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Old 21-06-2014, 10:48   #91
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Had it happen a couple of times.. I just managed it by scaring the crap outa them.. each time was a different method and they left at the next Port..
Had two cases of bad crew back when I was doing deliveries. Both cases it was someone with no previous offshore experience.

One was a friend who fell asleep on watch a couple of times and refused to go on deck a couple of times to help deal with problems in moderately bad weather. I had to check every hour or so anytime he was on watch to make sure he was awake. No opportunity to put him off until we got back to FL.

The other was a crew we picked up in Nassau when one crew had to fly home for an abscessed tooth. She managed to eat more than the other two of us combined and just about cleaned out food stores in less than a week. The first time she stood a watch we ended up over 10 miles off course then next fix. Since she wasn't on our crew list and we had plenty of places to stop, she got left at the next island.
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Old 21-06-2014, 11:47   #92
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Had two cases of bad crew back when I was doing deliveries. Both cases it was someone with no previous offshore experience.

I thought it would be a good thing to share this letter I wrote my wife and a couple of friends two weeks ago regarding a bad crew/guest experience and just how dangerous the situation can be.

Here's the letter:

I hope your sailing season is getting off to a good start. Mine not so, but now back on track and looking forward to a great summer.

I flew a fellow I know over to Spain to assist with the through hull replacements. The guy has lived aboard his boat in for over ten years, bragged about the many deliveries he's done, and was now in hindsight.... turned out to be a self proclaimed expert at boat repairs seamanship and a yacht broker. The guy was a complete jackass idiot... I finally got him off the boat yesterday, what a relief.

When we departed Garrucha 10 days ago, the starter motor caught fire when the starter mechanism didn't pull back off the flywheel, basically it broke just like on a car. Not knowing it was still engaged (but not running), when I revved the engine to depart the harbor... it caught fire. Smelling the smoke and seeing the cabin fill with smoke, I immediately shut down the engine. Smelling it was electric in nature, after discovering it was coming from the engine compartment, I also shut down the primary breakers to the electric panel and dropped the anchor manually (we were only 100 meters off the harbor entrance rocks).

Here's where things got bad with the idiot. I'm leaving lot's out, but with him carrying on and not listening or obeying instructions, it became increasingly difficult to think. Now out of the immediate emergency, I wanted to find the source of the fire. He began carrying on about how the boat was going to burn up and sink because I didn't have any "working fire extinguishers onboard,"... I have 20 of them, but he got all excited because I hadn't had them coast guard tested... so he became focused on not dying, when there really wasn't any danger of that. So... then the windlass was stuck and it took 2 hours to get the anchor up... lots of arguing there. Then the roller furling wouldn't work because contrary to what I wanted to do... discover the cause of the fire, I mistakenly used the stupid little crank to roll out the mainsail, because I forgot to turn the main electric breaker back on... wasted time. Then the staysail furling system was filled with gypsum dirt and wouldn't furl in.

Just a nightmare cascade event that was made much, much worse by having someone that argued with everything on board. Lesson learned.... be very careful who I invite onboard in the future. I would have been much better off alone in the situation.... having the peace of mind to think things through logically.

Things only got worse over the next ten days, when I discovered over the next 200 miles (three short passages of 45, 45 and 120 miles, that the guy couldn't take watch or the helm because he didn't know how to navigate, read a radar, read a chartplotter, and decided to kick back and get drunk, sleep... and spend his waking time telling me what an idiot I was and how I was going to kill myself someday along with my family. Turns out, he'd never been out of sight of land in his life, only been on a boat outside a harbor less than 10 times in his entire life and then... always with a captain in charge. I doubt he was ever invited back by anyone ever. His entire boating experience was limited to taking his trawler 200 yards back and forth to the pumpout station every 10-14 days & tinkering.

One time 5 miles out from Cartegena (4pm clear skies), I asked him to take watch for 8 minutes while I went below to use the toilet& get something to eat. When I came back up, the boat had traveled about a mile and was heading directly into a Spanish warship 1/2 mile away that was hailing us to turn away... WTF? He'd turned the boat 90 degrees offshore because he didn't want to" run aground and die on the rocks"... I told him we were heading for Cartegena... that's where the harbor is! That's when it became evident he couldn't read a chart or chartplotter. After I turned us back towards the harbor, the warship resumed live fire exercises! No kidding! I can't make this stuff up. The only other time I went below for five minutes was to once again use the toilet 20 miles offshore from Torrevieja at night... we almost collided with a 150ft fishing boat at 5am. He switched the radar when I went below to 24 miles and was as he put it... "looking way out for ships and land like all good captains do," and didn't see what should have been an enormous shadow rapidly approaching at over 20 knots if the radar had been properly set at 2-4 miles like when I went below.... but was instead a small nearly invisible dot because he'd reset it to 24 miles. Again... he was worried about how far he was from land. Close call less than 100 meters, I had to hit reverse hard in order to slow the boat... I never let him watch anything again. He told me "get a decent radar that works."

I'm alone again, putting the boat back in order today and awaiting my wife and daughter to join me in Mallorca on the 14th. Currently, I'm in Ibiza and Formenterra, and very glad my season didn't end early washing up on the beach in Garrucha because of some knucklehead.
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Old 21-06-2014, 13:27   #93
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I've worked in the construction trades, and I'd equate living and sailing on a boat to working in a woodshop as far as safety is concerned. Sure if you're constantly vigilant and develop good safety habits, you can limit the risk and exposer. But seriously, there's nothing in my daily land based life that exposes me to the possibility of loosing a finger or limb, drowning or serious head injury. On the boat we accept these risks, others can deny they exist, but the risks and dangers are very real. Example: Every time I deploy our 45kg (99 pound) anchor and 1/2 inch chain I risk loosing a foot or hand if I'm careless. I do this task almost daily. Example #2: Two weeks ago I personally went up our 72ft mast to untangle a halyard wrapped around the top of our roller furling; 99.9% of the folks reading this... would be afraid to do this task for understandable reasons. When does something even close to this sort of activity come up in daily land-based life?

Another danger at sea which I discovered over the past couple of weeks is having someone aboard during a passage who won't listen, acts irrationally and refuses to obey orders. On land, one can usually just walk away from the situation, but at sea, the situation has to be dealt with whilst the dangerous situation continues.

On land in the USA, I always carry a handgun. On the boat, I don't feel than a gun is needed where I cruise, but this is an entirely different issue regarding safety. Just one of the reasons I look forward to my cruising months at sea and anchor.
I'm going to take serious issue with this.

You say that "But seriously, there's nothing in my daily land based life that exposes me to the possibility of loosing a finger or limb, drowning or serious head injury."

I would argue that training becomes instinctive and thence forgotten. Take a kitchen knife for instance. How many years of training did you require as a child to learn how to use this item safely? How old were you before you were allowed to use a carving or bread knife without supervision? I know adults to this day who i'm very cautious about when they're handling sharp instruments in my presence.

We completely forget the colossal volumes of training that were put into us to learn how to deal with the simplest of household objects which if handled incorrectly are in some cases just dangerous. in other cases lethal.
How much training did you receive in the dangers of electricity yet everyone handle it without thought? Hot objects? Fire? Heights? Trip hazards? Doors? Skills that are embedded in us very early on but skills to be respected all the same....

I would argue that handling an anchor chain is no more difficult than handling a knife is, once the proper training has been received and the diligence taken to ensure enough practice to make the activity safe. How long did it take you to learn how to safely ascend and descend a mast?

As a rock climber it took me an hour to learn how to secure a harness and figure eight end tie safely. Practice the living s**t out of it as it's basic and will kill you if you do it wrong. I do it now without even thinking about it and have absolutely no fear in it's security.

Once you receive adequate training, and take the time to properly embed the skill, there is absolutely no reason why we should think that anything on a boat is any more dangerous than any of the land based activities in which we partake every minute and hour of our lives.

On to the second topic. Regards taking crew aboard. Everybody had their first time. As an adventure sports instructor who came through a university free education in adventure sports I believe that it is my duty to train others in the same skills for which I received free tuition. Moreover I enjoy teaching. I'm new to this sailing thing but intend to pursue it fervently. However as I'm not from a sailing community and have no sailing friends I'm completely dependent on others for training or sailing experience as I don't own my own boat.

I have had many experiences where I've literally had to stick my bonce in the lions mouth because of others errors, lack of judgement, overblown skills etc etc. Except that as an extreme whitewater kayaker I had to make split second decisions regarding peoples lives. I used to have a saying where I would tell instructees when we took to whitewater that in certain stretches of river that when a problem arises and it needed to be brought to my attention that they had fifteen seconds to tell me the problem. Any more than that and the problem could be so far downstream that I would have little chance of taking decisive action.

All of that is part and parcel of the sport as far as I'm concerned. You can't be put off instructing people by the bad eggs. Just laugh about it and move on.

On a lighter note. I had a good friend around the time I was instructing kayaking, started uni the same year as me, started kayaking the same year yadda yadda. Everyone thought he was an absolute imbecile. He was one of the most intelligent gents I know. People couldn't see past certain limitations he had. He couldn't process more than two pieces of information at a time. Very limited in his quick decision department. As I described it, I could look out the window and take in a view and pick up fifteen pieces of information a second. He could only get two. And there was no indication that the two pieces he was absorbing were the critical pieces. That and he could become critically overloaded by his surroundings. Don't get me wrong. when working at his own pace and in comfortable surroundings the mans a genius.

So we went on holidays kayaking (not the best sport for a person in this situation) in the course of two weeks he crashed the rental car seven times (because he was on the wrong side of the road, was trying to keep up a rather demanding pace, and had four young adults on holidays in the car with him often very hungover....), Got creamed kayaking five times (absolutely hilarious watching this guy trying to tackle grade IV), drove up a steep mountain pass with the handbrake on setting fire to his wheels at the top in the car park when He arrived. Set fire to his dinner several times camping as he couldn't work out the meths stove. He was basically a liability. Still and all he was part of the story that we tell the most and laugh about the hardest.....

C'est la vie....
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Old 21-06-2014, 14:12   #94
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I thought it would be a good thing to share this letter I wrote my wife and a couple of friends two weeks ago regarding a bad crew/guest experience and just how dangerous the situation can be.

Here's the letter:

I hope your sailing season is getting off to a good start. Mine not so, but now back on track and looking forward to a great summer.

I flew a fellow I know over to Spain to assist with the through hull replacements. The guy has lived aboard his boat in for over ten years, bragged about the many deliveries he's done, and was now in hindsight.... turned out to be a self proclaimed expert at boat repairs seamanship and a yacht broker. The guy was a complete jackass idiot... I finally got him off the boat yesterday, what a relief.

When we departed Garrucha 10 days ago, the starter motor caught fire when the starter mechanism didn't pull back off the flywheel, basically it broke just like on a car. Not knowing it was still engaged (but not running), when I revved the engine to depart the harbor... it caught fire. Smelling the smoke and seeing the cabin fill with smoke, I immediately shut down the engine. Smelling it was electric in nature, after discovering it was coming from the engine compartment, I also shut down the primary breakers to the electric panel and dropped the anchor manually (we were only 100 meters off the harbor entrance rocks).

Here's where things got bad with the idiot. I'm leaving lot's out, but with him carrying on and not listening or obeying instructions, it became increasingly difficult to think. Now out of the immediate emergency, I wanted to find the source of the fire. He began carrying on about how the boat was going to burn up and sink because I didn't have any "working fire extinguishers onboard,"... I have 20 of them, but he got all excited because I hadn't had them coast guard tested... so he became focused on not dying, when there really wasn't any danger of that. So... then the windlass was stuck and it took 2 hours to get the anchor up... lots of arguing there. Then the roller furling wouldn't work because contrary to what I wanted to do... discover the cause of the fire, I mistakenly used the stupid little crank to roll out the mainsail, because I forgot to turn the main electric breaker back on... wasted time. Then the staysail furling system was filled with gypsum dirt and wouldn't furl in.

Just a nightmare cascade event that was made much, much worse by having someone that argued with everything on board. Lesson learned.... be very careful who I invite onboard in the future. I would have been much better off alone in the situation.... having the peace of mind to think things through logically.

Things only got worse over the next ten days, when I discovered over the next 200 miles (three short passages of 45, 45 and 120 miles, that the guy couldn't take watch or the helm because he didn't know how to navigate, read a radar, read a chartplotter, and decided to kick back and get drunk, sleep... and spend his waking time telling me what an idiot I was and how I was going to kill myself someday along with my family. Turns out, he'd never been out of sight of land in his life, only been on a boat outside a harbor less than 10 times in his entire life and then... always with a captain in charge. I doubt he was ever invited back by anyone ever. His entire boating experience was limited to taking his trawler 200 yards back and forth to the pumpout station every 10-14 days & tinkering.

One time 5 miles out from Cartegena (4pm clear skies), I asked him to take watch for 8 minutes while I went below to use the toilet& get something to eat. When I came back up, the boat had traveled about a mile and was heading directly into a Spanish warship 1/2 mile away that was hailing us to turn away... WTF? He'd turned the boat 90 degrees offshore because he didn't want to" run aground and die on the rocks"... I told him we were heading for Cartegena... that's where the harbor is! That's when it became evident he couldn't read a chart or chartplotter. After I turned us back towards the harbor, the warship resumed live fire exercises! No kidding! I can't make this stuff up. The only other time I went below for five minutes was to once again use the toilet 20 miles offshore from Torrevieja at night... we almost collided with a 150ft fishing boat at 5am. He switched the radar when I went below to 24 miles and was as he put it... "looking way out for ships and land like all good captains do," and didn't see what should have been an enormous shadow rapidly approaching at over 20 knots if the radar had been properly set at 2-4 miles like when I went below.... but was instead a small nearly invisible dot because he'd reset it to 24 miles. Again... he was worried about how far he was from land. Close call less than 100 meters, I had to hit reverse hard in order to slow the boat... I never let him watch anything again. He told me "get a decent radar that works."

I'm alone again, putting the boat back in order today and awaiting my wife and daughter to join me in Mallorca on the 14th. Currently, I'm in Ibiza and Formenterra, and very glad my season didn't end early washing up on the beach in Garrucha because of some knucklehead.
Guess you didn't know this guy as well as you thought.

Sure sounds like a nightmare. Tops anything I ever had to deal with. There was a thread on here a couple of years back from a member that had a similar nightmare. Crew was a "good friend of a good friend" so the owner flew them in to help on a passage. Crew was constantly impaired, often on illegal substances. Left the boat and didn't show up when they were scheduled to depart, in a bar drunk if I recall. Took the main navigation laptop, against specific instructions and crashed it surfing the internet. Almost set the boat on fire, left drugs in a cabin and when the owners could finally send the crew home he made an anonymous tip to the local authorities to get the owner busted.

Tried to find that one but didn't pop up. Anyone remember that? Might have been from Sarah and Pip on Roaring Girl?
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Old 21-06-2014, 14:17   #95
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Try sailing with a Phsycopath, They will get you killed,
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Old 21-06-2014, 14:51   #96
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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Originally Posted by Allio View Post
I'm going to take serious issue with this.

You say that "But seriously, there's nothing in my daily land based life that exposes me to the possibility of loosing a finger or limb, drowning or serious head injury."

I would argue that training becomes instinctive and thence forgotten. Take a kitchen knife for instance. How many years of training did you require as a child to learn how to use this item safely? How old were you before you were allowed to use a carving or bread knife without supervision? I know adults to this day who i'm very cautious about when they're handling sharp instruments in my presence.

We completely forget the colossal volumes of training that were put into us to learn how to deal with the simplest of household objects which if handled incorrectly are in some cases just dangerous. in other cases lethal.
How much training did you receive in the dangers of electricity yet everyone handle it without thought? Hot objects? Fire? Heights? Trip hazards? Doors? Skills that are embedded in us very early on but skills to be respected all the same....

I would argue that handling an anchor chain is no more difficult than handling a knife is, once the proper training has been received and the diligence taken to ensure enough practice to make the activity safe. How long did it take you to learn how to safely ascend and descend a mast?

As a rock climber it took me an hour to learn how to secure a harness and figure eight end tie safely. Practice the living s**t out of it as it's basic and will kill you if you do it wrong. I do it now without even thinking about it and have absolutely no fear in it's security.

Once you receive adequate training, and take the time to properly embed the skill, there is absolutely no reason why we should think that anything on a boat is any more dangerous than any of the land based activities in which we partake every minute and hour of our lives.

On to the second topic. Regards taking crew aboard. Everybody had their first time. As an adventure sports instructor who came through a university free education in adventure sports I believe that it is my duty to train others in the same skills for which I received free tuition. Moreover I enjoy teaching. I'm new to this sailing thing but intend to pursue it fervently. However as I'm not from a sailing community and have no sailing friends I'm completely dependent on others for training or sailing experience as I don't own my own boat.

I have had many experiences where I've literally had to stick my bonce in the lions mouth because of others errors, lack of judgement, overblown skills etc etc. Except that as an extreme whitewater kayaker I had to make split second decisions regarding peoples lives. I used to have a saying where I would tell instructees when we took to whitewater that in certain stretches of river that when a problem arises and it needed to be brought to my attention that they had fifteen seconds to tell me the problem. Any more than that and the problem could be so far downstream that I would have little chance of taking decisive action.

All of that is part and parcel of the sport as far as I'm concerned. You can't be put off instructing people by the bad eggs. Just laugh about it and move on.


C'est la vie....
Don't expect an invite anytime soon to come aboard our boat. I've already experienced the danger of having an inexperienced "know it all" aboard.
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Old 21-06-2014, 15:17   #97
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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Don't expect an invite anytime soon to come aboard our boat. I've already experienced the danger of having an inexperienced "know it all" aboard.
I don't claim to know it all. don't claim to know much about sailing at all really being new to it. Am very willing to learn though. I've had similar run ins as you with people in my own sport/pastimes/hobbies/career. Don't let it preclude me from exposing myself to new people or inviting others to share the sport I enjoy....

I've also been the numpty who caused the problem. My first climb on a multi pitch I wigged out and wanted to retreat off the second of six pitches. Felt I'd bitten of more than I could chew. My climbing partner talked me down from nearing panic and we went on and finished the climb....
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Old 21-06-2014, 15:31   #98
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

I guess one of the hazards of sailing can be that if you depend on others to maintain their vessels, you may be placed in the position of not knowing what to check before leaving the dock. When you trust others for it, sometimes they let you down. Having a mentor to become a skipper would be a wonderful deal.

I agree with Kenomac that panic made his crew inaccessible to reason. I wonder how Boatie scared his two bad crew, too. I'm only a little over 5 ft. tall (150 cm), I could use being able to be scary!

Ann
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Old 21-06-2014, 15:44   #99
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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I wonder how Boatie scared his two bad crew, too. I'm only a little over 5 ft. tall (150 cm), I could use being able to be scary!

Ann
A big stick and a gruff demeanor???

How about a steely-eyed stare? I knew a sergeant once that wasn't much over 5' and he could make a 6' private shake in his boots with one look. Always wished I could do that.
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Old 21-06-2014, 17:17   #100
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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I'm only a little over 5 ft. tall (150 cm), I could use being able to be scary!

Ann
Moderators, please remove this phrase from my Admirals post. I don't think I could stand her being even more scary than she is now!

Jim
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Old 21-06-2014, 17:26   #101
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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Moderators, please remove this phrase from my Admirals post. I don't think I could stand her being even more scary than she is now!

Jim
No way Jim, I for one am way scared of her.

Coops.
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Old 21-06-2014, 19:05   #102
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
tall (150 cm), I could use being able to be scary!

Ann
It's all in the voice Ann and a stare that cringes the soul of your subject.

(Penetrating but slightly disfocused at the same time)

Practice on Jim and I'm sure you'll get the hang of it.... ) )
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Old 21-06-2014, 22:26   #103
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Depending on how you live, either place could be more dangerous. This is your own life choice.

Whatever the safest possible lifestyle may be, it probably is not very interesting to live.

Focusing on the biggest dangers I faced when offshore, and out of sight of land:

Sometimes ships come close to running me down. I have evaded several times to avoid collision, sometimes 500 miles from land. I can't entirely control this, but being aware of their presence greatly minimizes risk.

I have struck debris. This includes large metal containers and floating logs. luckily the wind was light so I am only traveling 2-3 knots and no damage was done, but it is a real hazard and could occur at any time, though in both cases I was within 100 miles of land, I think debris is less and less common far offshore.

I have had large waves toss the boat around and at times break over the boom and cause the hull to flex enough to break supporting plywood inside as well as shatter solar panels outside. Maritime new zealand held my boat for 6 days for inspection as the weather window passed, then forced me to either sail in a storm or be deported and lose my boat and everything I have. This risk could be minimized by not clearing out through customs when leaving New Zealand. I can't think of another country where this would be a problem.

The benefits at sea clearly outweigh any risks:
  • I never pick up any sicknesses out at sea
  • Time to think and contemplate, it's very peaceful.
  • No flies or mosquitoes
  • Even on the equator, it never seems to be too hot like it can at anchor.
  • dolphins, whales and many other sea creatures
  • Clean air to breath, and rainwater that is safe to drink
  • No annoying people to deal with!
  • new destinations to experience
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Old 21-06-2014, 23:07   #104
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

The reality is that very few people on this earth can really properly assess personal risk. There are so many bias's tattooed in our minds that most of the thoughts pertaining to risk are no where near reality.
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Old 21-06-2014, 23:20   #105
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Have a look on the current BOM Victorian weather site,

Put your feet up and wait for it to pass,

I tried to upload it, But its beyond me,
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