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  #41  
Old 01-29-2012
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Teaching itself is a learned skill. Many think they can teach their spouse by telling or showing them what to do. There is significantly more to it. Will you use repetition or guided discovery for example. Planning how much you are going to teach in a given session and being able to recognize when a student is only saying they understand are important.

Hey honey, watch me, isn't teaching. The Captain issuing an instruction to do something in the moment is not teaching someone to know to do it themselves the next time.

I'm not a sailing instructor, but taught underwater diving back in my late 20s. You didn't get into the instructor program unless you were already a proficient diver. But I had many buddies who were and most could not teach anyone else. You spent the program learning how to teach (well not killing your students was important too.)

There were a couple of exercises that were interesting. They made you sit on the other side of a wall from a mock student who had a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in front of them. The student was only to do exactly as they were told. Each instruction was to be followed to the letter and no more. The instructor candidate was to explain how to get a cigarette out of a closed pack, to their mouth and lit with the lighter. Hilarious outcomes, almost none ever got it done. Some students would have entire packs in their mouths, lighting the cellophane on fire. The other interesting exercise was to have your teaching recorded and played back to you. At first, despite knowing the material cold, you stink at it.

The most common mistake is to try to explain everything you know about a topic. This is very common when the topic is something you are passionate about. It also happens when the male chromosome is trying to show the female chromosome that he is deserving of her admiration.

Having a pro teach will also show your spouse that you've learned what you don't know.
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Last edited by Minnewaska; 01-29-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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  #42  
Old 01-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post

There were a couple of exercises that were interesting. They made you sit on the other side of a wall from a mock student who had a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in front of them. The student was only to do exactly as they were told. Each instruction was to be followed to the letter and no more. The instructor candidate was to explain how to get a cigarette out of a closed pack, to their mouth and lit with the lighter. Hilarious outcomes, almost none ever got it done. Some students would have entire packs in their mouths, lighting the cellophane on fire.
Today's chore is scrubbing the mold from behind the shelves on the v-berth. If any humorous image will make the job go a little easier, this one is it. Thanx M for lightening my load.
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  #43  
Old 02-02-2012
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I have a feeling that your own attitude might be standing in the way of your wife learning more about how to take the helm and sail the boat. My husband and I share responsibilities on our boat, and I freely admit that of the two, I am the one who is more obsessed with sailing... but we each have our strengths. His: sail trim, being on the bow with the windlass when we anchor, (I am busy at the helm, navigating the anchorage and picking the right spot to anchor) engine checks. Mine: navigating, researching for a cruise, finding the model number of whatever gizmo we need, CRUISING SAILNET, keeping track of weather, chief cook and bottle-washer. But, we both know how to ( and like) take the helm, drop and lower sails, dock the boat. I have never felt pushed aside when I want to take the helm or tweak the mainsail. Are you one of those "Captains" who insists on planting himself behind the wheel (or on the tiller) and shouting orders?? No wonder she can't "turn the boat around and dock".. she has never been given the chance. Solutions to your problem include giving your partner more opportunities to take the helm and sail the boat; her taking a lesson with a pro, without you; or maybe, her going along as crew on someone else's boat... I bet she would learn a whole lot when you are not around. It is hard for me to understand how someone as bright as she obviously is would not want to know more about how to safely get herself back home. I'd love to hear her side of this story! btw, I am not the "Admiral" on our boat... I am the co-Captain. (really hate that Admiral crap!)
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  #44  
Old 02-03-2012
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I've been watching this thread with interest because I am in the same boat as bchaps. I read the replies and chuckle; They are what I would have posted if I had not gone through this with my own first mate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bchaps
Am I asking too much? ...should I just drop to my knees and thank the Good Lord she is willing to sail with me and help in all the ways she does? ...or should I be concerned for her well being if "the big one" nails me?
I don't know if you are asking too much; I ask that question of myself many times.

Yes, you should be grateful that you have crew that is willing to sail with you and participate in the chores. The alternative, without her onboard, is less pleasant so you should be grateful for even half a crew. Remember, even if she can't get you back to safety, you won't be completely alone should you become incapacitated.

As for your last question, I'll withhold my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
It's possible that your dream isn't her dream and that she found tasks that she likes to do (or doesn't mind doing) in order to spend quality time with you. Otherwise, would you sail off and leave her at home? Not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it would be time you aren't together.
I think this nails it for my situation. It's my dream, and not hers. She enjoys being out there somewhat and comes along with to spend quality time with me. When buying the boat, we consciously talked about the subject being equal partners in the venture; I explicitly wanted an activity we could do together and that the investment was big enough, I didn't want her to back out and say, "Go on, I'll just stay here" as she does with so many of my other hobbies. If I wanted to be alone I wouldn't be in a relationship.

Many of these replies in this thread make logical, rational assumptions during logical, rational arguments... that don't apply in the irrational world of human nature. For example, explaining the safety implication of needing to learn the basics of sailing; logically, this makes sense but after an intro course to sailing, a few years at the yacht club, constant discussion and watching volvo ocean races and over 6-weeks cruising the Great Lakes, she cannot remember the terminology for 3 corners of a sail vs the 3 sides of a sail. Why? Because it's not in her realm of interest. Just as I can't remember who wore what to the Grammy's or who's having kids with who in Hollywood or which colours are in for this season or when my next dental appointment is ... those details just never stick with me because my brain says they aren't important to me. You can't push a rope and you can't make someone remember something if they have no desire to tuck it away - even if it is logical and rational to do so.

FWIW, we sailed 6-weeks on the Great Lakes this summer; Lake Huron, Georgian Bay/North Channel, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario including Detroit/St. Claire rivers and Welland canal. She handled it like a champ. Even though she does not swim and is naturally an anxious person, she did well. Yet she still won't take the helm, start the engine, or take a stab at navigation because she's deathly afraid. The trip built some confidence, but we still have a long way to go...

Lastly, I found a local program by women sailors for women sailors and am encouraging her to join. By getting involved I hope that she picks up, not the skills, but the motivation to love sailing and boats. After that, it's just a matter of learning over time. bchaps, perhaps being more involved in some sailing community would help your mate become more enthused about the program? I notice my mate likes to have a friend onboard to whom she can pass on her limited knowledge... Perhaps ask her to help you teach a friend or child how to sail? By teaching someone else, she must first learn herself.

edit: I missed post #13 where you said you did fine a women's program and she wasn't interested. d'oh. Excuse me for being redundant. However, perhaps there is another program, such as teaching disadvantaged youth to sail. At our yacht club, we have women-only race nights which might be a big draw if she is competitive. I still think it boils down to encouraging her to put her mind to the task.

Last edited by JordanH; 02-03-2012 at 01:03 PM. Reason: edit: missed post #13
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  #45  
Old 02-03-2012
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First of all, I feel that the OP has a valid concern where he feels that his spouse should have some level of functionality if he becomes immobilized or falls overboard. If you need real proof of this, look at our own Imagine2Frolic. His wife, Mel has had to assume control of the boat more than once to get him to medical care.

Since the OP and his wife are competitive, and history has shown that a 3rd party must always teach her new things to avoid marital discord, I feel that a 3rd, independent party would be useful in explaining to her that she must be able to operate the boat on her own for these longer voyages. Then the 3rd party should be the one to teach her.

Everyone has a different personality, and different motivators. When trying to teach someone or direct someone, it helps to know what motivates them so that you can get them to learn or complete the task at hand.

I have "tricked" a few reluctant ladies into driving my boat, but always gently and never making them look foolish as in "aha! I tricked you!". Usually it's just "Oops, gotta pee. Here, drive for a minute!" and I shove the tiller in their hands.

I run down below, take a leak, then come back up and teach* them. In a few minutes, fear of crashing the boat gives way to enjoyment as they understand the forces at work and get a feeling of accomplishment. I think it also says a lot that I would trust them with my 30 foot boat. One of my daughters is a freakin' natural. She loves driving the bus.

*- There's a lot more to it, when I say I "teach" someone, but it would make the post too long.
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  #46  
Old 02-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
When docking, it makes more sense to me that the woman should dock the boat and the man should step off with the line(s).
That's how we do it. When the motor is running my wife is at the helm probably 90% of the time.

To the OP, this is a safety issue. Something COULD happen to you, and your wife needs to realize this. Maybe that's the problem--she is unwilling to contemplate the possibility of you being incapacitated, and she has to do that before she can see any need for her to know this stuff. Sort of like the people who think it's to "icky" to contemplate dying, and so they never get around to making out a will.

Maybe you could make a game out of it. Like, one day when you're both in the cockpit, pick up a life jacket, say "you know me, I'm a clumsy oaf... oops! I just fell over board." Let go of the helm, toss the life jacket over, and ask her "what are you going to do now?"
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  #47  
Old 02-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
First of all, I feel that the OP has a valid concern where he feels that his spouse should have some level of functionality if he becomes immobilized or falls overboard.
Yes indeed. I hope you don't think I was implying otherwise. My point is that there are lots of wives, and even more ex-wives that have ZERO interests in sailing, boats or spending time in a marriage with their husbands. You must be grateful for every bit of interest above ZERO. It is ideal, for safety, comfort and a million other reasons, to have an equal sailing partner but you should be grateful for every bit of skill and interest above nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Since the OP and his wife are competitive, and history has shown that a 3rd party must always teach her new things to avoid marital discord
I agree. I think he mentioned she was looking for women's courses and I also suggested women's programs that encourage racing; You're involved and "taught" by other women who are both competitive and not your husband. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I have "tricked" a few reluctant ladies into driving my boat, but always gently and never making them look foolish as in "aha! I tricked you!". Usually it's just "Oops, gotta pee. Here, drive for a minute!" and I shove the tiller in their hands.
aside: I tried that in our boat during 30+ knots on a 25 hour passage; Autohelm couldn't take the waves and neither could my bladder; I really did have to pee and she still won't touch the tiller! The only effective argument was, "If you won't take the tiller, and my bladder won't hold out much longer, I'll just have to pee into the cockpit drains..." and even then, I was only allowed to stand in the companion way and I still had to 'drive' by shouting (it was windy, not in anger) directions to turn the helm to keep us going down the 14' waves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I run down below, take a leak, then come back up and teach* them.
She makes me setup autohelm if I need to do that. *sigh*

It sounds like bchaps wife is a very competent person so I suspect the only problem is the lack of motivation.

In my case, my first mate has high anxiety issues on top of her disinterest; She is highly anxious regarding only some things. She does not swim, but jumped off a boat with a life jacket to go snorkelling on a reef. A second trip to a reef when she did the same thing, she froze up and was so terrified her body was paralysed in the water (life jacket on of course); I had to flip her onto her back and drag her back to the boat... she couldn't move her legs to kick. There's something about controlling a boat (or a car) that sends fear through her and she won't do either. And a humourous one, she is highly anxious of leaving voice mail messages... That's probably a whole other thread, and maybe years of counselling.
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  #48  
Old 02-03-2012
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I guess I am lucky. My first mate is an excellent crewwoman. She is not the same sailor as I am but I don't expect that. She has had good judgement that I trust and listen to.

Does she get excited duiring the first couple hours of a blow? Of course.
If things look dicey for docking, does she insist I stay close to tell her what to do? You betcha.

But I am pretty certain she could get us to safe harbor. Maybe not the one I would have chosen, but that would be OK.
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  #49  
Old 02-03-2012
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Whenever I see a macho maniac yelling at his spouse because he thinks he's Captain Bligh's student... I wonder how many guys were really "lost" at sea and wives were not "able" to save them....>evil grin<

"when I looked .. he just wasn't there! (sobbing, more sobbing...) So I grabbed the radio and called you the coast guard" CG Officer studies her... wonders if she's really as upset as she appears to be....

jus sayin....
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  #50  
Old 02-03-2012
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There's plenty of dirt to be tossed at both genders. The ocean would be filled with bodies. Just sayin......
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Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
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