I've read about that exact problem. I was doing research on medieval pilgrimmages and ran across that exact phobia in a journal. The guy HATED crossings because he couldn't stop thinking about how six inches of hull was all that separated him from fathoms of ocean.
Originally Posted by jackdale
Irrational fears can terminate one's sailing.
I had an acquaintance who was really keen. However on a passage from Hawaii he was in his berth when he realized that that only an inch of fiberglass was between him and 10,000 feet of water. He has not been on a boat since.
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"It ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of sailing is? Love. You take a boat in to sea that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her afloat when she oughtta founder... tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens… makes her a home." Captain Malcom Reynolds, Paraphrased