Fight on board

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sat 21 Sep 2013 07:12
Not on our boat, but on a neighbours boat. Forgot to write about it while we where still in the harbour.
The day before we left a brand new catamaran with no flag or name came in to Aviatu in Rarotonga.
They said they where only staying 1-2 hours to provision but decided to stay longer and had to anchor close to our neighbour.
He is a very friendly French guy waiting for his family to fly in and continue the trip.
The harbour capten asked if he could share his dinghy with the cat since they had none (!?)
Most of the stuff visible on board still had plastic wrappings to protect them when you get a new boat from a boatyard.
The skipper looked like "Jesus" and he had two young men as crew members.
In the evening the crewmembers disappeared to the village.
I woke at about two in the morning, big noise on the dock.
The guys had returned and there was no doubt they where really drunk.
They had also a local woman with them, she drove a car and was sitting in it while they tried to get on board.
If you have read my description on how to get ashore well it is the same to get on board, but top it up with being drunk and the task becomes almost impossible. The poor frenchmans dinghy got smashed and banged and a nice outboard that was on got a lot of hits.
Finally one of the guys came on board and probably decided to let anchorchain out so the other fellow could step on board from the dock.
How smart is that? And yes the skipper came out furious. They started to shout at him and the guy on the dock JUMPED on board from the dock. Not very happy landing...
So they where shouting and fightning. And the woman ashore was singing loud from the car. Eventually the guy that jumped on board decided he was such a great jumper that he jumped ashore to talk to the woman, I dont know. Well that looked funny, he jumped at one of the tires but he bounced back and splashed into the water. He got up on the doch and sat by the car. But the fight continued on board. And since I had a phone I called the police. They came after 15 minutes, did not even bother to stop by the boat, the fight had moved indoors but the skipper had turned all lights on, in the boat so it was easy to see what was going on.
They cooled down by themselves, the woman drove away, and I went to bed.
Soon thereafter I heard another bang and yelling and cry for help. Now the skipper had a satellite phone and he was trying to call.
The other guys obviously did not like that and fighted him down on deck. Then there was a lot of screaming and running on deck so I called Radio Rarotonga on CH 16 and within 1 minute the security guy was there and helped the skipper to get the crew members off the boat.
By talking, very calm. They got all their personal stuff ashore and off went the skipper with the security guy.
Next day as Andreas and I moved about the different offices to check out (oh yes, every country have their routines...)  we bumped into the skipper twice as he was doing the same.
He did not say that but I guess he HAD to take the crew out with him on the boat or pay their air tickets home. And they came from South Africa!
I told him I was the one who called the security and he thanked me. He was surprised to hear I had seen so much because at the police station he was one against two and the crew had a story that HE was the one beating them down.
That would make me feel great to sail away on a vast ocean with two guys I had to fight, and he said also that they threw the satellite phone over board to hinder him from calling.
BUT he was also strange, when we talked he said they had sailed the boat from South Africa and where delivering her to Australia.
When they got into Rarotonga they came directly from Galapagos (what a trip!).
He also said that when he came out to "talk to" the guys he had turned his phone on voice recording to have all recorded, but they had deleted it for him...
Might be, might be...
Hope the crew does not throw him over board.
And here now?
Moving along fine, wind has increased and so have the waves. They are about 3 meter now.
An informal chat on the net today made me feel better.... since we have Erika and Andreas on board we feel we have to prepare good meals.
And with the kitchen throwing things around for you it takes TIME! And it is painful.
As we where reporting weather etc on the radio I said "Wave height maybe 3 meters, uncomfortable to cook food for sure"
The respons was "do you COOK? we gave that up the day before yesterday!"
A nice happening today was that Ellinor has read my new book and she gave me thumbs up! There are small things of course but she liked the story and it got her hooked.