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Old 27-10-2014, 10:48   #1
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Born to Sailing?

I recently read the book “Breaking Seas”. Purportedly a true story about the problems a man has as he prepares for, and then begins, sailing.

A very odd individual, if true. One of the many issues he claimed to encounter was a resistance to outsiders learning to sail. In his Beginning Sailing classes he encountered an opinion that if one were not raised to the sailing culture you were holding the rest back (class was a first step to a Captains license and the students didn’t want someone just learning to sail in a Beginning Sailing Class. Anyway, what the book claimed) I blew it off as hyperbole, or paranoia on his part until two encounters I have had over the last couple of weeks.

I am a newbie/wannabie with dreams of retiring in 10-12 years on livaboard. I’m taking classes, and trying to gain experience. I discuss this on occasion with friends and co-workers. Most have no sailing experience and reply with concern about pirates, & storms, or glee over how wonderful the dream… Except the two I encountered on two separate occasions that DID have some sailing experience (I live in Oklahoma City. Being land locked there ain’t a lot.). BOTH have stated point blank that one must be ‘Born to Sailing’ (one lady’s phrase) to consider a livaboard. It wasn’t just that she believed it a bad idea, it was the look of barely disguised anger/disgust that gave me pause.

My Questions:
Is this just arrogance or does it have merit?

How common is this sort of opinion? I'm batting a thousand here, but not much of a sample pool to go on.

-sterling
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Old 27-10-2014, 11:07   #2
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Re: Born to Sailing?

No merit.
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Old 27-10-2014, 11:37   #3
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Re: Born to Sailing?

DailyL- Ignore the nay sayers- they are jealous or have their own issues you don't need to take on. Hubby and I had NO sailing experience other than being on a friends hobi cat. We've now taken the 101 cert and will be taking the barefoot classes this coming summer. We started selling off our stuff before even taking the first class, we plan to start cruising in 5-7 years.
Just make your plans, do what you need to make them happen and then enjoy your time sailing.
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Old 27-10-2014, 11:41   #4
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Re: Born to Sailing?

Very weird. I've never heard of our seem any such response. Every sailor I know is very supportive of new people coming to sailing

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Old 27-10-2014, 12:01   #5
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Re: Born to Sailing?

DailyLunatic -- Keep on with your plans, and don't be dissuaded. When my husband was about 7 years away from retiring we started taking the Coast Guard auxiliary boating classes knowing we wanted to liveaboard when he retired (and the kids moved on). Mind you, we didn't even own a boat when we took those classes -- and didn't get one until about 5 years later!! But in those years we kept attending classes, online and in person, did a lot of reading, and a lot of dreaming.

My husband would tell people at work our plans, and invariably he would be met with negativity -- oh, yeah, right, you're gonna sell it all and live on a boat!! They simply cannot comprehend somebody ACTUALLY following their dreams and not just talking about them.

As to no sailing experience, we had none either (still don't have much), but we didn't "know" how to own a house when we bought one years ago, and nobody said, "You've never owned a home, what are you thinking?? You know nothing about home ownership."

We had never been parents before our kids were born, nobody told us, "You don't know anything about having and caring for children, what are you thinking?"

And if you're paying to take classes, the other people in the classes shouldn't be concerned with what you know and don't -- that's why you're taking classes, to learn. And you've paid your money, ask the stupid questions in those classes and don't worry about what the others think.

"Born to sailing"??? Sounds more like born to narrow-mindedness, if you ask me.
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Old 27-10-2014, 12:59   #6
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Re: Born to Sailing?

I had heard of this attitude among the professional racers, but not among cruisers.

We haven't received any negativity towards our plans. Unless you count our somewhat nervous parents. Even they can't quite say anything against us, mostly because they are so financially focused and we are maxing out retirement funds and living frugally for as long as we have jobs.
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Old 28-10-2014, 08:40   #7
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Re: Born to Sailing?

D,
The concept is absurd . . . however, I do believe there is an ancestral memory encoded in our DNA from extant populations that lived for hundreds if not thousands of years in and around a seafaring culture. Why is someone who lives in Oklahoma or Nebraska with no prior exposure irresistibly drawn to the sea? We see it in studies of genetics where generations of families have a highly developed propensity for Math or Music. As we continue to decode the human genome, many of the enigmas of Man will be revealed. And, if you really want to lose friends and not influence your neighbors by being politically incorrect, do a study of the sailors you meet in your journeys. Most will have surnames from England, Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia. Coincidence? That's for you to decide. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:09   #8
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Re: Born to Sailing?

I caught the "sailing bug" in my mid 30s although I wish it happened in my teens. I hope to catch up to early starters soon.

An aquaintance who was just about 40 at the time, 2-3 years ago, came with us on a long weekend coastal cruise. Never was on a sailboat before other than those sunset drink 1-2 hr crowded cruises. Liked our trip, asked us about where he can take some classes etc and mentioned casually that he is thinking to do it right away. Of course we discounted all of this as fresh excitement talk of being first time on board and with most people the zeal usually dissipates as soon as routine life commitments take their course. About a year or two later come to find out through a mutual friend that the guy did take that cert. course up to Master 50 and joined that sailing club and one year later got a six pack license and is now doing occasional charters in the Carribean. What helped him was the fact that in his regular work he can do most of it out of anywhere as long as he has a decent internet connection.
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:25   #9
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Re: Born to Sailing?

Nobody is born to sailing, everybody learns to sail at some point whether they start at 6 or 60.
Ignore the narrow minded insecure people that say this, take classes, get out on whatever water you can in whatever boat you can and most of all have fun.

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Old 28-10-2014, 10:44   #10
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Re: Born to Sailing?

Main thing to remember is to not let anyone other than you decide on your happiness.

Whether it is sailing or something else that you find enjoyment from, someone else will take issue as they do not personally see any benefit from it. If you study the other person, quite a few are simply not happy themselves, for whatever reason, and if they do not lead a satisfying and fulfilling life you do not need their approval for following your own path.
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:58   #11
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Re: Born to Sailing?

I bet there are some circles that believe they are more inner than others. I have seen people in relevant tees and not saying hello when they land on a public dock. Why should they.

I sometimes accidentally push them over the edge. I watch them splash and I do not say I was sorry. Why should I.

Sailing is not a Rotary Club where you must be introduced by someone who is an Amway Diamond. The wind is still free. Yes, Club Members are just about to tax it. So live your sailing now, before they do.

Sailing is hoisting the sail on your dinghy, kayak or windsurfer and getting a bit wet and cold and happy. Drinking a beer or a whiskey afterwards is not sailing: the name is social drinking. Participating in rallies is called cruising. This is basically social drinking close to some boats.

I have never asked any "insider" to teach me how to. I went out and sailed, then sailed some more. And that was 30 years ago, before the Internet, youtube, before I could read any sailing magazines and before I could afford my own boat. It sure may be an easier affair today that relevant information is so much easier to access.

Fair winds,
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:50   #12
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Re: Born to Sailing?

"I have never asked any "insider" to teach me how to. I went out and sailed, then sailed some more." Barnakiel


B,
But, in those quiet moments, you must feel a sense of regret, loss and consternation when you walk a dock, take a dinghy to shore, or hoist a sail on a freshly building sea without sporting a "relevant tee" as a symbol of your status and métier. I'm sure there are those on this Forum, myself included, who feel your pain and wish you healing. Good luck, good sailing and remember . . . the call of the herd is strong . . . you must follow or be lost. Captain Rognvald
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Old 28-10-2014, 12:20   #13
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Re: Born to Sailing?

The above posts are right on. Maybe those "exclusive" must-be-born-into it attitude people are just afraid that you'll have better sailing skills! (At least this is how children on playgrounds perceive things when they form little groups and try to exclude others)
Does someone have to be born to a musician parent in order to learn how to play the piano? Can't be a great scientist if not "born" into a family of scientists? The absurdity of such an ignorant, arrogant view is mind boggling. Can't take 'em seriously and they can't stop you from becoming an honest-to-goodness sailor with just as much credibility as an other.
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Old 28-10-2014, 13:59   #14
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Re: Born to Sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/vAngel View Post
The above posts are right on. Maybe those "exclusive" must-be-born-into it attitude people are just afraid that you'll have better sailing skills! (At least this is how children on playgrounds perceive things when they form little groups and try to exclude others)
Does someone have to be born to a musician parent in order to learn how to play the piano? Can't be a great scientist if not "born" into a family of scientists? The absurdity of such an ignorant, arrogant view is mind boggling. Can't take 'em seriously and they can't stop you from becoming an honest-to-goodness sailor with just as much credibility as an other.

Angel,
I think you have misread/misinterpreted some of the above statements and since you are a published author, may I also suggest you read the meaning of irony, sarcasm and wit as literary devices. It will greatly help you better understand the comments of some of the respondents on this Forum and will undoubtedly enrichen your loyal readership. Good luck, good sailing and may your mind never be boggled with ignorance and arrogance. It may never truly recover. Handbook of Literary Terms: yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300164312
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Old 28-10-2014, 16:40   #15
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Re: Born to Sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
"I have never asked any "insider" to teach me how to. I went out and sailed, then sailed some more." Barnakiel


B,
But, in those quiet moments, you must feel a sense of regret, loss and consternation when you walk a dock, take a dinghy to shore, or hoist a sail on a freshly building sea without sporting a "relevant tee" as a symbol of your status and métier. I'm sure there are those on this Forum, myself included, who feel your pain and wish you healing. Good luck, good sailing and remember . . . the call of the herd is strong . . . you must follow or be lost. Captain Rognvald
Hahaha!

Yep! You got me again, Sir.

Let's wait another couple of years and see if any regrets come. I will post here when anything crops up.

I am sure 100% happy the call of the herd thing is out there: for it keeps 99% of boats out of my way (read: tied to their docks, mortgages and clubs).

A have a friend who says: "I would not like to be a member in any club that would accept me as a member". But I do not make another religion out of my heresy. I ask others not to follow my example and not to anchor close in to take pictures without a written model release.

;-)
Love, from afar,
b.
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