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Old 12-30-2007, 03:02 AM   #21
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I remember as a student in Italy years ago shying away from disclosing that I was an American because so many of the "ugly" types were embarrassingly present...the movie caricature of the fellow who yelled in the hope that by speaking loudly he might be understood, as if Italians were somehow in the wrong for not speaking English. But there are bag eggs from every group. I love Italians, but not mafiosi or papagalli. I have met many wonderful Germans, and some their fellow Germans would disavow. My experiences in Paris made me prefer Provence and the Atlantic Coast. I could go on. Cruisers come from every nationality and yet I usually feel as if we're family. Don't you? I admit I haven't cruised much or in many places (hope to change that very soon!), but wherever I've been, most of the other sailors have been friendly and helpful and been grateful for any help we gave them. How horrid that folks like these can give not only Americans, but cruisers in general a bad name and make it hard for others to follow in their wake.

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Old 12-30-2007, 03:24 AM   #22
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I find this which hunt of Freebird rather distasteful, and I do not think posting the web address was with intention of starting such a hunt. It was just an example with reference to one of my comments. I'm not surprized of the reaction, that is one of the reasons I deliberately did not post any references, but there are quite a lot more similar incidents. There is little we may do about it other than see to that our own behavior does not give reason for similar reactions.

However Farfarviking's post is the kind that irrittates the most. Personally I do not care 'what I am', but it would have been better if he had answered my question 'what is a cruiser/yachtie?'. I for certain did not do the trip to meet other yachties, as little as I take a flight to meet other passengers. Had he been slightly more knowledgeable of hurricane/cyclone seasons and normal passage times his commens might have been different. His kind of attitude makes me put him straight in the 'bad' category which luckily is in minority!
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:42 AM   #23
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Haffiman, why do you consider me "bad"? Because I criticized you? You haven't pulled punches in saying that yachties are cheap, looking for free things, and don't spend much. Does that make you "bad"?

"Makes me sad for the good and honest ones, but they seem to get in minority.

Then we have the 'run aways'. It is not without reson that most slipps and haul-outs refuse to launch until all bills have been settled."

You said that. but when people start discussing the Free Birds who are "run aways" you call it a witch hunt.

Then you said that IF I had been "slightly more knowledgeable of hurricane/cyclone seasons and normal passage times his commens might have been different." and that seemed to put me in the "bad" category.

You have no idea what I know, but you are very wrong about what I do not know. Normal passage times my a**. You rushed across two oceans to get to Malaysia in 15 months. You admit you weren't interested in meeting cruisers along the way. Doesn't sound like you're any cruiser. Either you didn't have the money to do it slowly or you were using your boat as a sea-going moving van. No stoppimg to smell the roses for you.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:01 AM   #24
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I find this which hunt of Freebird rather distasteful, and I do not think posting the web address was with intention of starting such a hunt. It was just an example with reference to one of my comments. I'm not surprized of the reaction, that is one of the reasons I deliberately did not post any references, but there are quite a lot more similar incidents. There is little we may do about it other than see to that our own behavior does not give reason for similar reactions.
There is no witch hund here. The fact that I and others on the Forum condemn FreeBird's behavior is based solely on what is to be read on their website. I don't propose burning them at the stake or any of the other process which were used to detect witches. What I think is only fair is that buisnesses in their path should be aware of what they may be letting themselves in for. We need not slander nor condemn FreeBird. Their website speaks for itself.

I completely endore the sentiment that we must ensure that our behavior does not give rise to similar reactions.

The CruiserLog Forum is, as we have often stated, a friendly place and as such I hate to see any cruisers, marine or boat yard owners or busnisses dragged through the mud here. However, I beloieve we have an obligation to be not only fair and friendly but candid and open too. We must see the world as it is and, hopefully, make it a better place. We must, as cruisers, be cautious so as not to smear our reputations and make ourselves unwelcome in ports and anchorages arround the world. A component in this exercise is the seperating of the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad. Fortunately the vast majority of cruisers fall into the good catagory but the problem remains of what to do about the bad. This is no court of justice which can impose sanctions, nor are we a professional guild which can ban a guild member. We are simply a group of individuals accross the globe who share a common interest and have been brought together through the magic of the internet. All we can do here is to spread the word and warn others of the good and the bad and just as we name bad yards and marinas so should we, in the sake of fairness, be prepared to name bad boaters (I refrain from using the term cruisers for that catagory of person) or at least refer people to their websites when they are as self condemning as FreeBird's.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:20 AM   #25
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Nausekaa:

'We are a group of individuals' - very true. But I would add: A group of strong individuals. And we have to be, or we would not survive out there when things gets tough. To me it is not the internet that gets us together, but it may keep us in touch as we get spread around. Boards like this is one way to stay in touch with the comunity,to share experiences etc. However it is also a dangerous place as we have no controle of how and where the info and comments speads and travel. Incidents like the one above, is one side of the story, it might be another - without trying to defend anyone. I have been to places 'warned about' without haveing problems, I have been to 'higly recomended' places and been diasapointed. I have been sitting next table to people condemning incidents earlier in the day which I happend to watch in quite a different perspective when it happened. People ar different with different perceptions of things. Sometimes what is written in a blog or a web page in the heat of the moment, might lok different when things calms down.

Farfarviking:

You meet people on Your way in life. Some at land, some at sea, some at the net. Some becomes close friends, some 'nice to have met' some You wish You never had met. There are people You may have meaningfull discussions with, even if the basic opinion might be different, there are people You just not feel for sosialising with, one way or the other.

Our closest friend on the trip: beatlon.com, unfortunately did not make it around the world and had a sad ending in he Red Sea without the incident hitting 'the news'. Quite some other friends have later dropped by on their way, some we keep contact with on the net, some I have luckily not seen again.

Calling You 'bad' was perhaps not correct, more of the catgory: just don't feel like sosialising with, no need to call me if You pass by.
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:29 AM   #26
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Maybe we should go back to the now clearly extremely dangerous, unanswerable but equally revealing question, "Are we so bad?" created, if I remember rightly, out of a thread which suggested that we might be.

That it has been raised at all is, of course, a sort of denial and, if Jeanne's position is anything to go by, we've now seen some anger and a little bit of bargaining; Readers Digest stuff I know but a pretty well trodden path in the direction of depression and final acceptance.

Be it sailors, cruisers, national politicians, culture or creed, the real point here is that crap doesn't flush itself - an otherwise truly original thought - and there seems little point in sitting around our own parlours whingeing about some remote pile if we're not prepared to get out there and address the problem itself.

If you're still wanting me to come off the fence on this, my answer to the question is a very definite, unequivocal YES/NO totally devoid of any clarification or otherwise confusing arguments to the contrary.

If you disagree with Free Birds and feel strongly enough, of course, you'll, hopefully, be posting your own view of their conduct on their site in which case the pop-corn's on me!

See ya!
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:48 AM   #27
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you'll, hopefully, be posting your own view of their conduct on their site in which case the pop-corn's on me!
That is of course the right place to vent feelings regarding them in particular.

I suggest that THIS debate continue without them.

Are we so bad?
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Old 12-30-2007, 03:37 PM   #28
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Maybe we should go back to the now clearly extremely dangerous, unanswerable but equally revealing question, "Are we so bad?" created, if I remember rightly, out of a thread which suggested that we might be.

That it has been raised at all is, of course, a sort of denial and, if Jeanne's position is anything to go by, we've now seen some anger and a little bit of bargaining; Readers Digest stuff I know but a pretty well trodden path in the direction of depression and final acceptance.

Be it sailors, cruisers, national politicians, culture or creed, the real point here is that crap doesn't flush itself - an otherwise truly original thought - and there seems little point in sitting around our own parlours whingeing about some remote pile if we're not prepared to get out there and address the problem itself.

If you disagree with Free Birds and feel strongly enough, of course, you'll, hopefully, be posting your own view of their conduct on their site in which case the pop-corn's on me!
I don't know if cruisers as a group are more judgmental than other groups of like-minded people. I think that in a forum of people sharing a common interest the discussion of the actions of similar people outside the forum is legitimate. As open as a forum is, there's no backstabbing here, it's all out in the open for everyone to see.

Newbies to cruising reading FreeBirds' blog might not know just how wrong-way their approach to cruising is, and think it's easy to emulate. I recognize that it is not my place, or that of anyone else on the board, to educate the world about cruising. When I see behavior like the FreeBirds, however, I see no reason not to comment on it - after all, they have put out their opinions and experiences for all the world to see.

I went back to FreeBirds' blog and visited their guestbook. Surprisingly there was only one negative comment to their postings. I guess I should have left mine, as well, but seriously, do you really think that what I say to them will change their behavior? I doubt it.

Back to "are we so bad?"

I don't think so. What I've always liked about the cruising lifestyle is the incredible variety of people sharing this common interest. People we would never have met in our normal work-a-day lives that have enriched us immeasurably.

In any group of people there are certainly going to be some bad eggs, but to say that countries such as Fiji are getting tired of cruisers? I didn't see that when we were there either time, and I don't believe it's true now. I would bet that cruisers are the primary income source for the Royal Suva Yacht Club and are certainly welcomed there. Some clumsy and slightly inexperienced cruisers arrive there, but they are soon on their way. No, I am sure that there are other issues at play there.

French Polynesia makes itself very welcoming to cruisers, and has protected itself from the occasional bad egg with its repatriation bond policy and its requirement that all cruisers be out of French Polynesia by November 1 - to give them time to find safe haven before cyclone season begins.

My unpleasant reaction to FreeBirds' blog was due to what I said - they are NOT cruisers, they happen to be dopes on a boat (not to be confused with soap on a rope) who give the cruiser a bad name. Maybe they'll behave better once they learn how to sail and how to cruise, but their apparent pride in their lack of knowledge leaves me doubtful.

The value of this thread is perhaps in recognizing how others see us, and in discussing what is appropriate behavior for cruisers, or any other guest in a country, for that matter.

SeaVenture - is Italian "papagalli" the same as South American "mariposas", or American "queens"?
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:23 PM   #29
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Nausekaa:

'We are a group of individuals' - very true. But I would add: A group of strong individuals. And we have to be, or we would not survive out there when things gets tough. To me it is not the internet that gets us together, but it may keep us in touch as we get spread around. Boards like this is one way to stay in touch with the comunity,to share experiences etc. However it is also a dangerous place as we have no controle of how and where the info and comments speads and travel. Incidents like the one above, is one side of the story, it might be another - without trying to defend anyone. I have been to places 'warned about' without haveing problems, I have been to 'higly recomended' places and been diasapointed. I have been sitting next table to people condemning incidents earlier in the day which I happend to watch in quite a different perspective when it happened. People ar different with different perceptions of things. Sometimes what is written in a blog or a web page in the heat of the moment, might lok different when things calms down.
@ haffiman,

Much of what you wrote here is true. An exception however are your views concerning the internet. I do not regard the internet as a dangerous place; in fact, I would claim it is exactly the opposite as it gives everyone the opportunity to find information that otherwise might not be available to them. This applies particularly in countries where censurship is the order of the day. It also gives individuals, you and me, the opportunity to put forward our own thoughts and opinions. It is, if you like, the digital equivalent of a soap box at Hyde Park corner. The internet is probably the best guarantor there is today for perpetuating the concept of freedom of speach; an issue which should be very close to your and my hearts both coming, as we do, from Scandinavian countries which pride themselves in the freedom of the press and the freedom of speach.

Also, as you stated, we have only one side of the story here; that of FreeBird. Yet that is enough to condemn them simply because they have condemned themselves. Nor have they given the "opposition" any opportunity to present their side of the story. In fact, I would be extremely surprised if FreeBirds were to give the poor tradesmen they admit to deceiving access to their website to add the other side of the story. That is where this and other forums have the advantage. CruiserLog is open to all with an interest for the cruising lifestyle provided they follow the few simple rules of etiquette we impose here so all can have their say.

I certainly agree that people are more than capable of perceiving events differently. That just makes it more important to express one's opinion in an open forum where others have the possibility to comment. Irrespective of the outcome of the particular incident, I would feel extremely vexed if I was slandered by vertue of my nationality, as was the case on the FreeBird's website.

Peter made the extremely astute comment, "the real point here is that crap doesn't flush itself - an otherwise truly original thought - and there seems little point in sitting around our own parlours whingeing about some remote pile if we're not prepared to get out there and address the problem itself", with which I agree in sentiment but, lacking any powers to impose sanctions on the "bad eggs" I believe information in the public domain is the best way to keep such at bay. The actions of FreeBird, as they have themselves presented them, and others of that ilk must be brought into the light for open examination. If that is done then none here need pass judgement. People are wise enough to do that for themselves. In so doing we are addressing the problem in our own small way.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:40 AM   #30
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Wow! These two will be more interesting to follow than Bumfuzzle.

Our skipper, Paul, had been sailing the Caribbean for many years and had never seen a porpoise.

Come-on...never?!?!
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:00 PM   #31
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Trim,

That remark caught me too about the dolphins! My wish is that all of this catches up to Freebirds, and they find they have become prisoners of their own personalities. Shunned from the community we all hold so dear. I surely wouldn't want to loan them a wrench!
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:58 PM   #32
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SeaVenture - is Italian "papagalli" the same as South American "mariposas", or American "queens"?
Jeanne, pappagalli (I misspelled it earlier) are a breed of (usually) young men who follow after anything in skirts. They're generally harmless, but rather annoying as they tend to do the following in groups, calling sometimes flattering/sometimes less-so names after the girl/woman in the hope of engendering a response. Sometimes they are bold enough to get close and dance around her. During the years I lived in Italy, I remember a particularly annoying group who often caught up with me on my way to school. Their favorite taunt was, "Che cavalina!" which meant, "what a little horse"! Now, you can imagine my immediate feelings on hearing that...though a friend did assure me later that they meant it as a compliment. It certainly didn't translate well. Literally, pappagallo is Italian for parrot, so perhaps the boys were parroting each other. We also used the term to denote a flatterer. No one can flatter a woman better than an Italian male--and in those long-ago days, when Italian girls lived very sheltered lives, the men of this ilk assumed Scandinavian and American women could easily be won by a few flowery phrases. Perhaps the only thing in favor of this behavior was that a number of young women who might have felt less than beautiful in their home country, could thus be assured of flattering, if annoying, attention. It was the "anything in skirts" aspect that kept me from appreciating it in a positive way.

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Old 12-31-2007, 09:07 PM   #33
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Wow, very interesting, and some demoralizing, reading of differing viewpoints expressed, "good" vs "bad" cruisers.

Do we spend less than land-based tourists? Undoubtedly; were we comparing apples to apples. Tourists typically stay a week or two before returning home. Many cruisers spend a month or better before pulling anchor and moving to the next port where they may spend another month or better. Therefore it's very possible cruisers do spend as much or more during their visits. It does seem everywhere I've sailed, both in the US and abroad, locals are happy to see me and accept my money. Some may want payment prior to their work/service being provided, but that might be good business in any profession these days. A possible result of an ever increasing lack of personal responsibility or morals, which is increasingly seen as more and more people take to the waters of the world. A sampling of the world's peoples with every class reperesented. Some scallywags, theives, dead-beats, et al. A "Me First", screw my neighbor, do what I want with no regard for anyone else mentality.

Bringing us to the subject of living "right". Opinions may vary but, IMHO, there is no grey area. (Thanks Mom!!)

I could care less if someone is American, European, African, Asian, orange with green 'n purple spots. Right is right.

(I do have a problem with Canadians though... Just kidding!! I love Canucks!! )

I wouldn't dream or have balls enough to run without paying my bills. (again, thanks Mom!) Nor would I disrespect the indiginous peoples of the countries I visit just as I wouldn't like them disrespect me when visiting mine.

We're I to see you, the hapless couple of Freebird, or anyone else, (the who or nationality doesn't matter) damage another boat or run without being responsible or moral enough to pay your damages or bills, (even if there's a dispute)

I'd make it my business to personally saunter down and inform that boat/business of their presence and history.

I'm sure the locals, whomever or wherever they may be, would appreciate not being ripped off. I would.

Thankfully!! Those type "cruisers" are rare and hopefull remain the vast minority.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:40 AM   #34
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Ciao Bella

LOL.

When exactly WERE you in school in Italy, you're writing is beginning to remind me of someone I went to school with there.....

LOL.

seer

oh, and I remember the German girls slapping hell of those italian pinching types heheheh

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Jeanne, pappagalli (I misspelled it earlier) are a breed of (usually) young men who follow after anything in skirts. N
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:05 AM   #35
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Ciao Bella

LOL.

When exactly WERE you in school in Italy, you're writing is beginning to remind me of someone I went to school with there.....

LOL.

seer

oh, and I remember the German girls slapping hell of those italian pinching types heheheh
Ah, that "Ciao Bella," is exactly the way they would talk--no matter what we looked like. Of course, these days, I'd say bring it on. All you could do for my middle-aged ego would be to soothe it.

I studied sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Perugia for several years after taking a short course at l'Universita per gli Stranieri--all my classes were in Italian, a huge stretch for someone with only 5 years of high-school French behind her. My folks had thought to transfer me to the larger school in Firenze, but I loved Perugia--and especially loved being the only American in the department, only one of two in the entire university. It was a magical time... And a magical place.

Now, we just have to finish Sea Venture's refit and take our home with us to the Med. I just read Jimmy Cornell's notes on sailing into Venice. I can't wait.

Michael hears me say that and reminds me that we must enjoy the route and the process... We will. And how much more after he retires in February. Yay!!! We'll be heading back to Mexico and up into the Sea shortly thereafter. And then west. And then?

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Old 01-01-2008, 10:04 AM   #36
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Bringing us to the subject of living "right". Opinions may vary but, IMHO, there is no grey area. (Thanks Mom!!)

I could care less if someone is American, European, African, Asian, orange with green 'n purple spots. Right is right.


Good one ughmo 2000.

I share your opinions and, like you, am appreciative of moms who put their kids on the right track in life.

Happy New year to you

// Stephen
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Old 01-01-2008, 03:15 PM   #37
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"Ahhh, signorina, i tuoi ochi me sembra come le stelle nel ciello.. "

heheh I'm getting a bit rusty, but that was my best 'line' if I remember it correctly

Now Perugia, good fun, good wine there! but alas..I was sent to Firenze on an art & architecture scholarship, and similarly, studied both in the school for stranieri, while taking a grad degree at the Universita' di Firenze in international law. "Diritto Industriale Internationale di Lavoro" I think is what it was called, have to check the diploma on the wall, but not at the ranch presently. I had a bit of an advantage on you with the language, got the state department 'crash course' for a couple of months before I arrived; good thing too, as the 'final' was an oral 'board' before a panel and in Italian. Faking the art/architecture stuff was the hard part LOL, as most of my majors and minors were in the sciences or the business school, though I did get to open up a previously undiscovered Etruscan tomb with the most beautiful college prof I've ever seen before or since. Ahhhh bellisima (btw old tombs really stink-whew).

Till I die, I'll always have a fond spot for the Italians, even a couple of the Communists and 'Mano Nero' types I ran into. Good people, amazing country. Quite a contrast between Florence and my next stop, Beirut, the night they started the civil war, but that's another story entirely.

Seer,

PS. re Venice, jeez when I went thru there it smelled like hell Lot's of water did NOT equate to sanitation...hopefully things have improved...drastically!

And if you havn't sailed the Sea of Cortez yet, get ready for HOT! heheh. If you catch any fish ice em QUICK, or they'll rot faster than you can imagine.

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Ah, that "Ciao Bella," is exactly the way they would talk--no matter what we looked like. N
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Old 01-01-2008, 03:58 PM   #38
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Seems to me I remember reading about certain groups of coasty living peoples in a number of nations doing naughty things like turning out lighthouses, and encouraging shipwrecks onto rocks /shoals etc. then summarily executing the surviviors as they swam ashore, before plundering the ship's cargo, all in the name of 'salvage' . Further, "scavenging" unattended yachts seems to be a tradition in many parts of the world. As for the 'thieves' in harbors, well, I think like the swimmer boat boarders, and tender takers, these people choose their 'marks' based on whether they think they can get away with it without the owners putting up much of a fuss. Fortunately, "Most" of the service providers in and around harbors that I've met, however, have been on the 'up and up' with only a few exceptions, and those exceptions were in US and Canadian ports hehehe.

As for the 'ugly american' syndrome, frankly I get a bit tired of listening to that. I've seen wealthy Mexican's for instance, treat 'the lower classes' in a fashion reminiscent of pre-revoltionary France, If you've never encountered wealthy Saudi's, well that just has to be seen to be believed..you could say the same about practically any nation in the world, there ARE certain groups that are going to behave 'badly', independent of nationality or culture. These Freebirds seem less 'ugly americans' than they do 'ugly wealthy' which again, transcends national boundaries. Then there are those groups that seem to have big 'chips' on their shoulders...I was on a trip in Africa one time with a bunch of Canadians, jesus christ!..I got more lectures on politics than in the whole of my formal education..and some of them were even FAMILY!!! hehehehe.

All kidding aside..there are some places and cultures where 'buyer beware' is more like a nursery rhyme...try doing business in most commercial places in Africa and Asia. Taking advantage of someone and ripping them off in a business context is almost a national religion in or about Nigeria for instance, one could say much the same about many parts of the arab 'commercial' world, as opposed to the 'plain folks' like the bedouin or 'badu' amongst whom personal honor is still a HUGE character tradition.

All in all, however, I have been an awful lot of places and found 'most' common people entirely agreeable. Merchants of any origin will, however, be 'merchants' and 'sharp' trading is to be expected-one should govern him/herself accordingly.

Oh, one last comment on the 'ugly american'. I have found it extremely useful to wear my cowboy hat and boots in foreign countries. I could tell you story after story of being extremely well treated beyond any expectation, why? Because they have seen the "movies" and assume that amongst americans, a 'cowboy' lives with honor and is a straight shooter. Some of the questions I've gotten are pretty funny tho...in a remote part of the former Soviet Union I was asked how many indians I had killed..the looks on their faces when I told them I WAS an "Indian" was priceless hehehe. One youngster then promptly piped up "well, how many Cowboys did you get? "

Unfortunately, the world view of our current wannabe cowboy president, seems to have since, taken a lot of the lustre off of that image.

As for the Freebirds, well, what goes around, comes around....I have to believe that sooner or later...things will catch up to them. Life is usually pretty reliable in ultimately giving people what they deserve.

seer
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:20 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Seeratlas View Post
Seems to me I remember reading about certain groups of coasty living peoples in a number of nations doing naughty things like turning out lighthouses, and as opposed to the 'plain folks' like the bedouin or 'badu' amongst whom personal honor is still a HUGE character tradition.
How true. There is integrity in simplicity; and it matters not if it is an onboard system or a person being described.

Simple people, and I used the term in its nicest sense, i.e. those living a more rural life, close to earth, tend to be welcoming, reliable and honest. They live not on their wits but on sheer hard work and determination. In the same way, and coming to a favourite gripe, more complex systems on vessels fail sooner or later whereas the simple, robust piece of kit goes on working forever.

I cast my vote for honesty, integrity and simplicity and, simultaneously, as Seeratlas mentioned the presidentship, wonder if we will see many of those qualities in the upcoming election process?

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:44 AM   #40
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Given my view that we should be drawing Free Birds into the discussion by posting on their site, I took it upon myself a couple of days ago to record in their Guestbook a pointer to this thread and a suggestion that it might give them an idea about the dangers of ".... bragging about that one sheep in the small cruising world".

I've just checked the site again and my own posting and a couple of other more negative ones have disappeared - so much for dishing it out but not being able to take it!

As such and having made a reasonable attempt at inclusion, I'm now with the posse - where's the rope (to trip them up!)?

See ya!
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