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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #21  
Old 07-20-2007
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I will give a different angle on it, just something to think about.

The first time I took my wife sailing, actually it was our first date; it was a nasty, nasty day. Winds gusting up in the 30+-knot range, choppy, sloppy water, spay in the face type day.

We were sailing our old Cal 25II, I flew a 110 Jib only and we were romping through the chop at 6.5knots. Believe me it was a nasty ass day. If it were not for the fact that I was trying to impress this girl on our first date, I probably would not have gone out that day.


Anyway, she got to see sailing at its worst. I showed her how to we could be on the edge, but yet there were things we could do to control the situation. She had a blast and she learned what the boat could handle.


Ever since than, she won't go out unless we are moving at least 5.5 knots. No easy going day sailing for this girl. If we are not moving along, we turn back in and wait for the wind to blow. (Well sometimes we anchor off the beach)


Take her out on a nasty day and show her how much the boat can handle. Chances are, when its nice and calm and blowing 10 - 15, she will be not nearly as uncomfortable.

(I told you I had a different perspective on it)
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  #22  
Old 07-20-2007
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sailortjk1,

Thanks for the input, I love it. Problem is; years ago, bruises went unnoticed untill I would see one and think where it came from. Now it takes weeks to heal from a simple boat bite or bumps. I think the evidence showed when we were out in 25 knot winds on our Cal 25. Things weren't bad when we were closed hauled crusing at 3 to 4 knots. When we came to beem everything changed, the boat healed like a dream to me, rail in the water and spray to cool us off, it was a nightmare to her. That is when she had to say something, I could tell she was very anxious and scared. From then on I am always concerened for her compfort and safety, throw children into the equasion and see everything become complicated to the point that you now have no controll over her psychie. Now the children are on their own and the empty nest is looking good, I want to rebuild our sailing days for us. I can race with friends and challange posidon another day, but my Admiral and first mate has shown me another way to sail. I just need to learn it.
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  #23  
Old 07-20-2007
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When we used to sail WEEBLE, our 470, I used to love going out on the trap attached to the mast with nothing but my toes touching the rail even though I always got dunked. It was a blast. The bad part with her is if you did not pay attention every millisecond, she would beat the heck out of you. I would come home with bruises the size of grape fruit on my legs. Skip always worried someone would think he was beating on me. "No, really officer, we were sailing. The boat did it".

It took a long time to realize that you don't always get dunked when out on the trap. That is the helmsman's choice. When we sailed with someone else on board and he was out on the trap, I learned my husband had been dunking me quite regularly without good reason. Well, except for the sheer fun of it.
Kathleen
aboard
Schooner MISTRESS
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  #24  
Old 07-20-2007
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The first time my wife went sailing with me it was in a lake with 5 knot winds. She of course, put on the PFD and was apprehensive at first. The second time, a little more wind, no PFD but it was sitting beside her. Two months later, in winds of 10-12, I brought up MOB drills and asked what she would do if I went over? While using a PFD seat cushion for the MOB, we laughed at ourselves and made jokes, talking to the MOB as we drifted by. Later that day I handed the helm over and let her have fun while I gave pointers on sailing fast. The wind came up to 20 or so and she just kept on driving so I went below to make lunch. While I was below we came on a collision course with a Soling who was to Leeward and she asked "Who has the right of way?" Without coming out, I glanced at the other boat and ask her what tack they were on and then if they were the Leeward boat (which they were). After she confirmed they had rights, I just told her to duck under and come up to Leeward on them. She did and then proceeded to race them for the remainder of the tack while I finished making lunch. Now, ya have to remember, we have a 1976 Venture 21 and sailing all up in 20+ is an adventure. She drove most of the day and I just sat back and watched. I didn't touch a sheet or anything else. I just let her singlehand the boat while watching and enjoying the day. Talk about a confidence booster! The last time we were out, in the Puget Sound, we hit a nasty 4 knot current and 20 knot wind on the nose. After about 30 minutes of not making much SOG, I fired up the OB and called to drop the sails. Well, the jib hung and was flogging badly as we punched through 3-4 foot triangular chop. She just jumped up on the foredeck and yanked the headsail down without me saying anything. Noice! This from a petite little thing who'd never been aboard a sailboat until little more than a year ago. It's amazing what a little time, trust and exposure will accomplish.

Last edited by CharlieCobra; 07-20-2007 at 01:59 PM.
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  #25  
Old 07-20-2007
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With my wife, She found it best to handle the tiller when we first went out, so she got the feel for how things were going, once she got comfortible, she would hand it over to me. While I had many yrs sailing as a teen, it has been 20 something yrs since sailing, so to a degree, I am trying to remember, relearn etc in a 30' boat vs a dinghy.

But as many others have pointed out, give her the wheel/tiller, and let her figure out what is going on. The admiral is more worried about me going overboard, and her having to figure out how by herself to rescue me........then again, she has said something about jibing while I am standing up, watching me go overboard, and away she goes...........

The only place she has not gotten used to going is up front to dowse the jib/genoa in anything but flat water ie in the harbor. She lets me or my kids do that when they are with us racing.

marty
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  #26  
Old 07-20-2007
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what worked for "TheCuban" was the "tiller toward trouble" thingy. Prior to that, she had a devil of a time figuring out "push it away, pull it close" now she's a pro and could no doubt sail an upside down '53 buick.... wait... her family already did that... (sorry honey, that was a tribute to my brother)
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  #27  
Old 07-20-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorourke View Post
Wow! I never realised the paralizing fear of not being in controll of your life at sea, it would be like your fate is in someone elses' hands and trust is your only link to survival, and if that trust goes overboard then panic might take over. OK, I know now what to do but how to go about it. I'll get it right for her, it'll take a little effort, she's worth it! Wow, psycology at sea "101". Lights are going on all over the place.

I guess I'll owe her a romantic movie and dinner or two after this summer.

If my wife wasn't behind our voyaging plans 100% (she's as mortgaged as I am, after all), I wouldn't be going. Getting the spouse on side...and sometimes it's a woman skipper with a non-sailor husband...is absolutely necessary unless you want to be a divorced boat bum in Belize.
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  #28  
Old 07-20-2007
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I guess I'm just lucky in this respect--the boat was my wife's idea and it's being paid for out of her inheritance. Despite that, she's not quite One with the meaning of that heavy keel under there. You see: She used to sail a 7 meter round-bottom dinghy with a center-board she and her brother owned. Very tippy. So here we are on our 2nd day of sailing classes (she to come to understand modern keel boats, their equipment and their behaviour, me to learn to sail ), a big puff aloft (thus no warning) came along while I was at the helm. I beared off, as I had been doing all day, to no avail. I kept bearing off and the boat kept burying herself more and more. So I headed up and got her on her feet again. Later, talking that over with my wife, she expressed concern that we'd damn near gone over. I explained the 2+ tons of keel on the bottom of that boat and what it meant. I think she's still not convinced .

Jim
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  #29  
Old 07-21-2007
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I sail aboard our US 30 with my husband. Initially, I hated driving under power. (However, put those sails up, and I hog the wheel, and yell commands to the hubby.) When we were bringing the boat down from Palm Harbor, we got caught in a nasty gale. Surrounded by lightning, seas bigger than the boat, pelting rain. I had never been so scared in my life.... We tucked into Clearwater for fuel and ice and a little bit of sanity. The hubby asked what I wanted to do, as night was nearing. Women are not to be underestimated. I stated, "Poseidon be damned, my ass is going home! And I will drive there!" Something inside of me had snapped. I drove all night, even through another storm. The hubby was slightly shocked by this, but I was no longer scared. (I don't even drive my car at night...) All it took to overcome my fears was extreme exhaustion and having had enough of Mother Nature's little tricks.

Don't underestimate women. In the time of danger, extreme fear, or being really mad, our adrenaline kicks in and we can do pretty much anything with utter clarity. It's some sort of weird survival instinct. Give your wife time- she'll figure it out on her own.

Chris
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http://www.diysailor.com
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  #30  
Old 07-22-2007
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Good for you. While I question the logic of "driving all night" while "extremely exhausted", I agree that it was a good thing for your sailing future to overcome your fears and start relying on your skills.
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