouldn't be I suppose) when folks equate monetary or educational "success" with superiority. I suppose he'd chastise Mother Theresa for putting her arm around "vagabonds" because she'd risk her health not knowing their "history, capabilities or maintenance".

  7. Just responding to anonymous above: I, too, noticed a number of grammatical and spelling errors in his post. This simply does not fit the profile of the smarty pants narcissist he is representing. It makes me wonder if he is for real. I know the name is real (and a simple Google search will flesh that out), but the kinds of errors I noticed ( Like the boat coming apart at the 'seems'. Really?) just don't fit with his CV. Just does make me wonder.

    1. I noticed that as well but then I remember that there are people (such as my husband) who are completely brilliant and capable yet writing is not their forte'. So he could indeed be who he says he is and I did check that the name is real. Doesn't really matter if he is who he says he is or not, we know unequivocally that he is a bag of douche anyway you look at it.

  8. Wow. I fall behind for a little bit and I miss all this fun. Insanity Cid, pure insanity.

  9. Oh no, not this guy again! I think we need a t-shirt that says, "Sailing vagabond and proud of it."