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Old 30-07-2009, 11:13   #16
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Nice one Gord, I know what I'll be reading this weekend. I may start introducing myself as an Affirmative Deviant, then again, maybe not. I already had to look up autotelic on about page two though. It could quickly get over a sailors head.
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Old 30-07-2009, 12:48   #17
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First and best test about deep water psycology:

When the boat is totally out of sight of land do you feel happier or more concerned, and when land is sighted again, do you get more concerned, or feel releaved.

Another good test

Middle of the ocean, nearest land 1+ mile (down) - how do you feel about swimming?
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Old 30-07-2009, 12:54   #18
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First and best test about deep water psycology:

When the boat is totally out of sight of land do you feel happier or more concerned, and when land is sighted again, do you get more concerned, or feel releaved.
excellent!
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Old 30-07-2009, 12:59   #19
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Make it normal

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First and best test about deep water psycology: When the boat is totally out of sight of land do you feel happier or more concerned, and when land is sighted again, do you get more concerned, or feel releaved.

Another good test.....
Another good test is how does one go about making it that way ? Each crew member has some worry, but also some comfort area. I'd bake bread to let them sea that life was normal. Keep the radio on for the morning. Scrub down occasionally.

Now I could write "Tax collectors" on empty bottles and let the crew shoot at them...
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Old 30-07-2009, 13:14   #20
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The Proper 'Offshore Psychology?'
I thinks it's being self sufficient emotionally enough to deal with the unknown. If you have no prior skills then how do you start anything? If you need too much advice then what happens when you have none at all. You have to be able to focus on situations and see the important parts. It may mean you have to find the mistakes just before it's too late too. People that somehow are able to do anything have this skill. That's not just being lucky.

If it's about the psychology alone then you could say the rest is just practice. With enough practice you can sail pretty well. The two are not mutually exclusive and do compliment each other well.

So the ability to keep failing yet keep trying vs the ability to make every attempt better than the last. The work harder vs work smarter debate does not really have an end. We all have some of each and play to our strengths.
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Old 30-07-2009, 13:39   #21
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Yes, the invention of GPS and now attached chartplotters has made it a much different world. It's now starting to lean toward what has occurred in motor boating: Just buy a 400 HP DOnzi, turn the key and start jumping waves toward your destination! Ditto for sailing: check the chartplotter! It says you're not on land so I guess you're OK! Now some even suggest no paper charts. I learn something from a paper chart everytime I look at it. How many newbies can nav with a running fix? Nav by bottom contour? etc.... Most boats are lost by hitting land, not in the "perfect storm" (no sailboats lost in that one!)
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Old 30-07-2009, 14:04   #22
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Yes, the invention of GPS and now attached chart plotters has made it a much different world.
I would disagree. There always was causal recreational users that made up most of the boating world - still is. Recreational boats is barely 200 years old. To say that suddenly GPS changes all that is not really accurate. If all you needed was a GPS then I would just get a Donzi - it's cheaper and faster.

GPS driven chart plotters may be an insult to some but they work. They are not now nor ever will be navigation and piloting in a box. Boating will not be changed because some new technology is not something complete. Such attitudes are at best elitist. You can still be stupid if you don't have a chart plotter so it follows they won't make you graduate the 6th grade - it's obvious.
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Old 30-07-2009, 14:23   #23
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I think there is something to be said for the 'magic' of leaning against a shroud trying to take a sight with a sextant on a bouncing boat, but most of that gets said ashore. Having seen Rangiroa's light come up where I thought it should passing through the Tuamoto's at night, the GPS certainly helps my 'offshore psychology.' Not to say that we didn't record the ships position on a paper chart or in the log at every change of watch.
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Old 30-07-2009, 14:37   #24
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I think there is something to be said for the 'magic' of leaning against a shroud trying to take a sight with a sextant on a bouncing boat
The magic never goes away. Many activities always will have romance. It's just if you can see it or not. You sure as anything can see it staring at a chart plotter. Maybe in 100 years.
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Old 30-07-2009, 14:51   #25
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Not to be critical, Tareua: but if your hips are on the coachroof and feet against the rail, or some such solid lower half bracing — sextant sights get more 'magic' as the torso sways to take the rock and roll out of it.

My best magic, Paul, is when the two — or three — techniques come together. And getting in the shade from this 34ºC / 50º N summer. Global insanity...
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Old 30-07-2009, 14:58   #26
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This is a really good thread as it highlights the differences of what we expect to experience with long term cruising vs reallity.

I had joined a sailing club in the SF bay and took classes and rented boats for three years before buying my Cabo Rico 38. I lived aboard at Grand Marina slip B37 ( hi folks) for 12 years, sailing on the bay and crewing on several coastal deliveries.

I thought that my boat-skills were to a point that I could go cruising. October 8th of 2000 I sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge, turned left and started the adventure of a lifetime.

December 1st of 2001 I finished my transit of the Panama Canal and sailed east into the Caribbean, singlehandling, and I decovered that I didn't have a clue.

The learning curve was very steep as I aquired the skills to cope with the conditions that I encountered.

Be gentle with those who experience bad luck.
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Old 30-07-2009, 15:08   #27
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Most boats are lost by hitting land, not in the "perfect storm" (no sailboats lost in that one!)
Yup, the ones we wind up discussing are usually lost at sea. But, far more are lost on rocks, reefs, and beaches where survival at sea is not implicated at all.

I don’t have much experience with ocean passages: 23 hrs. from T&C to Luperon, DR; 4 days from N.J. to Bermuda. When I’m out of sight of land, there are no known hazards to worry about, and the weather is reasonable, I’m totally relaxed. On passages catastrophic system failure or severe unexpected weather change is always possible, but generally they are far in the back of my mind.

Island hopping the Bahamas/Caribbean is completely different. We saw 3 boats lost on rocks/reefs and several more damaged due to poor seamanship or bad luck. Every time we hoisted sail we were going some place we had never been before. We knew that in less than a day we would need to deal with shoals, reefs, and unfamiliar anchorages. No matter how well researched and prepared for such trips, I always played the "what if" game: what if I lose steering or the engine fails, where would be the worst place, what would I do, what about a sudden squall near shallow water, how much leeway should I give the shoals, etc. etc.

Ocean passages are either boring and exhausting or exciting and exhausting. Island hopping always involves some tension and there's always a feeling of relief when the anchor is finally set.
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Old 30-07-2009, 15:17   #28
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The problem with GPS is that it gives people the false sense that if they use a chart plotter they can navigate from Point A to Point B. Then they get on this site and ask questions their GPS won't answer, such as, "How much fuel will I need to sail to Hawaii?" While the GPS will tell you how far away Hawaii is, it won't warn you about the Pacific High, nor will it compute your energy budget, nor does it really know how long a passage will take for a boat with a given waterline.

The only problem with any of this is that some neophytes, rather than picking up the necessary navigational skills (beyond how to program a waypoint into a GPS), get on this site and ask questions such as how much fuel they need to take. I guess I'm one of the naysayers, because part of me wants to answer that if you can't figure out this question for yourself, you're not ready to make the trip.

I'm not a purist who would say that you shouldn't sail to Hawaii unless you can take a noon sight. However, if you can't compute your boat's daily energy use in amp hours, and you don't know how many gallons per hour your diesel uses to charge, or how many hours it takes your alternator to bring your batteries from a 50% charge up to 80%, in my opinion you shouldn't be out there making passages. That goes double if you can't realistically figure how many miles per day your boat will average once it hits the trade winds.
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Old 30-07-2009, 15:22   #29
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Well, I hope my earlier post wasn't misinterpreted to suggest that there's anything wrong with a GPS or that everyone need master celestial navigation. The GPS is perhaps the single biggest innovation in navigation since Harrison's H-5 (?). I only meant to suggest that the relative difficulty of learning the skill of celestial navigation may have worked to weed out the dilettantes from those who were more serious. The need/desire to be self-sufficient in navigation (i.e., learning the proper skills, including celestial) probably goes hand-in-hand with an overall ethos of self-sufficiency.
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Old 30-07-2009, 15:31   #30
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Now a big screen color chart plotter showing up on my boat, that would be magic.

For me offshore, much of the real magic was in the remoteness. Stopping places and getting mail even made the world seem bigger. A satelite phone and tweeting or whatever in mid ocean sounds dreadful to me. I liked the once an evening check in with other boats on the ssb.

I'm sure next trip if I have to pull out my old plastic sextant, I'll be able to find Asia from almost anywhere in the Pacific.
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