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post #40 of Old 01-27-2007
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Re Fear of storms. You were probably afraid when as a child you first learned to ride a bike. When you could you got confidence. That is why some of us emphasise learning to sail, and building some experience before worrying too much about the boat buying.

Second some fear or anxiety is normal - most will have some before a passage or even a race. That disappears. I find that any new boat takes a bit of getting used to. Confidence grows after several trips.

Another factor is faith in the boat. When you see big waves mounting up behind you, then the stern lifts and you see the boat handles it, after a while you just accept it. The boat is ok you are ok. You learn to trust the boat. In the worst case you can take everything down go below and wait a day or two.

There are storm handling technicques you can learn - in time.

My teacher said make your first long passage with someone experienced at it. "What this? Oh it's nothing." His competence and confidence is reassuring. Far better than people panicking and screaming at the wife because everyone is stressed out. "Pull what rope?" "That .. one" "No not that one, that ... one" "Pull your own .. rope"

One of my favourites was two elderly like late 70s long term women cruisers, who were asked how they handled storms. "We don't do storms" was the brilliant response.

That is a very good answer. You can watch the weather and plan and time your passages. Cruising - if you wait a day or a week so what?

We are not talking big teams of professional highly experienced sailors racing in the Southern Ocean, but ordinary people planning and equipped for safe comfortable passages in relatively benign waters.

When you have built the knowledge experience and skill, have the right boat and planning then your anxiety will dissipate because you know you are well founded. Your concern at the moment is reasonable, and normal.
In time your wife may come around when she sees the pleasures and has confidence.

To put it in perspective the biggest problem for most will not be storms but light airs and needing the skills to keep the boat going in them. Your area may however be more demanding.
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