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post #57 of Old 12-01-2010
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The Bear's two cents worth...
Everyone teaches themselves to sail! Yes, you can read books till your eyes cross, instructors and friends can tell you to try this or that, don't do that, but until you, Y-O-U feel the pull on the sheet, see the wrinkle in the jib, feel the boat heel under you butt and the hum of the hull through you hand on the helm do you learn. You can take a leafy branch, stradle a log in the water and move in a breeze but can you call it sailing. I think not. It's not until you understand what you are dealing with and what does it do when you do it. Others can tell you look for this, listen to that but No one can tell you what You will feel or what you will see, hear or even smell, this you MUST do and learn for yourself. This is the knowledge of sailing, and when you can move a boat in a predicted manner without laying her down, running her into something or endangering your guest, crew, the boat or others and/or yourself you have begun to learn the craft, art and joy of sailing. I agree that all the outside help from instructors, books, situations can accellerate YOUR learning curve but it is still you that must lock the knowledge in your head, hands, feet, and where ever the boat can comunicate to you what is she doing because of what you have done. Beware, this is a never ending school and never ever think you know all there is to sailing because Mother Nature can and will slap you square and hard and send you back to square one for your smart a$$ lack of common sense. But wellcome to the wonderful world or sailing, we'll show you the special handshake later.
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