Textbook Example of Captain & First Mate (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by tryanotherJuanEndorsed Contributor

I was listening to NPR this past weekend and came across an excellent example of the Captain-First Mate Dynamic, literally.

The story was on This American Life. (See the transcript below.) The whole episode is available to read or listen to...and I'd say it's worth your time.


The TL;DR version is that a husband and wife set sail across the Pacific with their two young children on a sail boat that served as their home. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. They hit storms that damaged their boat, their satellite phone stopped working and worst of all, their baby got sick.

The husband had to make a decision for the family. Continue to sail for 3 more weeks without access to medical care or call for help.

Calling for help meant the family would lose their the boat. You can't exactly call for AAA in the middle of the ocean.

The family had planed to live on their boat for the next several years. They had left their jobs and poured their life savings into making the trip possible.

Their decision to call for rescue and even be sailing at all, was heavily criticized and drew lots of media backlash.

What I found remarkable about this story was the dynamic between the husband and wife. The wife left the decision to HIM and supported him in the face of heavy criticism.

On this sub, we talk about letting our captain lead even when it looks like he is steering the boat off course. This woman lived that reality.

How hard would it be to follow our husband's lead when doing so would mean that you would lose your home or put your child's health at risk? It was a tough decision either way.

This woman showed incredible strength as she followed her husband. Her husband showed great leadership and rational decision making in the face of crisis.

I think the best quote of the whole story is at the end. The husband says despite all of the criticism his family has faced, he doesn't regret his decision.

Eric Kaufman: "And I don't really need anybody to validate that. I know there's people out there who have their thoughts and their commentary about things, sending emails that me and my family should go drown. I couldn't really give a [BLEEP] less what a whole bunch of people think. I mean, we were where we were. We had the situation that we had, and here we are."


To me, it doesn't get any more Alpha than that.

[–]j0hnan0n 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Motivating as fuck. Thanks for sharing; have an upvote.

[–]sierrasechoEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This really strikes home with me as I: A/ am a sailor planning to sail offshore in a few years B/ liveaboard... my boat is my only home and all my worldly possessions are here C/ Erik is a regular commenter at a forum I have been a member of for about 5 years. I wouldn't say he is a friend, but it is not just another name.

My heart goes out to them. I have seen them just trashed in more crusing focused forums, so it is nice to see a bit of respect.

I am also in the position that the boat that my SO and I live on is mine... as in it was mine before he came along. I am the captain here. I have been sailing since I was three or so, and he has only learnt since I met him. He brings so much to this, but legally, at the end of the day I am Captain. Literally ;)

Which is super tough in the context of an RP relationship. He is the Captain of our relationship, and leads without a doubt... but to have to switch roles is tough. We have had two situations in which those kind of decisions are made. Of course, I confer with him, and would love to let hin decide, but both times rough times have come up (boat taking on water once, and really rough seas another) I had to make the call. Nothing like what this family was handling though.

I know exactly how tough that decision must have been. That leg he was on is one of the longest stretches between land anywhere on the planet.

But yes, kudos to her for letting her Captain and husband decide, and supporting him.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don't usually cry but that interview got to me.

I wonder if there's a crowd funding page to get them a new boat.

[–][deleted]  (3 children)


[–]tryanotherJuanEndorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Oh sorry, I guess I left out the most important part!

They called for rescue. A plane brought a medical team for the baby and then a Navy vessel traveled 3 days at top speed to reach them. It was a very expensive rescue.

The family had to sink their boat because there was no way to tow it back. Now they are basically homeless, but their baby is going to be okay.

If you listen to the interview, it's a really compelling story. This American Life has an app you can download and listen from your phone.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]tryanotherJuanEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    This is true and I included the link to the transcript. However, the story is really meant for radio and I think you get a little something extra by listening to it and hearing the voices of the people telling the story.

    [–]yeahnothx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    you know, I'm a lifelong sailor. my father was in the navy and my grandfather the merchant marines. and the cute term we have always used for wives was admiral. you know.."you may be the captain, but when the annual is aboard..." even in those old patriarchal days we at least joked that the women were in charge.

    [–][deleted]  (6 children)


    [–]RedPillMotors 2 points3 points  (5 children)

    Good luck with that Captain Trolls-a-lot. Here in the real world relationships involve leadership but also some amount of reciprocity.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

    Yep, that user was definitely not trying to do anything but kick up dirt. In the future, when you see a trollish comment, don't hesitate to push the "report" button.


    [–]RedPillMotors 0 points1 point  (3 children)

    My bad :). Like I said on another thread, I'm new. I'll be more pro-active in the future.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    No worries, that's why I mentioned it! :0)

    [–]RedPillMotors 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I'm still recovering from the shock of finding positive interactions on the internet.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Haha, we're a pretty friendly crowd. We don't shy away from tough love when it's needed, but everyone is here to learn and improve. Also, when I first started my reddit account, I rather lost for a while - so I'm sure I've made every mistake under the sun at one point or another. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.