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Old 04-03-2014, 10:30   #31
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

I think fear is a function of knowledge, experience, planning, reaction, and your own threshold for risk. Maybe something like:

F = (K + E +P + R) T

Knowledge is useful because you don't know what you don't know until something happens that puts a fine point on the fact you didn't know it. That said, knowledge gained through experience is most often more valuable than knowledge gained from a book, because you have context and it's better imprinted into your brain.

Experience is what you get from doing, sometimes five seconds after you needed it, which is unfortunate but the way experience works.

Planning is putting knowledge and experience to work in advance of a situation or circumstance, while reaction is the ability to put them to work during a situation.

And your threshold? Everyone is different. And your threshold moves as you gain experience and knowledge.

I know a long-time offshore sailor who is a former naval aviator flying off carriers who is intensely risk averse. He leaves almost nothing to chance. He has CNG on his boat because for him the risk of propane is too great. When offshore he suits up like he's walking on the moon every time he's on watch, even in temperate benign conditions. He wears a scolamine patch even though he does not get sea sick. Etc, etc, etc.

His aversion to risk causes him to go about things much differently than I do, but that's his gig. It's what he needs to do in order to enjoy sailing. For me, much of what he does seems unnecessary and would be so overbearing as to make life on a boat a chore, but I respect his attitude and decisions. It's his boat.

Prudence is a funny thing. We all have it in different measures, and for each of us it is defined by temperament, experience, and knowledge. Mark has circled the globe and nothing bad happened. That's a function of his experience, his knowledge, his temperament, and to some degree, luck.

I know a guy who was hit by lightning while his boat was in a slip in Annapolis in what seemed to be a harmless summer shower. The guy hardly ever left the dock. Bad luck. What kind of useful lesson are you going to take from that, and how will it change your tolerance for risk? All of us are different.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:57   #32
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

If the OP, Tuffr2 is not Tuffrnuff, perhaps another lifestyle is advisable
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:58   #33
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

I will take luck over good judgement and caution anyday! Phil
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:19   #34
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
I will take luck over good judgement and caution anyday! Phil

I assume you mean only GOOD luck.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:20   #35
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

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Old 04-03-2014, 12:34   #36
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

lol i say let me and bubba live thru my next screw up,and it is kisses to the sky, where from i have seen my guardian angels emerge with gentle hands and long dark hair to ease..yada yada...yup.. didnt die. shoulda. kiss the sky ..they up there...

lol

the more i know, the less my anxiety and disruption of daily living..is an anticipation of adventure...awesome like pre concert/gig /race butterflies ...ye always get them...is how you use them.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:40   #37
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
If I wrote a book it would be called "My circumnavigation. It was Nice. Nothing Bad happened"
I wonder if I would sell any copies?


If you want to know what really happens cruising have a look at a video I made


That's what happened when the fellow sailed from the west coast to Hawaii in his West Wight Potter 19. When people asked him to write about what it was like he said it was so uneventful that there was nothing to write about.
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:43   #38
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

Often the sailing adventure books are written by those folks that take an ordinary trip and through poor planing and judgment turn it into a major death defying adventure.
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:52   #39
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

I am the OP - I am a very positive person. Just wanted to hear from others that are actually sailing and making passages. What 'not so good things' have happened to you. All replies are appreciated as I am trying to learn.

I will say a little prayer (like someone else kinda mentioned) "Oh Lord, don't let me do anything really stupid".
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:55   #40
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

It might be wise to just use some common sense and not depend on imaginary friends to look out for you.
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Old 04-03-2014, 15:15   #41
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Scariest thing so far is the size of the boatyard bill.
If only that was just a joke!!!
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Old 04-03-2014, 15:46   #42
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

We have had some unpleasant things happen at sea, but there are two which still stand out for me.

One, after leaving Bay of Islands, NZ, for Fiji, about 3 days out, we both came down with the Victoria A flu, to which we must have been exposed while provisioning. High fever, nausea and diarrhea, and I was so weak that I had to rest on the setee between my berth and the toilet. Jim, too was too sick. We were unable to keep watch. We hove to, turned on the anchor light, and for two days NO ONE kept watch--we were unable to. To me, that was the scariest one.

Two, we were caught in a deepening cut off low between Australia and Lord Howe Is. This storm was not predicted by the source we were using. (Now one can easily check various models.) We had winds sustained in the high 40's, and two sets of swells running, with waves with breaking tops, but not too huge. Sailing was tiring, and quite lumpy, the windvane was coping. Not long after I came on watch, we were rolled down by the waves. I was standing in the companionway at the time, below, facing aft, so I did not see whether the spreaders were in the water, but water did start coming in through the dorade placed 18" from the mast, and slightly aft of it. The damage that was done was to break the windvane rudder, and blow out the starboard side dodger windows. Jim saved the stove-in perspex, and made the decision to return to Australia (Brisbane), put the boat hard on the wind on port tack, and headed west, and next morning used duct tape on the perspex and renewed our weather protection.

After two days of beating, using an electric autopilot, we received a weather report from friends on land, that the winds were due to ameliorate in 12 hrs. We hove to, to rest, and proceed in under gentler conditions. We were about 65 n. mi. SE of Cape Moreton. We had a hot meal, and planned to each take a nap. I had been asleep when there was a loud KA BANG! Jim immediately went above-decks, and I suited up, hit the switch for the deck light, futilely, as it happened, for the mast was in the water, making a squeaky, sort of grindy noise against the hull. Jim decided to ditch the rig.

The boom was resting on the port lifelines, and the main sheet and the stays'l sheet were holding it, and all the wires were on, except the clevis pin from the starboard lower was rolling on deck between the chainplate and the toe rail.
Jim did not cut the wire, he removed the pins, then we cut the lines, and the furler, mast (with its winches and antennas and all the running rigging) and boom went into the sea.

We huddled in the cockpit, letting it sink for a lot longer than perhaps we needed to, then did another tour to be sure there were no lines over the side, started the motor, and began the long motor in to the Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club. The next morning, Jim rigged a jury rig antenna so we could have our shoreside friends notify Customs what we were doing, and eventually made it into Moreton Bay just on dusk. Friends (who had nav lights--our tricolor was at the bottom of the Tasman) escorted us. It was at the time EXTREMELY important to me that we had made it in safely without requiring assistance. They wanted so much to help.

After the event, I felt quite shaken in my confidence. But, although it was upsetting, it wasn't nearly so scary to me as the helpless feeling when both of us were too sick to do anything.

If I could, I'd copyright the story. I beg any budding authors to please not use this one in your work. Thank you.
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Old 04-03-2014, 15:47   #43
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

This isn't just a crossing or sailing question. We face it every day. Some we've come to accept fairly easily, like driving a car. But then you have a friend in an awful crash and you think a lot more about it. Many people have a very real fear of planes, in spite of the minimum risk.

Fact is on crossings and sailing if you do it enough there will be things to go wrong. Danger is what makes us train ourselves, educate ourselves, and prepare ourselves. We anticipate all those things that can break and carry spares. We think about how we'd handle various circumstances. In today's world we carry various forms of communication or notification. Then we decide we can accept the risk. The true danger is a sailor who doesn't think about the danger. The extreme is "Bounty". But most prepare, gain confidence, and do it. And handle whatever happens. As a result there are very very few lives lost at sea.

My biggest fear is pirates, because they're somewhat beyond my control. But then I mitigate that some as there are places I choose to avoid. So danger restricts me from enjoying those areas. I accept that. I also take other precautions. Still every time there is piracy it gives me pause. Doesn't stop me, but makes me think.
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Old 04-03-2014, 16:09   #44
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Re: Thinking too much about danger

Everywhere you go there are local people sailing. All we do is sail to the next bunch of locals, connect the dots so to speak. Sometimes it just takes a bit longer.

Most of the stuff that happens out there is the same stuff that happens day sailing. You get thumped by a squall, some boat bit fails etc. You just deal with it.

Sandy and I both promised to keep family and friends informed via blogs which can be a pain, but we try. The funny thing is, they can't believe we're on the same boat! So, one person's scary is another's 'we're cool'.

For us the scary stuff is coming into marinas. They always under estimate our weight and size and try to fit a Tonka toy into a Matchbox slip. Full keel, no bow thruster, 30 tons and 65ft tip to tip. And yes, I can back and fill. We've never touched another boat but we sometimes have to go around a couple of times.

Our Kraken experience was at night in the Pacific. We were ambling along at 4 knots and Sandy and I were both in the cockpit. Suddenly we heard a loud cavernous 'blow' right next to the boat, way louder than a dolphin. We shot across the cockpit but could see nothing in the dark. We heard it a second time and Sandy brought up the big spotlight but by the time we got it plugged in the moment and creature were passed. Most likely a disturbed whale. We've heard they sleep on the surface.

It's a great life. Forget Youtube and just go.

Vic
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Old 04-03-2014, 16:38   #45
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pirate Re: Thinking too much about danger

Quote:
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... For us the scary stuff is coming into marinas.... Full keel, no bow thruster, 30 tons and 65ft tip to tip. And yes, I can back and fill. We've never touched another boat but we sometimes have to go around a couple of times. ... Vic
Geez Vic, this seems to scream for a bow thruster.

One scary thing I recall was milling around off Catalina Is waiting to "race" back to Long Beach. Start line was the usual mob scene of weekend wonders like us. I was up on the bow of our Columbia 26 with a great view as we were T-boned by a bigass boat just like yours. The bowsprit missed the hull but pierced the cabin going in and coming out the other side. The wind never came and we motored home shaken, not stirred.
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