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Old 12-07-2011, 11:49   #16
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

patience-- what i said wasnt an attempt to go around your honey-- was meant to be an addendum to his style....
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:56   #17
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

The rule on our boat between my wife and I is: we always do the most conservative thing that either feels conditions call for! Period, there is no trying to talk the other out of it! If 1 feels it is time to reef, we reef! If 1 feels a better course for the condition is called for, we change course! etc. etc.

We even apply this to guests on board to fullest we can (we don't take new guests out in questionable conditions).

We have spend 4 years now slowly going out in conditions just a little more out of of comfort zone.

AND it isn't always my wife who first says it is time for taking the conservative action. Sometimes I chicken out first!

I would bet that the real issue is of a sense of control and if everyone feels they have some control they will be more comfortable in the long run.
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:02   #18
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

I don't like roller coasters, yet somehow I find myself on them from time to time. What I do is raise my arms and scream at the top of my lungs, you know, just, "Ahhhhhhgggg!" and everybody thinks I am having fun, and then, (I don't know why) I actually find I am having fun. Try to just go for it. And keep telling yourself, "There are worse ways to die!" I do the same on boats, as the wind is blowing and the waves are washing across the deck, and the shark fins start swirling about, I yell out, "Men of the sea!" I doubt this helps you, but it works for me. Or you could go take a sailing lesson without Mr. Wonderful, which is probably your best bet.
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:13   #19
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

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What I do is raise my arms and scream at the top of my lungs, you know, just, "Ahhhhhhgggg!"

Perhaps if you do this, the captain and crew will adjust the boat to suit your needs and comfort zone.
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Old 16-07-2011, 23:58   #20
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

Thanks everybody for your inputs, it helps a lot. Lots of things to think about and consider. We went out for a few more sails since I asked the question, and it didn't get much better! It was cold and super windy and yucky, where's summer anyway? I thought I could take on some responsibilities like the lines and seriously screwed things up within minutes. All the sailing has been heeled way over but apparently it's normal. It would be ok if there wernt pounding waves and fierce cold wind to go with it. So when the sails go up or down, it's all yelling and fast and crazy because of all the wind. It's totally stressful! I guess I better take some lessons in a calmer slower environment where it's not feeling like the edge of disaster. I don't function well under pressure. I have been looking at all those pictures in the middle of Latidudes and Attitudes with all the sunsets, doggies, smiling people in bathing suits, kids and beaches and I am wondering where's the connection!? Why am I doing "this" and they get to do "that"! I want some of "that"!
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Old 17-07-2011, 02:43   #21
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

My pree-teen son had a hard time dealing with the heeling on my first boat (a rather tippy folkboat), I kept reassuring him we were fine but to no avail. Then he didn't sail for the better part of a year, and now he's just fine with the motion - probably needed the time off to work through the issue and understand that his fears were unfounded. Being on my current (larger) boat also helped, psychologically, I believe.

BWS
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Old 17-07-2011, 04:07   #22
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

I may not be a lady, but I am a woman and I have been living aboard for over 20 years. I still remember my first sail with Manny. We had just bought a little 23 foot boat and headed straight out for a sail. It was a blustry day with a good chop and some onshore waves. I paniced. We turned around and within 15 minutes we were back at our slip. Manny was quite upset. I couldn't understand where my fear came from. I love the water and had dinghy sailed as a teen. I went straight out a took a keel boat sailing course and returned a week later MUCH more confident.

Even if you don't want to take a course, beginning to learn how to take part in sailing the boat will really help. Holding the wheel sometimes. Pulling on the sheets during tacking... Also learning where to sit when the boat is beating to wind or rolling in swells can really help. For example, I always watch that guests new to sailing don't get stuck in a corner of the cockpit on the low side when we are heeling. Sometimes just moving forward on the high side where you can get a good view of the horizon will lessen the discomfort.

And there is a lot to be said for experience. Once, when we ran into my first good gale, Manny said to me, just remember that next time you are in weather like this it won't seem so bad. At the time, that didn't seem to help much, but he was absolutley right. Perhaps this season's you've been exposed to rougher conditions... the weather has been more windy.... you might find that if the sea conditions are calmer next time you'll feel better. Sailing conditions change with the seasons everywhere.

Talking to your mate is definetly good. Even so, sometimes its hard for them to understand our fears. If you have been off the water for awhile, you just may need to build up confidence again. That's totally normal.

I hope your next sail is on a lovely sunny day with 12 knots of wind. Things will look completely different then.

Robyn
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:00   #23
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

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It would be ok if there wernt pounding waves and fierce cold wind to go with it. So when the sails go up or down, it's all yelling and fast and crazy because of all the wind. It's totally stressful!
Why do you keep going in these conditions?

I think the answer is simple. YOU decide what days you want to go. And pick nice days. If that means you can only go once a month, then that's what it needs to be.

I love sailing as well as many other activities where weather plays a factor. When the weather isn't what I'd like, whether it be for sailing, scuba diving or snowmobiling, I simply don't do it.

It sounds like you have enjoyed the nice warm, calm days, so stick with that.
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:22   #24
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

is nice to be out on the water without a care and find weather without notice--is good to watch the seas and winds for changes-- not always able to avoid weather by not going out. i found 60 kt winds weren't predicted just north of cabo and we had a ball---need to be ready for anything whenye go cruising as nothing ever is as noaa predicts.
there ar always signs f building seas and building winds-- watch and take note and then you are ready for next one after that one....
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:39   #25
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

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Why do you keep going in these conditions?

I think the answer is simple. YOU decide what days you want to go. And pick nice days. If that means you can only go once a month, then that's what it needs to be.

I love sailing as well as many other activities where weather plays a factor. When the weather isn't what I'd like, whether it be for sailing, scuba diving or snowmobiling, I simply don't do it.

It sounds like you have enjoyed the nice warm, calm days, so stick with that.
+1 This is great advice. Your partner needs to realize that his number one job right now (if he's smart, and it sounds like he is) is to help you be comfortable. You are doing a great job of repeatedly putting yourself out there, and that's great. I applaud your courage and your tenacity. However, he needs to do his part, too. Otherwise he's going to have a boat and nobody to go sailing with.

Obviously, we're all looking at this from far away with partial information, so please don't take offence if I get some things wrong. However, from things you've said, here are some things to think about that might or might not ring true for you:
  • The boat is heeled "way over." This is very subjective. When we were going through the same thing that you are, we bought a 6 dollar inclinometer and made a rule that when we hit 25 degrees of heel, we would reef. We were allowed to go a bit over in the gusts. Nice thing about this is that we stopped arguing about whether we were "way over" or not, and could concentrate on what to do about it instead.

    Many inexperienced skippers carry far too much sail in heavy winds. This decreases comfort, makes the boat hard to control, scares the crew, and actually slows the boat down. If you're heeling more than about 25 degrees, it's time to reef the main and/or roll in some genoa.
  • As was said above, be clever about choosing your day to go out. This may be easier said than done if you're having a crappy season. However, you need to build up to the heavy day so that you feel confident handling lines, etc. with low loads and when mistakes don't seem so dramatic (they mostly seem dramatic due to the noise, etc. There's little you can do to actually hurt the boat if you mess up on a tack or something).
  • Why would there be yelling just because it's windy? Wind means you need to plan ahead a bit more to prevent working too hard, but you shouldn't need to do any yelling. Often, the skipper yelling is actually because he isn't that experienced either and is getting a bit stressed out as well. Is it possible that the heavier conditions are also getting him out of his comfort zone so that if a line gets released late on a tack or something he freaks out more than he should? Or is he normally the type that has little tolerance for mistakes and would yell anyways?

    Either way, if you spent a bit of time taking a lesson or sailing with a mentor (get good references regarding personality in either case), this might be a far better environment for you to learn and gain your own confidence.
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:39   #26
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

The idea that you should only go sailing when it's not choppy and windy is flawed. It implies that those conditions are excessively dangerous, and this is what leads to the anxiety and the inability to relax and enjoy it. Perhaps waiting for warm, calm conditions is an option in some areas, but my boat would be on the dock for 7 months of the year (San Francisco) if those conditions were requisite for taking women sailing.....

I regularly take large groups of women out (almost always complete rookies), and it's typically blowing 20+, with big chop and cool temps. I take the time before leaving the dock to make sure that everyone will be as warm and comfortable as possible, and give a quick briefing on the nature of sailing in blustery conditions (basic safety stuff, flogging sails, spray, the boat is designed to heel and will not " flip ", etc etc). There is no yelling, as all maneuvers are talked over in the cockpit first, I sail conservatively etc etc. Most importantly, once my boat is in " open " water I immediately offer the helm up to my " crew ", one or two of which are sure to jump at the chance. Once the rest of the group sees me put a rookie behind the wheel of a 20 ton boat in 25 knots, any fears they had subside, as it now becomes self evident that it's no big deal and that everything is perfectly safe and under control as it is meant to be. Obviously, I'm close at hand in case something goes wrong and I need to act quickly. Given the chance, most do really well, as it's really a matter of focus and following instructions - women seem to be better at this.....

There may still be some initial nervousness, but allowing your crew to participate (at least in a small way) dispels the illusion that sailing in big wind/water is dangerous, and quickly builds confidence. Sure, in the end, sailing may not be everybody's cup of tea, but there's no reason it should be scary. At least not inside a Bay, anyway........
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:44   #27
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

if i figger there might possibly be winds, i leave anchorage or dock with reefs in place and sail slower for a bit--note i sed WHEN i am hit with big winds, i dont knock over hard.... and sailing is more funner....
DO learn to read the sea--will help to know when the seas are building and same with wind-- there are ALWAYS signs of this BEFORE it happens. the signs arent necessarily near your boat-- ye have to constantly watch horizon to horizon and watch upwind from your boat. there isno time toplay online nor is ther etime to get into a deeply interesting book. have to be more interested in sea conditions and wind status or have surprises. surprises are not always a good time.
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Old 17-07-2011, 10:47   #28
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

Patience, if you're anywhere near the Bay area, it sounds like maybe you should give Evan a call. His attitude towards his crew and his experience could make all the difference.

Evan, thank you for the great advice on how to run a comfortable boat of novices. Note that you have the skill and the confidence to do this in 25 knots of wind. Many skippers wouldn't. What works great for you doesn't seem to be working for the OP's skipper either due to attitude or skill differences. Dialing back the conditions may be required in his case, but certainly isn't needed in all cases.
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Old 17-07-2011, 11:00   #29
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

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Patience, if you're anywhere near the Bay area, it sounds like maybe you should give Evan a call. His attitude towards his crew and his experience could make all the difference.

Evan, thank you for the great advice on how to run a comfortable boat of novices. Note that you have the skill and the confidence to do this in 25 knots of wind. Many skippers wouldn't. What works great for you doesn't seem to be working for the OP's skipper either due to attitude or skill differences. Dialing back the conditions may be required in his case, but certainly isn't needed in all cases.
Thanks very much for your kind words, and I agree, it likely boils down to the skipper....his/her demeanor is critical in making everyone feel safe. Pic from last Thursday night, with two more ladies behind the wheel and myself holding the camera....gusting high 20's (hence reefed working jib only) and a big ebb. All smiles, and two of these ladies in particular where very nervous leaving the dock only 45 mins prior...

As you may have gleaned, I am all for increased female involvement in our sport.

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Old 17-07-2011, 11:03   #30
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Re: Do You Have to Be 'Macho' to Get into this ?

sport?? more like lifestyle.....
goood pic!
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