Sailing scares me & "Kids these days"- your pick.

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by bntii, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. bntii
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: MD

    bntii Senior Member

    So a couple of years back I was cruising along the Maine coast. We landed on one of the offshore islands and were looking about with the crew of another boat we were cruising with on that trip.

    I was talking with the wife from the other boat about how rough the sailing had been for her that day.
    We were looking out over the rocks and breakers sweeping them & I told her quite frankly that it had scared me too- "I hear you sister".
    I wasn't kidding though. I can get that oh-sh't feeling coming into a exposed anchorage like that one and honestly was standing there with some trepidation about getting the boat out of there.
    I'm a chicken. Twenty five years of sailboats and cruising and I still sweat it sometimes.

    So I was talking today with the wife of yet another young couple who are outfitting a boat here (their first).
    They are months late getting the boat together and south & are trying to leave in a couple of weeks to head down from MD.
    I mentioned that maybe they should hold off and do a Maine cruise this summer and head to the islands in the fall. I got back: "oh- we are still going to head down and go to the Bahamas. Then head up to Maine and cruise there then Newfoundland. After that we are crossing over to England and cruise there then Ireland."

    Same story seems told by every youngster that comes through here-
    I ask them if they are going to be cruising the bay with their new and first boat and invariably I hear back that they are in fact heading off to England as soon as they launch.

    I spent years coastal cruising before trying offshore passages. Now I do some as I gradually extend my cruising range.
    It's easy for me now- I can get to where I'm going and know how to choose and outfit a boat to be capable of doing the trip. To get here took years of experience though.


    Did I do it all wrong? Should I have crossed the pond the first summer I had a boat?
    All I ever had to work with are summer cruises, so limited range- but I think I am perhaps a bigger chicken then I had thought.
    Life's short- jump out there or work up to it?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    You know, I'm convinced: Both approaches work and whatever you choose is your destiny.

    I've seen so many people do the dumbest things but they move on and it makes them, like you and me, who they are.

    Most people wont listen and will simply carry on because that's their plan and it's all they know. All the power to them, it's the way they learn and not any other. Sometimes it's disastrous and sometimes it turns into a huge learning adventure and sometimes they get lucky and it goes tikity-boo. Hell, sometimes they die! But, what are you going to do to stop them?

    If you're scared sometimes or feel uneasy, I'd say you're pretty dam healthy!

    -Tom
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    "There are old mariners and there are bold mariners......"

    Sea, and lifes, voyages, as described by Sterling Hayden, must ultimately come from the unrest you feel in your life. You should never feel totaly unconcerned around a device that can kill you in half a hundred ways or an ocean that cares nothing for your dreams and schemes. I sleep lighty at sea.

    On the other hand, I always point out that no matter where you go on the ocean, you are never more than 6 nm from the land. ;).
     
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  4. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Everyone is different. I remember reading about Tanya Aebi, who sailed around the world at seventeen. Her father had really pushed her to go and so she did, with no experience whatsoever inshore or offshore except as crew. The tale begins with Tanya heading offshore on the first leg of the circumnavigation, and it becomes apparent that she is totally unfamiliar with the boat---- she even has to bone up on how to use a sextant, which was in the days before GPS, and she's got no idea what to do, and it takes weeks for her to learn how to use it.
    So Tanya learns as she goes, and she's probably lucky (actually, she later admits this). The weather and conditions (along with her boat holding together) kindly await her gaining experience before challenging her.
    She does turn out to be an excellent sailor as time offshore passes. Was she foolhardy? How long would it have taken for her to have crept up to the same level by taking things one at a time?
    How much was luck, and how much was skill?
     
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  5. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    All boat handling and seamanship skills are developed up close , on the coast... the tide rips, the fog, VTS zones, land induced Windshifts, the sea breeze land breeze cycle, anchor handling techniques , DR Navigation.......... When you omit seatime on the coast you can never refine seamanship techniques and mature into a professional seaman. Simply refer to the seatime requirements the USCG requires for captains before they are licensed to go deep sea.

    Also consider that On this side of the Atlantic conditions are much more in your face than the East Coast of N America. The Prevailing Westerlies sweep across the Atlantic and hit you as soon as you leave port . Multiple languages makes acquiring maritime knowledge more difficult .....best to learn your trade and perfect your boat on the coast before attempting a crossing and a foreign cruise .
     
  6. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Every person has his or her own pace. Some needs a nudge while others need a firm kick under the butt to get going. Some are bold and would jump in the deep side - not even knowing if it will float.

    It takes all kinds and types.
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The USCG requires time at sea. There is nothing about close to shore in the regulations. The sailing navies, whalers and offshore fishermen, spent most of their time far offshore. They often learned their trade there.
     
  8. WickedGood

    WickedGood Guest

    Close to Shore.

    Not to Worry; Just as long as you can see the Lighthouse you will be just fine.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Obviously that boat was chasing stripers hiding under ledges.....bet he wishes he had the mother of all electric trollling motors
     
  10. WickedGood

    WickedGood Guest

    In the Olden Days of Wooden ships & Iron Men when Barks wre staffed of a crew of ten. the Sails were cloth made of Irish Silk made by Maidens carting milk.
    The reeze was blown by electric wind and all the Sailors wre full of Gin.

    This was the Original Twin Screw which was employed whenever the Doldrums came about

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Dirteater
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Canada

    Dirteater Senior Member

    Simply put. I agree with Michael here.
    I've been riding motorbikes for about 30 years. I believe the same rules apply.
    There are still certain patterns that "scare" me. I think a little fear is good.
    It keeps our minds open to the weather and other conditions and elements that may be forthcoming.
    It's experience and practice that teaches us and keeps us a little safer.
    I for one am glad you didn't head out full sails ahead. I think the decision was your
    and that you made the right one. I do believe its up to the individual of course,
    but not everyone has common sense iether.
    best regards, DE
     
  12. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Seems you have to have good eyesight too...
     
  13. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Most accidents happen close to shore. Going far offshore is less dangerous than coastal cruising. Why is it wiser to start with the more difficult?
     
  14. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Gonzo, with all do respect (and that is considerable) WTF?

    -Tom
     

  15. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    OK, so I'm being a bit facetious. However, going offshore is not as dangerous as approaching a rocky shore at night in bad weather. I am more relaxed a couple of hundred miles offshore, as long as I am away from heavy traffic, than close to the coast.
     
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