How NOT to choose your crew mates
In 2021, Sonabia 2 crosses the Atlantic from Hendaye, France to Puerto Williams, Chile. Then COVID allowing, down to Antarctica.
At the time of selecting the crew mates, we said YES to anybody.
We did not care about experience, we just accepted acquaintances that were congenial and motivated.
It turned out to be a bad decision.
3 Little Pigs in the Atlantic
The 3 crew mates were inexperienced in long oceanic sailing.
They were warned about the difficulties, long time in open sea, night watches, and most important heavy weather in the roaring forties.
About the Antarctic, they were warned about the demanding Drake Passage, and told that navigation in the Antarctic was relatively easy, in comparison.
All of them said ” yes”, but none of them really understood what was expecting them.
Little Pig No 1, a nice lady but…
Before leaving, she complicated the preparation with her whims, e.g. Irish tea, kilos of cocoa (never consumed), a larger pillow (never used), and so on.
In open sea, well… Inside, she was bumping everywhere, outside, she was unaware of the sea conditions, dangerous or not. Instead, she had irrational fears. And she was quite controlling.
Little pig No 1 disembarked in Canarias.
Little Pig No 2, a good willing crew but…
In open sea, Little Pig No 2 was good willing, not sea sick, took charge of the cooking. On the deck, he learned the basic maneuvers of non-furled sails.
However, he was technically very limited. He never learnt to sail with instruments and the autopilot was a personal enemy. A real danger during his watches.
And never ask him to repair something. His method was: “dismount everything then try to assemble it again” . Sometimes without success.
He was tired when we arrived in Argentina. He told me there about a hernia and he had a sore shoulder. He sailed down the roaring forties as a sick passenger, with a daily report to the Argentinian authorities.
He disembarked in Puerto Williams, Chile. He was examined at the Naval Hospital and luckily, the doctor found out that he had nothing serious.
Little Pig No 3, afraid of the sea but …
From the beginning, Little Pig No 3 has been taking anti-seasickness tablets, and he did not stop for the next 2 months!
Living in a chemical cloud, he protected himself in his own filth. His cabin was a dark, smelly cave. He was himself dirty and very stinky. I had to oblige him to wash himself.
On the deck, he participated to the maneuvers, but not effectively: apprehension, chemical cloud, fear of getting hurt… After more than 6 weeks he confessed that he always had been scared of the water!
Arriving to Argentina, Little Pig No 3 stopped the tablets. He cleared his mind and behaved very well in the roaring forties, which were demanding: heaving-to 6 times for bad weather!
He disembarked in Puerto Williams after a quarantine, but did not make it to Antarctica: his partner could not join us in Chile on time.
Anyway, big hands for Little Pig No 3!
Big Bad Boar, the experienced braggart
Big Bad Boar was not interested in the Atlantic Crossing, but he wanted to go to Antarctica. To my partner, he presented himself as the Providential Man. He joined us in Puerto Williams, Chile, while we were in quarantine.
The reality was quite different. Big Bad Boar was sick and apprehensive in the Drake Passage. In the Antarctica he had a panic attack that ended in a violent episode, related elsewhere
Big Bad Boar was evacuated in the middle of Antarctica.
Big Bad Boar is now telling out his “exploits”. I reckon that he has a huge ego, but as for his honesty and mental balance, I am skeptical.
Unlike passengers, crews have to be skilled and mentally fit. We learnt it the hard way.
*Big Bad Boar´s name is Josu Guerra Tolosa, or Jesús María Guerra Tolosa. He served house arrest for harassing and threatening a woman.