I don't see much chatter on the subject anywhere, so I thought I would drop a thread to see if we can record
other sailor's reasoning for it, as well as my own. Having done it for quite a while of my sailing life, friends and other's either react as if I am crazy, or that I am going after some romantic super human achievement, and their reasonings at least for me are so off-base or misconstrued I tend to just agree with them to get to the next subject these days. You can try and explain it but they don't listen or turns it into some argument. You see, it's not because of arrogance or some 19th century idealogical Man vs Nature kind of thing. Hardly close to the truth. The reason is, at least for me is, I gravitate to sailing solo because of my "limitations" not for any strengths or to gain any strengths from the experience. Because perhaps I am not as good as other people in certain social situations, and sometimes it's just a matter of practicality and timing. And here are my reasons:
- I'm spontaneous and can't wait for other people at the dock
or plan with other people.
- People moving on a boat or pointing to things confuses me and distracts my concentration while steering
- Soloing is more affordable - smaller yacht, storage
and supplies. Easier plans.
- I don't like group think or group decisions during journeys or even in rooms. My ideals are always right and sound.
- After 1-2 days in a closed space I might make your life living hell with my complaining and temperament.
- I need to know where everything is all the time. All forks must be in the fork box. A toothpick out of place will confuse me to know end and make me loose lots of precious calories trying to find it.
- Human voices annoy me in the morning. Banging pots annoy me in the morning.
- I don't like people sitting on my toilet seat. I do not want anyone else's cooties.
- I cannot stand any stereo system on the boat, yet alone music
of any kind. I need to hear what is going on around me, i need to feel the vibrations on deck
with bare feet, i need to feel the wave and ocean rhythms via the tiller. If I can't do this I will get bitter and yell at someone and panic and complain.
- I can't sit still and need to be active all the time or I will loose it. Relaxing is boring and useless to me.
- I am a horrible judgement of other peoples character. If I chose as crew a grinder who had climbed 7 peaks and walked solo across Australia
, he might end up holding a flare pistol to my head
panicked in a light gale crying for his mommy; while the skinny yoga instructor I picked up as crew in the supermarket sewed back on her severed arm with dental floss and is now making tea singing a beatles song.
- I have a real aversion to the situation that if the boat sank, and we were all in the water
, life-craft busted, I would have to say to the crew "Well, I guess this is it. Can I just say to you all: you've been a great crew...sorry we are all going to die now? Hugs?"
- I would equally hate to come on deck
in the morning and find my fellow cruiser missing.
- I can't stand useless conversations...conversations that drone on about nothing pretending they are meaningful:
CREW #1: "Why are people so complacent and insulting in our society these days?"
CREW #2: "Because that's just the way life is, you moron!"
There are of course gains by going solo. Besides the hyper awareness to the environment
I describe, you are also hyper aware to yourself. Most of the times that "mirror" to yourself is frightening and ugly and raw. But you learn from it, and it helps in other areas once you do arrive somewhere. It's short-lived though. These weakness do not usually go away, but you learn to accept them and perhaps manage them better. And you go back out to get recharged from time to time.