Sailing madness!

My boyfriend and I offer sailing holidays. People book a berth in a cabin and live and sail with us for one week. This, or course, means that we actually live with our customers and spend a lot of time with them on very limited space.

Before corona we had around 200 guests/year. 99% of them were great and there were no issues, but boy… that 1% is really tough, because you’re stuck together.

We have 3 cabins for guests, each cabin is for 2 people. People who book are families, friends, couples but also people traveling alone - in all kind of constellations. If you don’t want to share a cabin, you can book one for you alone for an extra charge. (This will be important in some of the stories)

I will post some of our best ofs, or rather worst ofs, here :slight_smile: :sailboat::palm_tree:


The Psychologist

This happened a few years ago. The crew was a father and his 16-year old daughter, a married couple, a man travelling alone and The Psychologist

The P. was behaving very strange from the beginning, he was very aggressively dominant in every discussion, acting like everyone else was a piece of shirt under his shoe. He was always interrupting and correcting other people, and would not stand being proven wrong. Imagine a Trump kind of guy.

When the crew was talking about the groceries they were going to get, he turned to the 16-year-old and said in a baby voice
“But since you don’t drink alcohol, maybe you would like some candy instead?” (I can’t actually write in a baby way, but imagine with a lisp and the typical weird way some people speak to babies and toddlers)

He was making sexual comments to The Wife (who owned a spa and did massages). From day one he was trying to demean me. I think it bothered him that I was “higher ranked” on board, and that I was a woman AND younger than him.

It wasn’t starting well.

On the next day, he took the wheel (our guest are welcome to join in and take part in the sailing). He was awful and I tried to give him some tips how to sail more smoother, faster and plainly…better. He refused to listen. After a while the 16 y.o. took over, and she absolutely rocked it. She had a feeling for it and the boat picked up speed and it was apparent that she was just better at it than him.

He didn’t like that. Oh no. I remember there being some discussions at dinner that night, and everyone was annoyed with him.

The next day, the man travelling alone wanted to take the wheel at the departure, with my boyfriend (who is the skipper and the one responsible) standing next to him assissting. The Psychologist kept on interrupting, trying to explain what to do (which was very false btw) and my boyfriend told him to be quiet. The Psychologist got really grumpy and decided to take out revenge. When he was supposed to loosen his line and pull it back in, he held it tight, making us bump into the neighbouring boat. (Luckily there were no damages, but there could have been). We all saw him do it, and my boyfriend got mad and told him to stay out of the sailing parts, keep his mouth shut and behave like an adult.

Well… he didn’t. After that he was always trying to be in the way, on purpose, he refused to move OR help during the manoevers, pouting his lip and crossing his arms all the time - so my boyfriend had to be harsh again. He got the options to either make room to let people work, or go downstairs. The Psychologist tried to rush to the front of the boat instead, which was actually pretty dangerous at that moment, we had a lot of wind and the boat was tilting pretty much.

My boyfriend told us to pull down the sails, we were motoring into the next marina. He told The Psychologist they needed to talk. The Psychologist was 100% sure that my boyfriend would appologise to him - boy was he wrong.

My boyfriend give him “the yellow card”, if he acted like that again, trying to sabotage and endanger the crew and the boat, he would have to leave. He also told him to watch his tone with the guests.

After that, The Psychologist tried to rally the rest of the crew against us - to no avail. No one liked him. Unfortunately he behaved well enough not to get kicked out, but the mood was ruined for the rest of the week. The last night he came on the the Wife so hard, making explicit comments etc, it almost turned into a fist fight.

Of course, he complained to his booking agency afterwards, demanding his money back. Too bad for him, that the rest of the crew had written to them complaining about him!


Oh man… he was effectively stealing from everybody. They’ve all paid for a lovely relaxing holiday, and instead they got that. I’m not blaming you or your boyfriend; it was clear you both did all you could. But that must have been a horrible time for everyone.

I expect it would probably be classed as a bit too much to use him as an anchor, or at the very least tie him to it?

More stories, please!


Yeah, the agency he booked through only allows us to kick someone out after a warning :woman_facepalming: Him trash talking us behind our backs isn’t really enough. We felt really bad for the rest of the crew.


That was a terrible behaviour and a bad person for sure, and I think you and your boyfriend did your best.

I’m torn between shouting “Anchor!” (to the Psychologist) or “Encore!” (for your stories). :slight_smile:

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Got some more goldies waiting to be typed up!
Trying to finish my essay for the university, it’s taking up a lot of time. Stories will follow in time! xD


Boozing and boating

First some background:
I used to work as a nurse until March 2017. During training we theoratically learn first aid in a “wild” setting, but that’s very different from emergencies in a hospital, where you have a big crew and the right equipment. Still, you know the basics, and you learn how to calmly analyse the situation before making decisions.

One of the guests in this story was (is, probably) a gynecologist working in a delivery room, so the situation is pretty much the same for her.

Here we go:
This happened in the summer 2017, in a marina in Italy.

We arrived at noon in the marina because of an incoming gale, the crew was a bit grumpy over the short day out, but safety first. Next to us was another boat who had stayed in all day, opting for drinking and enjoying the sun in the cockpit instead. They were already pretty drunk.

Our crew got out some bottles of wine and started drinking too. They’re all adults, so nothing wrong with that (our guests aren’t allowed to drink before or during sailing. Afterwards it’s up to them). There was a decently sized motor yacht on the other side, the owner was lonely and invited all of us over. Our crew, minus my boyfriend and I, and some of the neighbours went. A few hours later all but two of our guests came back, claiming it was just too much for them. Everyone was drinking very heavily. Those who stayed were The Gynecologist and her Friend.

In the evening The Friend came back, he needed to use the loo. He was angry because the MV owner would only let him use the one on board if he took is shoes off*. He stomped back to our boat, but instead of using the toilet, he just peed on our gangway and started an argument. It was annoying and embarassing.

We went to bed around midnight, the other two were still partying. At four in the morning, the Friend rushed into our cabin and yelled that someone had fallen into the water, they need help!

We rushed over, just to see how they managed to drag on of the girls from the neighbouring boat back up on to the dock. The Gyn acted correctly and put her in a recovery position and the woman started to vomit water. The others told us that she was leaving the MV and fell of the gangway, went under the dock and resurfaced on the other side. Bad, bad, bad. Port/marina waters are notoriously dirty and nothing you want to swim in, even less inhale.

We ran over and my brain was in nurse mode, analysing and planning what to do. Me and my boyfriend told the MV owner to call for an ambulance. This is where the Gyn started to forget her training. She was absolutely wasted and in no condition to be practing medicine.
Well, she just “yelled” (slurred loudly, she couldn’t really articulate) at us, saying that an ambulance isn’t necessary, she just needs to sleep it off.

The woman was in and out of consciousness, my brain was remembering something from training about secondary drowning, she definitely needed an ambulance. As the MV owner called for one, I rushed back on board to get blankets, then went to guide the ambulance to the right place. After a few minutes I could hear yelling from the dock and went back.

Me bringing the woman blankets kick started the medicinal training in the Gyn, she was now screaming at my boyfriend that he needs to get infusions, she needs to put in an I.V. line. She called my boyfriend a murderer when he said no. He told her that we 1. don’t have that stuff onboard and 2. even if we had it, he would not let her near anyone with a needle in the shape that she’s in.

More screaming followed.

When the EMTs finally arrived, the Gyn refused to move over so that they could reach the woman. She was trying to explain to them in slurred, drunken German what has happened and was hoovering over the woman. The Italian EMTs, of course, couldn’t understand a word that she was saying and where trying to get her out of the way. My boyfriend told her to “finally move over and let the professionals do their job”.

During that time, I was knocking on the neighbour’s boat, trying to wake them up. Someone should better join her to the hospital and bring her papers. They were really annoyed at me banging at their boat in the middle of the night, when I told them what had happened one man let out a loooooong, annoyed sigh and called her name. It sounded like it wasn’t the first time.

The next day the Friend apologized for his behavior the previous day, he was super embarrassed. The Gyn, not so much. She saw my boyfriend and screamed at him again… “I AM NEVER TALKING TO YOU AGAIN!!!” and stormed off. She kept her word until two days later, then she got wasted again and started crying. She felt so belittled because he had called the EMTs professionals and she felt that he didn’t take her serious as a doctor… She refused to accept that she was drunk.

The woman was admitted to the hospital, she was in the ICU for two weeks, she has a massive pneumonia from aspirating the dirty marina water and according to our neighbours was close to dying from secondary drowning.

I know that a lot of people associate boating with drinking, but it can turn dangerous so, so fast. The woman was lucky to survive.

*Never, ever enter someone’s boat with shoes on, that’s a huge faux pas. The MV owner was not asking for something unreasonable with his request.