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Old 02-02-2008, 22:14   #1
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Top Ten Disasters that Never Happened !

Admiral and First Mate Donna just uploaded her Top Ten Cruising Disasters She Was Afraid of, But That Never Happened. Before she started sailing around the world on Exit Only, she had many misgivings about doing offshore sailing and making a circumnavigation. She had never sailed offshore before she started the trip. Her Top Ten Fears are too long to list in this thread, but you can read them at the following URL:

THE TOP TEN CRUISING DISASTERS I WAS AFRAID OF

Although Donna doesn't do forums, I thought it might be useful to start a thread on the things that Admirals and First Mates worry about, but later they discover that those things have a way of working out.

Have you feared any disasters that never happened? What fears did you have that evaporated once you dropped your docklines and went sailing?
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:07   #2
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Thatnks Dave its a good read.
umm, actually thank Donna!


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Old 03-02-2008, 02:12   #3
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Excellent article for all newbie cruisers, men and women alike.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:26   #4
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Dave,

Great idea for a thread! We enjoyed reading Donna's observations, and think they should be very encouraging to someone just starting out. It's natural to be apprehensive--I was myself as we set off for the unknown. But the adventure, the people you meet (fellow cruisers and locals), and the discoveries that you make while cruising are something you'll never find on land.

Lynne and I aren't circumnavigators, nor are we full-time live-aboards. We lived on our boat for two six month periods, cruising the eastern Caribbean. This was a BIG step for her, nonetheless, as the most time she had spent on a sailboat was two weeks. Here's what she wrote in our trip log at the end of her first month aboard:

Since it’s been a full month now since we began the trip (hard to believe!), I’ve decided to make the majority of this entry be a reflection of what I like and what I don’t like so far. I think that it will be interesting to do this periodically to see how I’m adapting to this new way of life.

Things I Especially Like:
The constant warm temperature
The sparkling water
The lumpy mountains in shades of blue and green
The breezes
Sleeping at night with a sheet at most
The slow pace—deciding what to do as you go
Going to the market and talking with the vendors

Meeting other cruisers and sharing experiences
Touring the islands—each one is different
Doing my water aerobics with a gorgeous view
Spending a lot of quality time with Hudson
Eating the local foods
Cooking with the local produce—actually enjoying Hudson’s cooking with the local produce
Seeing Hudson’s grin of enjoyment

Things I Don’t Especially Like:
Sometimes the boat seems mighty small and cluttered
Worrying about water and electricity
Having a hard time communicating with people back home
Worrying about the refrigerator temperature
Suki (our cat) not being happy
The long passages that keep me immobile for too long
French speaking islands

Things That I Thought I Wouldn’t Like But it’s Not the Case:
Not having enough things to do—HA! There’s tons to do
Not knowing anyone—you meet people as you go
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:18   #5
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Hud 3

I think your wife and Donna would get along really great if they had a talk about cruising. Donna also had a Siamese cat named Suki many years ago.

Cruising is a mixture of pleasure and pain, planning and broken plans, purpose and compromise, excitement and apprehension. It's a bit of a bipolar lifestyle. It's all about focus. You have to focus on the good stuff, and thank God it's mostly good stuff.

I think the challenge for Admirals and first mates is to get out there so that they can discover that it is mostly good stuff.

As long as they aren't sailing with Captain Bligh, and they are on a well found yacht, there's plenty of good stuff to go around.
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Old 06-02-2008, 13:35   #6
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my wifes biggest concern is medical. she has epilepsy so we will either stay close to shore or be day and weekend sailers. we are also talking abour RV'ing but im not so sure on that idea yet. I have some unresolved issues that I need to figure out and need to do so but cant figure out how. this is our problem for the near future. but I ramble sorry about that...
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Old 06-02-2008, 13:56   #7
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Hud:
My bride, Maggie, isn't into forums, but she read Lynne's list - and it really resonated with her. She put up with me & a 28.5' boat for nine years.
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Old 06-02-2008, 14:34   #8
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Gord,

I think it's what Lynne called "quality time". Being on your own boat together, whatever size it is, is something special. It's something we'll treasure always.
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Old 06-02-2008, 14:38   #9
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Hud:
True - but remember that there's two flavours of quality. Being cooped up with me, is "special", all right.
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Old 06-02-2008, 16:44   #10
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I love this list...

I am working on some articles for sailestrella.com along these lines. We didnt have much success on our first leg but one thing I learned is that it isnt hard and the dogma is the real problem.

I want to do something similar, anything that makes people understand that they can do this and will be fine is a good thing. I dont agree with every letter of that list but as long as one knows that anyone can do this I am happy. Less Dogma means more cruising.

Of course a great deal of my examples of what a "Can do" attitude can accomplish involves stories of some amazingly inexperienced people we ran into who had all kinds of problems but were still just fine. Heck most or all of them are way ahead of Estrella today ;-)

All the best,
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Old 16-06-2008, 20:55   #11
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I am not sure how long you have lived with your wifes epilepsy, it all depend on the severity of her seizures and her compliance with her medication. I dont feel that this medical condition should slow both of you down...If you plan to do cruising on longer passages that you do a watch system make sure she is wearing a tether and a life vest when alone.. Make sure she has a way to alert you without leaving the cockpit or visa versa...Unless you are planning trips to some far off land that has very little in the way of modern medicine she will be able to recieve help within a reasonable amount of time. The key to any medical condition is to learn everything there is to know about it and how to help in the event of an emergency. But having lots of first hand experience with seizure patients usually an isolated seizure is not a lifethreatening condition and after some time they typically feel better. The most important thing is your wifes blood levels for her medications check them often.. I hope you both choose to get going, Life is too short and an illness like epilepsy should not stop you, just have a plan...Good luck hope to see you out there someday.
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Old 16-06-2008, 21:49   #12
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If I had a seizure disorder, I can't think of a better boat to be on than a catamaran with an enclosed cockpit like a Privilege 39. As long as a person remained in the confines of the cockpit, there is zero chance of ever falling overboard during a seizure. If I had a family member with a seizure disorder, I would not allow them on deck when I was offshore. The truth is that when sailing offshore, we rarely went forward on deck anyway. Most of the time we sailed like we were a singlehander, and usually it was my son who went forward to manage the mainsail.

Falling down the stairs and fracturing ribs or hitting the head during a seizure would be my main concern. A fracture offshore is a real problem, and if it involves rib fractures, it can puncture a lung. I once broke five ribs in a car accident and punctured a lung and ended up with blood in my chest. It was a life threatening emergency.

People who I know with a sizure disorder tend to be stable long term if they take their medication. If a person had seasickness and a seizure disorder combined, then maintaining safe levels of medication could be a problem if they couldn't keep their medicine down.
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Old 16-06-2008, 22:58   #13
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People who I know with a seizure disorder tend to be stable long term if they take their medication. If a person had seasickness and a seizure disorder combined, then maintaining safe levels of medication could be a problem if they couldn't keep their medicine down.
Many people that take medication for epilepsy have absolutely no problems with seizures (they're the lucky ones that medication works great for), and most of the others do well but have to watch things...I'm one of the lucky ones.

People that have taken medication for a long time build up a residual in their system, and can go 2 to 4 or 5 days without having to take their medication. One of the most important things for these individuals to do is, wear good sun glasses and a hat, and to try not to look into intense sources of light. These individuals are generally sensitive to rapid flickering light, like strobes or light flickering through trees, and it's this flickering light that can set off a epileptic seizure. In fact everyone can be induced into a seizure, if the flickering rate of light is right for that individual...that's one of the ways that people are tested for epilepsy.

Only once I was sea sick for three days on one long passage, and never had a problem with seizures because of the residual in my system. If you did have a person that had a seizure on your boat, one of the best things for them is to be in a darker place in the boat. They will most likely be extremely tired after a seizure, so let them sleep for as long as they want. The closest way I can explain an epileptic seizure is, it's like an electrical short in the brain that trips a breaker, and rest and sleep in a darker place helps let the breaker reset itself.

People that have had seizures in the past (even though they are controlled medically now), can sense when they are susceptible to having a seizure, so if they ask to be relieved there is a reason.
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Old 17-06-2008, 05:19   #14
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Great points Dave, I agree that a cat may be a great choice but I am bias. Life Threating conditions can be a reality I just feel that with the proper planning and caution used, an illness like a seizure disorder should not stop them from enjoying all that cruising has to offer. You may not be able to handle everything that may happen but I feel that if we think like that, none of us would do anything. Dave I know thats not what you saying, I just believe that people are alot stronger than they consider themselves. A good friend of mine had a seizure disorder as well, it was a head injury that left him with the disorder. It was sad to watch him decline he was afaid of living, somthing may happen he would say. He would only go do things with me, nobody else ( I am a paramedic for a living) and he felt he was safe with me. But the fear got the better of him and he became more and more closed off from life. He did end up dying but the ironic part was that he was so afaid to go out (something may happen) he never left the house. He died from a head trauma secondary to having a seizure and hitting his head on the bath tub. Note that he didnt leave his house for 3 years prior to his death, its sad to say but I almost feel as if he died 3 years prior to his death. I know that this is an extreme case and he had serious mental health issues but this is a reality that many people face and I truely feel for people that dont take a chance on living.
P>S Dave love your web site it is inspirational hope to see you out there someday....
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Old 17-06-2008, 07:47   #15
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But the fear got the better of him and he became more and more closed off from life.
.
Fear has always been our greatest enemy. It's the biggest dream slayer in the world. Until you get over fear, your dreams are impossible. Fear just shuts you down.

I guess that's why Churchill said, "We have nothing to fear, except fear itself." That's probably why the politics of fear is so despicable. It's all about limiting people, shutting them down, and controlling them.

Fear is the enemy of freedom. When you are no longer afraid, you are finally free.
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