One of the things that I most enjoy about the forum is that I can learn from the accumulated wisdom (and mistakes) of those who have gone before me. They say boating
is the harshest school
because the exams generally precede the lessons, but the Internet
and the generosity of the community has let us all learn countless things - some large, some small - that could previously have only be gained through direct, hard-won (i.e. expensive, often dangerous) experience. Only now, with the advent of new media, it doesn't necessarily have to be MY experience (odd - I still manage to put a new spin on stupid mistakes
all my own).
There are, of course, fantastic books
, videos, websites, etc. out there with detailed advice from the hard-core practical to the poetic.
However, something that doesn't often feature in formal publications are all the small things that make the boating
community work - etiquette, for lack of a better term. Need to know how to heave-to? Dozens if not hundreds of resources available. Need to understand exactly how much anchoring scope
in a given condition for a given boat and set-up? With the right research
, this information is out there for the taking. But, what do you do if you come up to a marina and the only available mooring
is raft up to a stranger - is there a procedure to approach them? Is it bad form to grill
on a BBQ in a marina? How close is too close when in a crowded anchorage - should you sail over to your neighbour and introduce yourself before dropping the hook?
Courtesy and common sense go a long, long way in any situation, but sometimes you just don't know what you don't know, so aren't even informed enough to formulate the question. I've heard veteran sailors on the dock
grumbling about some "buffoon" who did this or that, while I've secretly thought "I had no idea that wasn't ok - I wonder what people are grumbling about me".
So, here's a call to assemble all those little things that you'd wish someone had told YOU when you first set out...
... and here's to less grumbling!
(apologies if there is a already a Study Hall posting
for this - I didn't see one).