I think it's a place that all of us have to be perhaps a little more diligent too. Often we talk about boats that have made crossings, boats capable of it. But in doing so we also may sometimes neglect to advise of risks and ways to best minimize them. While perhaps one can make it in a certain boat, doesn't mean that is really adequate for safe handling of the conditions one might face. And experience and skill in similar waters is extremely important. We do intend an Atlantic crossing
in a few years, but with much more experience ourselves and with people on board who have done it before. And in a boat we're very comfortable doing it in, not the minimum we think can make it.
While the sailors having problems are still a very small number compared to all those out there, there does seem to be an increased number of adverse events
and many of those tie to three things: Failing to adequately respect conditions, lack of experience on the part of the sailors, and issues with boat either in terms of maintenance
or duplicate systems or emergency
precautions. A bit like tv shows that come with "Don't try this at home" warnings, sometimes we forget that although not labelled as such, my experience and knowledge many here are "professionals" and many considering cruising are "raw amateurs" or "newcomers." We need to encourage but also question when we think they're trying too much too fast. Support but critical support when required.
It's always easy to look at these incidents after the fact and second guess. While I don't want to criticize those who have just been through awful experiences, at the same time in many of them there are lessons to be learned. Some are extreme, like Bounty, like the South Korean ferry
, like Yogi or Costa Concordia. But then there are those like the boats sailing around Hatteras on a day when all the commercial
fishermen who live in that area stayed home and even the Coast Guard pulled back. I know we sometimes go offshore
and around Hatteras, but we know of the dangers and pick only good windows. And don't think my advice for caution is aimed at any segment, as it isn't. From kayaks to cruise
ships sometimes safety
is not adequately considered. Frankly, cruise
ships may scare me most. My wife and I have never been on a cruise and have no desire to be on one. Look at thousands getting sick on a ship, at total systems failure and sewage piling up, at cruise line operators deciding to wait and tow back to a distant port prolonging the suffering to a ship load rather than a closer port that would cost them more.
Let's be Careful Out There.