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Old 29-07-2013, 18:40   #1
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Wisdom of the Seas

In analysis of recent disasters at sea it was made very clear to me that our reliance on modern technology and machinery can teach us falsehoods about the sea. One made very clear to me, at the cost of a broken body, was the need for a preventer on the main when downwind (never discussed in any of my advanced ASA courses BTW) This has lead me to the conclusion that the most dangerous sailor is one that doesn't know how little he knows.
So I humbly ask for your help. What has the sea taught you that others failed to mention?
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Old 29-07-2013, 18:55   #2
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Re: wisdom of the seas

if you hear inside your ears a tiny voice or hint of a thought about reefing or preventing or anything before you go to sleep- DO IT as when you come back to watch will be way tooo late.

you can see the seas build--haystacks on occasion mean you gonna get it in a few hours....
and that thing you called a rogue wave?? was a slightly larger sea .... that, my friend, is a sign that your seas are building... be aware. this sign has never failed me.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:06   #3
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Re: wisdom of the seas

It taught me that it cares not if you survive.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:10   #4
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Re: wisdom of the seas

Tough to nail down Newt. My sailing has been an extension of my wilderness travels (canoe, kayak and now sail). Wilderness ... real wilderness, teaches respect and humility. You can never confront the wild -- it will kill you without a thought. You can only go with it. You can ride the edges for a short while. You can sail where the wind and seas allow. We are not in charge.

I guess what I'm saying is that the whole "man against nature" idea is for short-lived idiots.

Now, if you're looking for something specific to sailing, I would say my biggest lesson is that it's all about the seas. Wind is easy to deal with. For me, sailing Lake Superior, it's the sea state that is the real challenge.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:12   #5
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Re: wisdom of the seas

There a great taxonomy of consciousness and competence.

conscious competence learning model matrix- unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence

This verifies your conclusion.

I use this in instructor courses.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:13   #6
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Re: wisdom of the seas

I've never yet seen a sailing manual that had a chapter on humility.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:14   #7
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Re: wisdom of the seas

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post

I guess what I'm saying is that the whole "man against nature" idea is for short-lived idiots.
Agreed - I am at my best when I at one with nature and the boat.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:21   #8
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I have always relied on my grandfather's sage advice. "I'm smart enough to know I don't know everything."

Even if I've done something a thousand times, I realize that this time can be different and try not let my guard down. Be it paddling a kayak in waves normal folks don't take powerboats out in, or reefing the main. I keep my guard up every time I reef, enter an inlet, or even go through an open draw bridge, as this time could be different. Complacency is a leading cause of accidents.
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:34   #9
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Old 29-07-2013, 19:47   #10
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Re: wisdom of the seas

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I've never yet seen a sailing manual that had a chapter on humility.
Humbling adds to experience. My big one was ignoring the local knowledge required missive and hitting a rock.
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Old 29-07-2013, 20:04   #11
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Re: wisdom of the seas

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I've never yet seen a sailing manual that had a chapter on humility.
There is one ''LE COURS DE NAVIGATION DES GLÉNANS''

Great book, emphasize on human relations and limitations...but written in french.
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Old 29-07-2013, 20:06   #12
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Re: wisdom of the seas

Boatman 61 beat me to it (again)!... Fear has been my most profound and lasting teacher. I have had the sh*t scared out of me so many times I've lost count but each experience left such an imprint on my small mind, that I can recall the events leading up to the main event and the consequences I lived with afterwards.
In almost every case I recall, it was poor judgement that led to the disaster, big or small. Warning signs were there to see but either ignored or minimized. It is certainly a case of... 'too soon old and too late smart' as well as... 'better to be lucky than clever'.
Folks like Jackdale, Boatman, Bash and Zeehag who have been there and done it prove that all you need is a steady hand, perseverance and a little luck. Cheers, Phil
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Old 29-07-2013, 20:12   #13
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Re: wisdom of the seas

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
My big one was ignoring the local knowledge required missive and hitting a rock.
AND make sure that local knowledge is boater know-how. During Tropical Storm Isaac I was told by "local knowledge" that the wind would come directly across the trees and the safest place would be to tuck in close to the far shore.

Before I did anything though (was anchored in the middle of a bayou) I met a fellow with a boat that was moving his small cabin cruiser between two docks. He said the wind funneled down that far bank and that there would be no wind on his side of the canal -- directly in contradiction to the first "local advice"

I opted to believe the boater -- and he was correct. Basically the wind blew like stink not 50' from me, yet I was mostly in benign conditions. Weird, that.

Anyway, take your local knowledge from a boater would be my qualification to the above post.
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Old 29-07-2013, 20:14   #14
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Re: wisdom of the seas

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Agreed - I am at my best when I at one with nature and the boat.
That's interesting; I feel the same way, but the "at one with nature" part often means that I'm solo. This has become troubling when I'm sea kayaking because, despite considerable expertise, I'm no longer a kid.

I've been stubborn lately about not replacing perfectly fine technology with newer technology until the old stuff wears out. If they bury me with an iPhone 3 in my pocket, I'm just hoping they remember to shut it off before they close the lid. But my handheld VHF is a relic from the days before they built the submersible types, and I've been struggling for a few years as to whether to upgrade.

For my 59th b-day last month, I gave myself one of the new models. What can I say: West Marine was having a sale. But part of this gift was a commitment to carry it with me when I kayak solo from now on. I won't turn it on, of course, unless I need it. But I'm old enough--wise enough--to realize that I may actually need it someday.
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Old 29-07-2013, 20:26   #15
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Re: wisdom of the seas

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
if you hear inside your ears a tiny voice or hint of a thought ---
Zee has the right of it. When my "little voice" starts to whisper that's when I sit up and pay attention. SOMETHING'S GOING ON! FIX IT!
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