What shall we do with the dunken sailors?

Staying on the subject of deluded millenials:

Nikki Walsh, 24, and boyfriend Tanner Broadwell, 26, decided nearly a year ago that they were tired of working.

“How can we live our lives when we’re working most of the day and you have to pay so much just to live?” Walsh, who booked time-share tours for a living, said to The New York Post.

It’s just so unfair.

“Most of the work you do goes to your home. There has to be another option,” she added.

She has a point: house prices are ludicrous, almost everywhere.

So the Colorado couple sold all their furniture and their SUV and purchased a 49-year-old boat in Alabama to live on and eventually sail the world in.

Twenty minutes on a sailing forum would have told them that you would never, ever buy a boat that old unless you had a lot of money and only wanted it for some Sunday afternoon fun in good weather.

The couple moved onto the 28-foot boat, which was in the marina of Tarpon Springs, a town on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and lived there for months with their two-year-old pug, Remy, while they stocked up on food and supplies.

The article didn’t mention whether they spent much effort getting the boat sea-worthy and honed their sailing skills. These would seem equally important as getting in food, in my humble opinion.

“We were pretty prepared,” Walsh said, of gathering items to last them for their planned trip to the Caribbean.

You probably don’t want to be going sailing in the open sea “pretty prepared”. Did they even have any experience?

Nearly two days into their venture, the couple’s boat capsized in a channel of water called John’s Pass.

“We thought the channel was where we were going, but it wasn’t,” Walsh told the Post, telling the publication they were armed with GPS and paper navigation charts.

All the gear, no idea.

“We started freaking out because waves were coming, and it was tossing our boat back and forth,” Walsh recalled.

An unusual situation to find oneself in when sailing, I suppose.

Broadwell was at the rear of the boat, holding onto Remy when the trouble hit.

Other than the boat capsizing, we don’t actually know what happened.

Local boat captains say the sandbars often shift in John’s Pass, the Post reported.

Do shifting sandbars cause boats to capsize?

Before abandoning ship, Walsh said they grabbed some clothes and important documents, as well as things for their dog.

“I also grabbed Remy’s food and just about everything he needed,” said Walsh. “He doesn’t deserve to go without his favorite toys.”

This whole thing reads like it’s taking place in about three feet of water in a boating pond down at the local park.

Walsh admitted she and her boyfriend, who used to drive for Uber, were “new to sailing.”

Frankly, they’re lucky they’re alive to tell the tale. When I was sailing during the time I lived in Melbourne, I used to frequent some of the sailing forums and read a few books on the subject. One thing I quickly learned was that there is an enormous difference between pleasure sailing (which is what I did) and covering long distances in the open sea or ocean. I was surprised to learn that all boats leak, and leak badly: if you’re going sailing in rough waters for any length of time, expect to be cold, wet, and miserable. I also learned that you need to have a lot of experience to do proper sailing, which you build up by doing shorter day trips in different weathers and environments, then a few overnight trips, learning as you go for months or years before you attempt to take to the open seas. I absorbed all this information and promptly decided I’d stay well clear of ocean sailing. Have our two heroes learned the same lesson?

However, the couple, who has been left with just $90 in cash, no jobs and no boat insurance, say they are still hopeful for their world-sailing plans and have started a GoFundMe begging people to help them “not give up on [their] dreams.”

I’ve just checked the GoFundMe page: at the time of writing they’ve raised over $14k, no doubt thanks to national press coverage.

The pair are seeking $10,000 to rescue the ship, which sunk off the coast of Madeira Beach, FL. Walsh said raising the boat alone will cost at least $6,700.

Leaving $7k with which to refit the boat, head for the high seas, and promptly sink again. Giving these idiots money borders on criminal negligence.

Though the pair seem down and out, they still plan to “buy or salvage another boat” at some point and “try try try again,” Walsh writes on the GoFundMe.

“You only have one life. Why spend it doing what you don’t love. Money isn’t everything!” Walsh told the Post.

Money isn’t everything, says the couple who blew thousands on a boat they didn’t know how to sail, learning nothing in the process. I don’t think they’re quite as hard-up as they think they are.

“We have a lot of family helping us, but it’s hard when you’ve lost everything,” Walsh told The Post from Jacksonville, where the couple is staying with loved ones.

Uh-huh. When you get to the bottom of these stories of millenials who are suffering from poverty or some other catastrophe, you almost always find a paragraph alluding to a wealthy, middle-class lifestyle which likely contributed to the situation they’re in. Lost all your money through raw stupidity? Never mind, friends and family can step in and help out. The genuinely poor rarely have this option, which is why they have to weigh their decisions a lot more carefully. Their misfortunes also tend not to get covered in the national press.

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21 thoughts on “What shall we do with the dunken sailors?

  1. I’m absolutely bloody sick to the teeth of media sob stories that suddenly transpire to be crowdfunding appeals. Especially when they’re for people purchasing non-essential products that most of us have to work for, and/or are making up on losses they had the wealth and capability to insure against. Doubly so when they’re educated and middle class and had choices in life, yet despite their historically unparalleled access to information they themselves made the decisions that caused their problem.

    It’s not even “news”, in the sense of conveying relevant, important information about current affairs. I would welcome an article about changing patterns in boat ownership, or examining whether there’s a trend for more younger people to “get away from it all” and escape the rat race (there have been people trying to do so for decades, though, so I’d rather see some hard statistics than merely a bunch of anecdotes) or a piece on safety at sea. If a couple of people die at sea that level of tragedy probably deserves its own article, albeit likely only at the level of national or regional media (for comparison, same number of folk dying in a road accident may even only make local media).

    But “something rubbish happened to someone once” isn’t “news”, it describes what millions of people’s lives are like all the bloody time, and not always so self-inflicted or avoidably either. They can’t all make the papers, and the poorer or least photogenic or least connected are very unlikely to indeed. Yet the hardship in their lives would tell us a lot about the state of our society, whereas the travails of this pair tell us more about them than about us.

  2. On a related note, even though it rarely ends on a crowdfunding appeal and isn’t quite such lazy journalism, I dislike Guardian sob-anecdotes too – the collection of personal hard-luck interviews it brings out when exploring a “big issue” de nos jours. Their reporters have an uncanny knack of picking out people who are not actually such poor and tragic cases, despite living in a country where, they assure us, personal ruin and misery and exploitation is all around us.

    In fact I think they’re probably right in many respects about there being many people living a life at the bottom of society in a manner unimaginable to those (like the bulk of their readers) living at the top. And even if that’s still a nicer life than being poor in the developing world, it ain’t pleasant. But my guess is that reporters largely find such stories through a network of friends and contacts and most of them simply don’t know anybody at the bottom of the heap. Even if you use charity contacts you end up finding those who got help, whereas in many cases people bugger on without such assistance. The ones who would be the most illuminating are likely to be those so disconnected from civil and civic society, that only a reporter with a personal history among the demographic would be likely to sniff then out.

    On the other hand, crowdfunding stories are way easier to source because the publicity appeal comes to you. And there are tens of thousands of them, so you just have to pick which ones you think are worth running. Perhaps something a bit quirky or heartwarming or tragic, where the eloquent protagonists scrub up well, and their pitch is “relatable” to the readership – “I hate work and want to get away” being a perfect example. But stories found and filtered this way are exceedingly unlikely to be representative, informative or useful – except for those who get published who get to fill their campaign fund up on the back of it.

  3. Not a yachtie- I agree with O’Rourke on this (“like standing in a cold shower in your best suit ripping up hundred dollar bills”), but I do love stories like this.

    Can’t seem to find an AIS transponder for a yacht that ran into trouble at John’s Pass, which means that they were going to go blue water in a plastic tub that no one could find, unless they binned it within sight of shore. Fortunately for them, John’s Pass essentially is the 3 feet of water in your local boating lake, so ho-hum.

    An a couple of months moving boats from one side of the pontoon to the other isn’t the kind of experience that would hold you in good stead to do much more than get in the bath unaided.

    Can we get some TV bods to film attempt number two?

  4. the story in question is just cheap copy written by uncritical journalists – it does however amaze me that other people give them any sort of money after they have demonstrated their idiocy…

    All these stories remind me of a related form of middle class begging, I don’t know if it has made it into the french corporate world yet Tim, but in the UK their is a vast sector for charities providing corporate experiences. Things like staff from Megabank climb Kilamanjaro or cycle death valley. Just get each staff member to raise £2,500 to cover the cost of the trip. Which leads to innumerable requests for a “charity donation.”

    Its a particularly selfish form of charity when you need to be motivated by a week long holiday to get out and raise some money.

  5. Tim I assume ‘dunken’ is a typo in the title

    Nope: they weren’t drunk (as far as I know), but they did get a dunking.

  6. Self-absorbed and delusional people.
    If they managed to finance this on their own efforts I’d at least respect their tenacity, but Crowdfunding?!

    II received an Au Pair application from a young teacher in the UK. She seemed to tick all the boxes for working with children, speaking in a sing song voice & activities with craft glue, so despite the fact she seemingly couldn’t spell I thought she may do. She didn’t have the $5000 in her bank account required to obtain the Aussie visa & didnt jump at any of my suggestions about borrowing the money. She decided to start a Crowdfunding page. Of course no one was going to pay for her to come to Australia & this spoke volumes about her character.

  7. She didn’t have the $5000 in her bank account required to obtain the Aussie visa & didnt jump at any of my suggestions about borrowing the money. She decided to start a Crowdfunding page.

    *Replaces eyeballs in sockets*

  8. I’m off for a 3 star Michelin meal tonight.

    Contributions to Gofundmyvices.com/yuradickifudo

  9. Its a particularly selfish form of charity when you need to be motivated by a week long holiday to get out and raise some money.

    Or those people who will donate to a charity if someone runs 26 miles dressed as a badger, but not apparently if they don’t.

  10. When you get to the bottom of these stories of millenials who are suffering from poverty or some other catastrophe, you almost always find a paragraph alluding to a wealthy, middle-class lifestyle which likely contributed to the situation they’re in. Lost all your money through raw stupidity? Never mind, friends and family can step in and help out.

    I’m not sure I’d recommend it, but the original book Orange Is The New Black is instructive. The real-life Piper Chapman spends 15 entirely uneventful months in a minimum security prison, and when she gets out she immediately gets set up in some pointless make-work job at a New York publishing company one of her friends owns. And there’s no indication she’s learned anything from her experiences; she treats the whole thing like some kind of natural disaster that Just Happened, rather than an entirely predictable result of falling in with a 50 year old lesbian drug smuggler.

  11. She’s 24 and she’s tired of working? That was quick.

    (I’ve lived on a sailboat. Getting breakfast is work, FFS. And she tired of putting money into a home? A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money.)

  12. Just remember that there are a lot of scammers and other suchlike people on the internet and gofundme is just another one of the scams.

    Just deposit $19.95 in my bank account and I’ll send you a tutorial on how to spot them …

  13. despite their historically unparalleled access to information they themselves made the decisions that caused their problem

    Excellent!

  14. I lived, on my own, on a 31′ narrowboat. It was OK, but rather small.

    I can’t imagine that having two people living on a rather shorter sailing boat does much for the harmony of their relationship…

  15. I’m absolutely bloody sick to the teeth of media sob stories that suddenly transpire to be crowdfunding appeals. Especially when they’re for people purchasing non-essential products that most of us have to work for, and/or are making up on losses they had the wealth and capability to insure against. Doubly so when they’re educated and middle class and had choices in life, yet despite their historically unparalleled access to information they themselves made the decisions that caused their problem.

    Spot on.

  16. At least they haven’t produced another humanoid to carry on their stupidity. I think the dog is the most intelligent one of the group.

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