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Old 09-06-2021, 19:57   #31
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

You know, Don, I liked her art better than her book, but yes, Pat Henry surely did do it, and overcame all her obstacles, too.

Wolfie's situation is a little different with her children at uni in France.

Ann
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Old 09-06-2021, 22:37   #32
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

Hmm... I would agree with the others that the training and experience seems far beyond what most others might have obtained. If on-the-water confidence is desired, I might suggest a few more of the... mile builder courses I think they call them, then go for a YM examination.

The local school here (not RYA though) has a reasonably active list, and thus people are able to charter a boat and find fellow students to share the costs, either just for fun or to practice their docking, mooring, etc. for the next class. As Clivevon's comment about "undocked once, sailed 3000 miles & docked once" alluded, miles and crewing alone don't guarantee learning. If you want to build confidence, you'll want to spend some time as the one in charge, even if it's mainly day sails.
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Old 10-06-2021, 01:53   #33
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

Wolfie.

18 months in a boat yard reads like beauty to my eyes.
Knowledge gained there would be far superior to translations from an internet read.

Sails like flow, sailboats like to flow. A used boat tends to stay in better condition than a floating home. Hence the way I read such is that the owner would probably be delighted that her hull gets sweeper.
Hence being held in a controlled environment you could pick your days of preferred weather to clean her hull whilst enjoying a lovely day out grasping clews or just putt putt along if short of practice and practiced hands aboard.
I've sailed boats that were not my own. We accept privilege if allowed and vessel seaworthy.

What I see as a big win is access to knowledge of wrights and hands being a boatyard. If allowed to venture, they'd be the people I'd query regarding an outing. In meantime, fastening systems could be learnt; knots, splices, turns on a drum.
Cleaning systems could be learnt; run off, catch, contain or dilute.
Your hands (mine too) could learn alot from experienced seamen.
Way I see it is we used to take 70,80+ year old men out sailing and use them as mainsheet. Figuring if an old slow man can pace a nice strong wind then his knowledge within a young buck would be awesome.
Simple tricks from soft words such as how to block a Genoa clew sticks with my mind. How to travel a main another easy to learn, hard to master technical decision on an ever changing shape of a mainsail.
We studied years out there without rising the spinnaker because although whites look easy, they probably are; I'm still figuring them out.

You'd understand your offer better than I. Simply thinking that a turned prop shaft isn't an expensive seized prop shaft plus a day out fishing pretty cruisy too.
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Old 10-06-2021, 02:01   #34
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

I admire your gusto Wolfie. You have jumped in and done a lot of the things cruisers really need, such as fixing, sanding, and working out systems. And you must have learned more in all those courses than you seem willing to recognise.
Sounds like to need to do 3 things now:
1. Sail, sail, sail. Racing may not be your thing (mine either) but it will get you out there ASAP on a variety of other people's boats, and give you a great chance to learn from experienced sailors. It will build your skills much faster than cruising on your own. And that will give you confidence.
2. Find some sailing friends. Yacht clubs, and particularly racing boats are great for that. Can you find a yacht club anywhere close enough to your kids, that is friendly, fun, and has a good community vibe? Maybe Spain? Are there any ocean racing clubs nearby?
3. Perfect your "LOOK". I've just been learning to dock my newly purchased 50ft sailboat, and found the best piece of advice came from Riley on La Vagabonde in his book. "When coming into a marina, you must adopt the steely cold gaze of a 25-year veteran". I've done this whenever getting behind the helm, and particularly when docking/undocking in the marina. Guess what - it WORKS. I even managed to fool myself into thinking I knew what I was doing. So far nobody has died, no bleeding, and only about 20mm of plastic broken off a dinghy oar from using the dinghy as a fender off the back. Nothing to worry about. Except the next time of course.....

You should face your fear now - you have prepared well, so just go for it.
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Old 10-06-2021, 03:10   #35
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

So - a day later - and a pretty bleak day at that.

Working my way through this
'so, what's the deal? i need confidence, more sailing/navigating experience, community, and, most of all, friends. i find that i do not really want to sail alone and like less and less to sail "in french". i really crave English-speaking friends more and more: for music culture, for humour (see the "u" in there?), for the way anglo-saxons connect (which different to how the french connect). the thing is, i'm still a bit france bound...'

I have a Westerly bias... doesn't make me a bad person...
You don't want a geriatric boat but old isn't a bad thing.
I'd look at a Westerly Corsair - the poor man's Sealord.
Winterise her.... ie make her habitable in winter.
Move to the west coast of Scotland..... there is a bit of a French connection there if you look for it.
Get to know her and yourself with or without crew on shortish sails..
Then push things a bit with simple trips... Iceland ... Norway.

Then go sailing
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:27   #36
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

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Originally Posted by requiem View Post
...
The local school here (not RYA though) has a reasonably active list, and thus people are able to charter a boat and find fellow students to share the costs, either just for fun or to practice their docking, mooring, etc. for the next class....
This is what we are doing, our school has boats we can rent/charter, which make more money sense for us to do at this point, since we simply do not have much free time due to work and family.

The school owner is setting up a list of his students/charterers to share rental costs and to find crew.
  • Are there similar schools, clubs, etc., in or near France for WolfGal?
  • I thought there were places on Facebook, CF and other social media where there are woman only groups. Is such a group available in/near France that might have like minded people that can share costs on a boat?
  • The pandemic is ending, and places are starting to open up, so are there places in the UK or Ireland that could work?
    • Largs in western Scotland has a rental company that I looked at a few years ago. Seems like one could do quite a bit of sailing in that area to build skills and confidence. Fly to Glasgow and then take the train to Largs. Been there done that and jumped on a trawler not a sailboat but it was still a boat.
    • Kinsale and Cork in Ireland might be worth a look too.
The 31 foot boat we have sailed quite a bit makes my wife a bit seasick. The 39 foot boat does not in the same conditions.

WolfGal just needs to go sailing on her own. As we do, and we just went sailing, but we NEED more sailing. Need more Sailing NOW!

Later,
Dan
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Old 10-06-2021, 11:54   #37
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

i've been reading through again and just want to thank everyone for having made such interesting suggestions !!!

yes, just getting out there is of essence! working on it...

please bear in mind that france has been VERY SLOW to get vaccines and vaccinate (relative to where most of you live) and is still living with its curfew (and the rules about what we can and cannot do seem to circulate in a revolving door).

so it is not as if i could really go anywhere like Scotland (oh, the Scots are such nice people! as are the Welch! oh my goodness, there are nice people there!). and another terrific place to go sailing with nice gals is sweden. there are groups of girls that sail weekends together.

the covid situation also means that dashing over to the UK to view a tip-top boat in ready-to-go condition is just not in the cards. even if i did pay the fourteen days of hotel quarantine, the boat that interested me sold within two weeks of being listed. hot cakes!

so, yes, unfortunately the pickings are not only local but slim these days.

and maybe somewhere in france time-sharing exists but, after soooo many years here, i'm in the mood for change, if you see what i mean... (trying to be diplomatic here). i would not want to time-share a boat here.

now there are a few really ideas that are really sticking among those suggested..., so i'm going to investigate a bit and see what i can do.

i've got a fair amount on the table in the immediate, selling and moving house and all, so there is this to figure out as well. no stress. no stress.

in any case, this discussion has been the very best discussion i've had with anyone in ages. talking to non-sailors about working out a boat life (and, especially, explaining how it is so complicated over here, because truly it is) is exhausting. on this thread, i've found lots of thoughtful ideas and encouragement and sparks of that "just do it" attitude that i somehow seem to have lost while living here. oh dear...

in any case change is in the air! thanks so much! so much!

wolfie
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Old 10-06-2021, 13:53   #38
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

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...
please bear in mind that france has been VERY SLOW to get vaccines and vaccinate (relative to where most of you live) and is still living with its curfew (and the rules about what we can and cannot do seem to circulate in a revolving door).
...
Yes, the jabs rollout in the EU has been slow compared to the US and UK, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Hopefully by the time the house sale is completed, the lock down will be easing in France and other EU countries.

The wifey and I are constantly talking about when and how to get to The Get A Boat stage. Tis complicated with family issues and selling real estate but at least you have the house under contract! We still have time to go, but we want to go soooo bad but the family ties are binding us to land.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and I do not think it is a locomotive.

Later,
Dan
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:00   #39
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Re: advice: sailing/navigation experience and finding community

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please bear in mind that france has been VERY SLOW to get vaccines and vaccinate (relative to where most of you live) and is still living with its curfew (and the rules about what we can and cannot do seem to circulate in a revolving door).
Considering the amount of French sailors passing through here (I'm in Andalusia) and their stories over a pastis or two, paying too much attention to the official propaganda will mislead you.

Things are a lot easier if you just do them.
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