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Old 21-09-2015, 14:35   #271
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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I bet sailing is no where as dangerous as newbies think it is. Newbies read books and books and danger sells books. Last statistics I read golf was a lot more dangerous than sailing.

Depends on where and how you sail. Based on the many boats I see taking the ICW on nice days I would say their greatest risk is dying of boredom.

OTOH, if you take the ocean the risk goes up. Actually sail in the ocean when it is "bumpy", the risk goes up. Make that singlehanded and the risk goes up. Actually do long crossings without six other boats, the risk goes up.






Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
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Old 21-09-2015, 16:43   #272
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

I love people that sail in the lower latitudes telling me that sailing is safe. When I sailed in Florida, I believed the same.
Until I almost ran into a hurricane trying to get home from the keys...
Now I sail in the high 40's and 50's. Falling in the water up here is a major disaster. People "disappear" from kayaks all the time. Every day there is a major problem on the VHF, and it is often many times a day. One that requires rescue.
Sure its safe- if you make it so.
But it is not inherently so.
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Old 22-09-2015, 02:44   #273
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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We often have debates about whether we as a general group are too encouraging to newbies with a dream. Most should go and do it, but some should never go to sea.

Can we tell the difference on a forum?

What are our responsibilities as a community?
Perhaps we should adopt the philosophies that:
Life is there to be filled with experiences.

Folks should be encouraged to engage in new experiences.

Sensible folks will learn a little about the nature of the ventures they are about to undertake and learn the requisite skills to survive and prosper in them.

Those who don't are no great loss to the gene pool.

Responsibilities taken care of??
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Old 22-09-2015, 03:41   #274
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

I think sailing in protected waters and light wind is pretty safe, but at the upper edges, like so,some said above, single handed, crossing oceans, it is pretty difficult and dangerous. Of course it seems that is what a lot of the dreamers have their heart set on, present company not excluded.

But not a reason to discourage. No, maybe just to guide, again like said above.

Hard to add anything new to a thread that is on its nineteenth page!
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Old 22-09-2015, 07:07   #275
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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(...)

If I remember correctly there were a few people who kept telling Columbus that he had never crossed an ocean before, that he did not know what was out there and that he would fall off the edge of the world. Others said that he did not have the experience and was not ready for the hazards that he would likely encounter.....
You may actually remember incorrectly ;-) ... or the book was a very abridged version. Or else we learned from different sources.

I remember (from Admiral of the Ocean Sea) that about the only obstacle he had was finding a sponsor. There was definitely no questioning of his experience and skill. Of which he had plenty! (bold, as this relates strongly to OP question)

The reason he had it so hard to find a sponsor was that by their time's calculations, the distance from Europe to India (westwards) was huge. And that calculation was correct. And so his critics were correct. What nobody knew was that Columbus would find something new only 3000 miles from Europe. In fact, a whole new world.

And so we should attempt to sift the urban legend from the known facts, both in our ideas about Columbus, and in our telling people whether they shoulda coulda go, or not.

Whoever wants to be safe should not venture off, not in a boat, not in a plane, and walking also has to be mastered prior to any longer escapade. No free lunches and no extra return without extra risks.

So to say my emproptu take is: "yes, danger is involved and yet, despite, or because of it, this is a beautiful sport that I would love to see my kids go into".

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Old 22-09-2015, 09:56   #276
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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You may actually remember incorrectly ;-) ... or the book was a very abridged version. Or else we learned from different sources.

I remember (from Admiral of the Ocean Sea) that about the only obstacle he had was finding a sponsor. There was definitely no questioning of his experience and skill. Of which he had plenty! (bold, as this relates strongly to OP question)

The reason he had it so hard to find a sponsor was that by their time's calculations, the distance from Europe to India (westwards) was huge. And that calculation was correct. And so his critics were correct. What nobody knew was that Columbus would find something new only 3000 miles from Europe. In fact, a whole new world.

And so we should attempt to sift the urban legend from the known facts, both in our ideas about Columbus, and in our telling people whether they shoulda coulda go, or not.

Whoever wants to be safe should not venture off, not in a boat, not in a plane, and walking also has to be mastered prior to any longer escapade. No free lunches and no extra return without extra risks.

So to say my emproptu take is: "yes, danger is involved and yet, despite, or because of it, this is a beautiful sport that I would love to see my kids go into".

b.
I guess I forgot the tongue-in-cheek emoticon....
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Old 22-09-2015, 10:07   #277
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

There is a lot more to "just go" than the potential loss of your, and family/friends/crew lives. I know people who have been lost. It does happen. But more people die driving around town than do on sailboats.

What also should be considered is the financial and emotional loss of going "too soon". By "too soon" I mean when you have at least a minimal understanding of what you are investing in. It seems more and more newbies have the dream of getting a boat to retire on. Hey, I am one of those. But I was also very, very considerate of what I didn't know and what the boat needed to do to get me there, and there, and back.

But over, and over, and over again, we all see people who buy a boat without even a clue as to what it really takes to even maintain a boat in a slip let alone crossing oceans. Many buy, are totally excited and then burn out financially or emotionally before the boat is ready even in their own inexperienced eyes. Marinas are full of them, as are dry storage in boatyards and back yards. The only reason I say this is that some people really don't have the disposable income/savings to recover from this hit.

Not to mention the additional cost of cruising. Yes, SOME people find it easy to live off of $500 a month. MOST do not, and not by choice. Not everyone is the same. We all have friends who budgeted what they thought it would cost to have a boat in Mexico (or wherever) and then found out they left many things off the list, or underestimated the list, and found they could not live without. You can find lots of boats in Mexico that have been basically abandoned. Sometimes because the crew decided it was not for them and singlehanding/single living will not work for the skipper.

The consequences can be disastrous, financially and emotionally. Some will say "oh well, I am happy I tried to do it". Others can't. Some marriages are lost. Retirements are lost. This is real stuff.

So - I am NOT one of those who says "don't go". What I think needs to happen is at least some consideration, thought, and planning on the part of the owner/skipper/whomever, as to the real issues of cruising. It is not just "can I buy a boat and sail it to the Marquesas and get there alive". Most people can manage to do that with GPS nowadays. But then the boat needs repairs, and believe me, repairs are not easy or cheap in the Marquesas. But it happens all the time. Then they limp in to Tahiti and find it is better, but not by much, and they abandon the boat there. They sell it if they are lucky. Some leave them as payment for marina/yard fees. I know people who have done exactly that. Or, the Admiral is sick of cruising and goes back home, leaving the skipper with a real problem.


Then there are those who lose the boat but they make it out alive due to rescues and equipment. But the boat is lost. If they have insurance they are better off, but many can't afford the boat and insurance. We couldn't. But we understood the consequences if we lost the boat. Some people don't.

What I am advocating here, is that it is more than "can I sail across X body of water and arrive at Y safely". Whoever says "just go" should at least see if they can inform the new owner of what needs to be considered - without the intention of stopping them from going - but to allow them to consider real everyday potential consequences. By the very nature of this extended cruiser community (as witnessed on CF here), there are many hardy souls who have conquered the seas, and their boats, and their finances. They then tell everyone that "anyone" can do it. Yeah, they can, but you won't be the one who has to pick up the pieces of their lives when it falls apart.

If someone asks me if they can do it, I always tell them "of course you can do it". But I also offer some thoughts about what it all means in the context of their life. And I worry less about the rich people than I do the people who sell the only house to buy the boat. I worry less about the young and stupid as they have a long time to recover from things - financially and emotionally. I also know people who are so obviously clueless, and vulnerable, that I gently try to dissuade from going. If they do go I know the odds of them dying are not really that high. I know it happens but I don't throw stories of that at them to scare them. If I have some concrete recommendation like "fix that bilge pump before your go" I'll do that.

I do firmly believe we all have the right to do stupid and potentially dangerous things to ourselves, but not to clueless others who put too much trust in a clueless skipper. We were totally clueless once too though but we both knew we were and we at least considered what would happen if we lost the boat and we decided we could pull through if we did. If we died, we died. But we at least got to the point where we could understand and decide that with some real understanding of risks and rewards. We have no second thoughts. Our retirement has suffered due to the expense of our first boat, and it is suffering even more due to the current boat. But we understand that. I just hope others understand what they are doing even if they don't understand how.

That's my rant and I am sticking to it. Just go!
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Old 22-09-2015, 13:42   #278
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

I think the sailing community should encourage people to follow their dreams, but I also think they should encourage these people to devour information, take a certification course or two, (or four) that allows them to experience living off the hook - even if its for a short time... etc.



It's usually a good indicator that the individual needs to do more homework and get a little experience when they ask questions such as, "what's the best boat?", or "how much does it cost to live aboard?".... for reasons that don't need to be explained.



There are ways to get experience.... (like joining a racing team; they're always looking for fresh bodies)... the person has to have the common sense to get some before jumping into the big blue - of course, there seems to be a shortage of common sense these days~

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Old 22-09-2015, 14:40   #279
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

Surely there are very many newbies who carefully prepare themselves by reading and in as many other ways as possible and may let others know their intentions, but certainly do not ask others about the advisability of carrying out those plans. They will have taken the risks into account.
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Old 23-09-2015, 07:38   #280
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Surely there are very many newbies who carefully prepare themselves by reading and in as many other ways as possible and may let others know their intentions, but certainly do not ask others about the advisability of carrying out those plans. They will have taken the risks into account.
That's exactly what we did. It worked out very well for us.
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Old 23-09-2015, 12:36   #281
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Surely there are very many newbies who carefully prepare themselves by reading and in as many other ways as possible and may let others know their intentions, but certainly do not ask others about the advisability of carrying out those plans. They will have taken the risks into account.
I think the bolded is a key part to this. If you have to ask someone else, "Am I ready to sail across an ocean?" then the answer is absolutely NOT!

When you are ready, you will know it. You won't have to ask, and you won't have to have anyone tell you to "just go." YOU WILL JUST GO!
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Old 24-09-2015, 09:22   #282
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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I guess I forgot the tongue-in-cheek emoticon....
Arghhhhh ..... pirate!

;-)

Cheers,
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:02   #283
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

On a more serious note I really do not understand the "need" a few of us have to sit and pass judgement on someone and their dream. Who are we that we can decide if they are "worthy", "capable", "experienced", "smart", Whatever enough to chase their dream.

At most we can alert them to the risks if they appear to be underestimating or unaware of them. And we should do it in a way that keeps them listening to voices of experience.

In past times I've been a climbing instructor and expedition leader (Gasherbrum I, Aconcagua, etc). When teaching I never get pissed off when a student knowingly assumes a risk. What gets me going is when they know there is a risk and they ignore it. If they cannot see the risk my job is to teach them.

I've had friends die in my arms or spent time trying to keep someone from another expedition alive more than once. Never a happy time.

But the oceans are like the mountains. When you step away from the beaten path (or dock) and go into the mountains or the oceans you are on their terms and must deal with all that happens. And if we come across someone who does not understand that then we should guide them to understanding....

(insert some joke here about scoobert here)
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:52   #284
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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On a more serious note I really do not understand the "need" a few of us have to sit and pass judgement on someone and their dream. Who are we that we can decide if they are "worthy", "capable", "experienced", "smart", Whatever enough to chase their dream.

At most we can alert them to the risks if they appear to be underestimating or unaware of them. And we should do it in a way that keeps them listening to voices of experience.

In past times I've been a climbing instructor and expedition leader (Gasherbrum I, Aconcagua, etc). When teaching I never get pissed off when a student knowingly assumes a risk. What gets me going is when they know there is a risk and they ignore it. If they cannot see the risk my job is to teach them.

I've had friends die in my arms or spent time trying to keep someone from another expedition alive more than once. Never a happy time.

But the oceans are like the mountains. When you step away from the beaten path (or dock) and go into the mountains or the oceans you are on their terms and must deal with all that happens. And if we come across someone who does not understand that then we should guide them to understanding....

(insert some joke here about scoobert here)
Well said. I still don't know how to tactfully explain risk however.
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Old 24-09-2015, 11:11   #285
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Re: When we shouldn't encourage people to "just go"

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Well said. I still don't know how to tactfully explain risk however.
Me neither, but I try.

A few years ago I had just soloed up the Reid headwall on Mt Hood (I'm in PDX). I came across a couple of 20'ish snowboarders who were eyeing the top of the headwall. From there the slope starts off gradually and you cannot see the 300' of 70 degree ice I had just front pointed up.

I could have told them that they would be F**king nuts to go down there. With predictable results I'm sure (bugger off old man).

Rather I asked them how their edging skills were. This got the conversation going and I was able to explain the steepness and hardness of the neve there. The end results is that they listened, re-evaluated and found another path to ride.

If I'm saying anything it is to ask questions, engage in conversation, and alert to the risks all while supporting their dream. (their dream was to have a great knarly ride but not to die).
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