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Old 09-22-2008
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Big Freakin' Sails

Okay - this thread is for people that ACTUALLY LIKE Big Freakin' Sails (note for morons: the verb, not the noun). BFS simply means sailing that pushes limits - whatever those limits may be. And herein lies the rub...and the reason I need to explain a couple of things so people don't start foaming at the mouth right off the bat.

There has been a tremendous amount of hubbub over this "philosophy" in another thread - but that thread apparently "came with a lot of baggage" - to the point that the topic itself got lost in the fog of war. So, this is an attempt to start cleanly.

It must be understood that the love for the adventure and excitement of hard sailing is just as valid and robust in the newbie as it is in the big-sailing old salt. The gap between the two is experience and knowledge. And the goal here is not to fill that gap by quashing the spirit of adventure and excitement with a deluge of cynicism and technicality - but to help us all learn, if and when the time comes, how to better handle that moment when mother nature starts rising beyond our sailing abilities. Because if you keep sailing - it will happen, period. And as you'll see, it can get very frightening very quickly.

For an old salt, these limits will obviously be worlds beyond those of the typical newbie. That old salt will probably snicker at the point at which the newbie becomes terrified - understandably so. Yet, there will inevitably be an even more seasoned salt that will, in turn, snicker at the snickerer when he/she soils his/her own breeches in a blow. It's all subjective and un-ownable.

Therefore, the BFS factor of a newbie experiencing a hard heel and wayward helm for the very first time is just as exciting, important, and valuable (in BFS terms) as the old salt battling a 50 knot gale. It's just about the attitude with which the exploit is approached and remembered - and taken into account as they go back out for more. There are great stories and valuable lessons in both experiences - as well as great opportunities for good hearted slams on the brave posters (which is valuable as well). That's BFS.

So, to be clear this thread is JUST AS MUCH FOR THE SAILING NEWBIE (of which I am one) as it is for the old salt. It's a place to tell your story, listen to others', learn some lessons, and discuss the merits or detractions of Big Freakin' Sails.

The following inaugural BFS stories illustrate what this thread is all about. As I said, I'm a newbie - and you see my first BFS story below. You can then compare that with the other great BFS stories thereafter (sometimes edited to protect the innocent) which I think are great tales from great sailors; they cover the spectrum of "pushing the limits". Then, hopefully, you'll throw down some BFS of your own (either your own story, stories you admire, or stories that are just flat-out lies but with great BFS value - whatever).

Now, let's have some fun...shall we?
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