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Old 01-06-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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From a previous topic, it's pretty clear to me, as an interested observer, that there are skippers and crews out there who do not apply the same rules of decency and respect for others and their properties which we, as a group which we chose to call cruisers, espouse.

These bad guys will, unfortunately, still be seen by those they insult or rob as cruisers and, by their actions, tend to give us all a bad name.

If we accept that crap doesn't flush itself, bad apples will eventually rot the whole barrel and the bad guys are unlikely to see the light of their own accord, how should we actually set about protecting the reputations the good guys? Do we actually need to?

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Old 01-06-2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Good question Peter and one which there really is far more value in than bitching about how good or bad we are.

In my humble opinion though it is am issue which, like any fluid, will find its own level. In a way it is self correcting as if cruisers behave like bums they will not be welcomed in the harbours and anchorages arround the world unless they behave better. But it cuts both ways. If a particular country, harbour or marina gets a bad reputation amomgst cruisers it quickly finds itself of the cruiser circuit.

Srom this forum's point of view I think there is little we can do other than that which we always do, i.e. preach fairness, honesty, good seamanship etc. There is no way we can or should impose any form of sanction but what I suggest we might do is to produce a kind of guideline for cruising yachts. I wonder however if that would be productive as those who will adhere to such guidelines would probably do so anyway.

One other thought is that maybe there should be some mark of approval issued by a cruising authority to those who, in the authority's opinion warrant it? Maybe a CL burgee could become a halmark of the considerate sailor?

I welcome everyone's thoughts on this important issue.

Once again, well done Peter.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:05 PM   #3
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The Seven Seas Cruising Association accepts anyone as an associate who promises to leave a clean wake behind him as he cruises (and, yes, their is a small fee to belong and thus receive the CD or paper reports). To become a commodore, one must be nominated by other commodores who know the person/couple, who know that they have left such a clean wake, and then the nominated names come before the entire 10,000-person membership for a period of several months (three or four, I've forgotten).

Is that something of what you had in mind, Stephen?
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:55 AM   #4
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Commodores in the SSCA have been criticized in the SSCA and on various forums in recent months and also as long ago as 15 years ago, for various reasons. I don't agree with some of the criticism, yet I recognize that in any group there are going to be people you like a lot, people who are 'okay' but you wouldn't go out of your way to socialize with, and people who you loathe. People you meet who belong to the SSCA are no different. The Association does demand that cruisers leave a clean wake, but I've seen that there are different ideas of what a clean wake is. Although there have been threats to remove a commodore or two, I don't recall that the threat has ever been carried through. In the end, it's an ideal, but it has no teeth to ensure that it happens. It's too big, and its members are too scattered around the globe.

One accusation that I see others in the various threads reacting angrily to: cruisers in general are not seen as crooks or bums, at least in my experience and in the experience of the cruisers we have met in our not so insignificant travels. It is usually the people who haven't been cruising who make the accusations of the bad apple in the cruiser's barrel. There are bad people; of course there are, but they are not a majority, and the average person encountering cruisers is smart enough to know that you can't generalize about cruisers any more than you can generalize about any other group.

There are a lot of people who state on various forums that "it's no wonder that the rest of the world hate Americans." It's not true, and it's a statement almost always made by those who have never left their own country and are just parroting what they have "heard". There is no place we've been where we have not been welcomed and treated extremely well, often BECAUSE we are Americans.

I think there is some value in the expectation that members of the SSCA, or the cruising community, will behave honorably and honestly. The snag is that it seems that there are wildly different ideas of what is honorable and/or honest.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Owen View Post
If we accept that crap doesn't flush itself, bad apples will eventually rot the whole barrel and the bad guys are unlikely to see the light of their own accord, how should we actually set about protecting the reputations the good guys? Do we actually need to?
I think each one of us has to keep his own wake clean and I certainly don't want to see more rules and regulations. Sailing is the last frontier of freedom, let's keep it that way.

At the marina we get no more than one or two bad apples per year but sadly they gain notoriety. I don't think it's worth the effort to eradicate them. I think ignoring them is best.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:21 AM   #6
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I don't think it's worth the effort to eradicate them. I think ignoring them is best.
Well spoken.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:00 AM   #7
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

If someone wishes to enhance and protect their good reputation, cruise ethically, keep a good batch of apples from going rotton... and bolster the apparent benefits of we cruising sailors upon the communities we visit

Then - they should ALWAYS lead by good and honest example, NEVER speak badly about others and STRIVE to be helpful in that community.

Simple as that.

Life is too short to be negative. It does no good. A positive attitude will add years to this life which sailors all enjoy and by sharing positive ideas - we may remain legendary... as as a group... or even as individuals.

Many of the finest coastal communities in this world became fine societies only because a Good Captain saw the great potential of the natural harbour and resorces it provided. And we, as offspring sailors, should always make a point to contribute to the betterment of every place we choose to drop our anchor - be it a remote bay, busteling water-front city... or this website.

Little GOOD has ever come from speaking badly about anything or anybody.

I truely enjoy browsing this website as there is a lot of good information generating from it. But I believe that the whole world would be a much better place - if the people wishing to actively take a part in it would keep their bad ideas and malicious accusations to themselves.

If you don't like where you are visiting - MOVE ON - but please don't trash the local comunity who choose to stay and contribute to the benefit of others.

To Life!

Kirk
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:03 AM   #8
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Kirk, I have reread your post five times and I will bookmark it to come back to it often.

Thank you!
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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Kirk,

I think you are nearly 100% correct. I do think at time there will be a need of finger pointing. Freebirds is an example of what I mean. If they were to come into an anchorage I would surely warn those that I have already met. I would think of this as preemptive safety. Just my humble personal opinion. I don't look at this as bad mouthing. I look at it as a warning.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:30 PM   #10
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Oh yes,

Kirk, you are right stressing the point of the 'community'.

Best cruising we had was, when we feltas a part of the cruising community and when we could contribute our share to this community.

An example: all liveaboards organized a perfect christmas party wile staying in the same marina over the winter. Nooene was left out, everyone participated. Helping and assisting each other in everyday chores was normal. This was a perfect community over 4 month we stayed together.

What can help to create a good community:

Years ago in the caribbean it was so nice, when the 'newcomers' on the anchorages were welcomed by other cruisers: they just came along in the dinghy, asked where you came from and how the sailing was... and is there nothing better than sitting together with a glass of wine later on?

Getting to know each other makes you care for the other fellow sailor. You keep an eye on their boat automatically, if they are ashore (and vice versa), because now you know these fellow sailors personally. That makes the difference and that gives some protection against the few bad fellows, heading for a yacht where nobody is on board. Just ask them friendly who they are looking for, or if you can help out... and they see that someone is caring, even if nobody is on board.

And there is the community in a broader sence:

We as cruising sailors should become part of the local community, if we want to stay longer. Nothing is more fun to buy on local markets, in local stores (and not just the supermarkeds). It might happen that you do not get the best quality of fruight or veggis the first two times, but as soon as you show up the third or fourth time the locals see that you are not just a tourist. Same applies for restaurants, bars or similar places the locals use. The community notices that you as a sailor are interested and do your share to participate. That leaves a positive image to those locas you personally got to know a little better. And the more cruisers are under way like this, the bigger the positive impact in the local community concerning the cruising folks!

We love hiking. Best Chance to talk to people you meet along the way. Much better than just spending the time in the marina-vincinity or just visiting the places withing 200 yards of the dinghy-jetty. Hard for natives to builkd a connection between them and the yachts out there on the anchorage or behind the fence in the marina.

But we also noticed through the last years of cruising that time is becoming a more important factor even unter cruising people. Cruising on a schedule results in shorter stays, not having the time to mingle with the other sailors or locals. The feeling of community fades away.

Sailing down the coast of norther Spain in '93 was an experience in the sence mentioned above: a nice community that was established in La Coruna and it held all the way into the caribbean.

Doing the same trip down the spanish-portuguese coastline in '03 was the opposite: everyone was faster, and just occupied with coming in, organizing the necessary things, keeping the contact to the outside world (via Internet and Cellphone) and leaving again, because new appointments were to be met.

That means:

we as the community of cruising sailors also have to cope with life at a faster pace without loosing the values that connect us: an honest interest in cruising as a lifestyle, in caring for the fellow cruiser and in the community we are part of for a certain time.

We should do everything, not to loose the contact to the fellow cruising sailor and local. That's the best wqay to work for our good reputation.

Thoughtful

Uwe

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