Originally Posted by weavis
Greetings from not so sunny U.K. this morning. I love threads like this. For an observer, it certainly is entertaining to see the personalities involved. For the record, Im English, worked abroad in the medical field for the last 25 years, Australia, Europe and 12 years in the USA. As of now Im back and forth to Spain and Italy teaching.
My background in sailing is mainly inland waters and coastal. Had a Seawych 19 and an Eventide 24 (in U.K.) plus assortment of USA offshore power cruisers (up to 45 foot) mainly used for Gulf fishing in Florida. Not what I would call extensive experience compared to you guys, but would be out there 3 or 4 days a week sometimes overnighting. The Gulf can blow up nasty as you are aware.
The one thing I note is that my 'response' to posts is very English. We as a race tend to veer towards understatement, sarcasm, humour and self or other deprecation. We as a race, are not averse to calling B.S. and dont suffer fools gladly, and at the same time we, in the main, couch it in a relatively polite manner but dripping in sarcasm for those that can read between the lines.
I have experienced the rigidness of the USA system of absolutes, as well as in some European countries, and have tried to adapt to their rules, their ways, but in the end, we are who we are and that will always be there.
All the experienced posters writing on this forum, are still alive. They achieved that by applying methods that culture, study and common sense made it so. However, other sailors did it differently and are still alive. That tells me that in the main... a lot of different techniques work. Some maybe better than others, some not as well.
Now I like the style of Boatman, his writing style and oulook on life make me laugh. But more than this, I am sure his competence as a skipper and sailor is far above the norm. His concern for the vessel and safety is imbedded so deep that it is instinctive to do the right thing at all times from training and experience. I also note some of the more 'rigid' and dogmatic skippers have equal amounts of experience and competence, but express it through ways in which it suits them to get things done, for them.
All of us want to be safe. All of us are concerned for the wellbeing of crew, vessel and others, not to mention ourselves. We have different backgrounds, some military, some laid back travelers and some just who we are.
The basic reason with a set of laws is of attribution of blame in the event of something going wrong. If blame is attached for an incident involving an unattended watch, then REGARDLESS of the reason for it not being observed, the law stands. Each skipper has to determine how to avoid consequences on his or her vessel.
Safety is paramount. Each skipper has to live with their conscience if an event happens out of his or her control. Some tighten up routine, some impose harsh rules of operation, some do this some do that. Some boat rules seem opposite to what we would do but hey, its their boat... either sail on it with knowledge of their ways or.......... dont.
I sail alone for the most part because if I want to get somewhere, Im not committed to returning at a set time. I dont always end up where Im going. I have never done a trip more than 150 miles solo, and in a motor vessel this can be done quickly, and if in a sailing vessel, Im used to staying up 24 hours or more at a stretch. I can power nap for 30 mins in 12 hours for days then need to sleep for 4 hours to recharge. Others do not have my background training or experience and I do not expect them to do what I do. My instincts on a vessel is to always be on the deck if alone. If I need to whizz... I whizz over the side, If number two is brewing, I make sure Im ready to part with it and start to finish its done in 5 minutes in the head.
If Im crewing, and I know the skipper and he knows me, he is aware of my self protectionist attitude and reluctance to hit a moving vessel or be hit by one. He sleeps easy and so do I.
As far as lights go... if I need to read a chart, I have a red light.. If I dont have a red one, I have a low powered white one. I gave up trying to read in the dark years ago. I also have a pair of those enclosed dark sunglasses so popular with older folk.. I put them on if have to go below for a dump or to boil water. Even in cabin light, it negates night blindness by just allowing you to see and no more. And that is the point of light, to stop you pouring boiling water over your legs instead of the mug and to place your posterior where the heads opening is..
Skipper is the boss. Hopefully not an ego maniac or have an arrogant persona. We have to decide what we are capable of and capable of putting up with, and if his or her estimation of our talents differ, then we need to find another berth. Im not as experienced as many of you and will bow to and bend to your knowledge. I have mild difficulties when that knowledge is couched in absolutes and personal preferences which are dictatorial in nature. No need to elaborate, we all know people like this.
Thank you all so much for sharing your experience and knowledge so freely, with your quirks and personalites and differences. I have learned so very much.