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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #31  
Old 11-06-2007
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If TB hadn't posted pictures of young people sailing, I would have just assumed he was lying. We all know he's a whoremonger and dope fiend, so why not a liar too? But the pictures tell the story, so I stand corrected.
sh, when you allowed your wife to drive up here with that kilo of gold, you said you wouldn't tell . . . who's the liar?
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  #32  
Old 11-06-2007
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...when your wife to drove up here...
So you're admitting to being a whoremonger! Capnhand seems to think this is a good thing. Well... I'd love to stay here and chit-chat with you two perverts, but I'm late for church...
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  #33  
Old 11-06-2007
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So I'm admitting that I am in fact the whoremonger! But, I'm late for church...
Hope you sit in your own pew sh.
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  #34  
Old 11-06-2007
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So you're admitting to being a whoremonger! Capnhand seems to think this is a good thing. Well... I'd love to stay here and chit-chat with you two perverts, but I'm late for church...
cough splutter...late for......and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

church indeed.

now what was that about a kilo of gold ???
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  #35  
Old 11-06-2007
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If I might suggest another reason sailing is out of favor in the US? Risk. Or the perception of risk, which is the real issue. Sailing is lumped among "things that could kill my child." There is a powerful reluctance to expose kids to anything that might include danger -- we're the most protective, paranoid, litigious bunch of people anywhere.

Our parents would usher us outside and not see us for eight hours at a time. We rode our bikes a couple miles to play pickup baseball, or catch frogs at the creek, or climb trees. Our parents had a vague idea where we were and with whom, but it was understood that a generally benevolent community lookout would be kept on our behalf, and oddly enough I never did get axe murdered.

But I cannot imagine my sister employing that same level of hands-off parenting. They are the new model of adult, the so-called "helicopter parents," ever hovering just over the kids' shoulders. All activities must be structured, overseen by adults, and show quantifiable outcomes (pref. with awards given.) Schoolwork is micromanaged, so Junior can get into the best colleges. Playdates are arranged with military precision. Children are escorted from one Activity Module to another in heavily fortified cars with the sort of blanketing security that the Secret Service can only dream of.

I'd be more charitable toward these folks if I truly believed it was the child's welfare that drives their overbearing need to control every aspect of their kid's childhood. But cynically, I think they are mostly concerned with being perfect parents in the eyes of other people. "Sheila's daughter fell out of a tree, she never won a ribbon in dance competition ... AND she's going to State College. How her parents failed her!"

Proof of this thesis is the real damage parents do in attempting to avoid perceived danger. Which brings us to sailing. Sailing is an activity where you sometimes come in second to uncontrolled forces, like the weather. You could drown. You could be killed by drunken powerboaters. It's unstructured and a bit freeform. It doesn't obviously fit in a world of controlled environments, tight schedules, and point-to-point transportation.

From age 10 onwards I went out on boats:Sunfish, daysailors, the Classic Moth, cats, then some hardcore windsurfing. We rarely went more than a mile from home, but we were often out of sight of our parents, and no doubt they worried.

But they had the grace to let us go, let us make our own mistakes and discoveries, to fail and learn and succeed on terms we negotiated ourselves. It must have taken one hell of alot of courage to watch a twelve-year old set of on a solo hike for four days with no hope of communications. I'm desperately glad they let me go.

I don't know if this bunch of American parents have that courage. And so activities like sailing get crossed out. (Which is funny, because they'll allow BMX or skateboarding or motorscooters, and they'll drive 12k miles a year with kids in the car....)

If you haven't already, I urge everyone here to read Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons. Ask yourself: how many parents today would allow their kids that sort of adventure?
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Last edited by bobmcgov; 11-06-2007 at 05:33 PM.
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  #36  
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Risk

I hate to say it but that risk factor prevails in every age group. We have been inundated with warnings and dire predictions to the point that people in general are afraid of their own shadow. I'm 70 and my wife will not go sailing on anything bigger than the local lake. She,s just sure I'm going to die if I go out on the blue water. I feel like I want the freedom to sail with no boundaries but not necessarily alone but I truly feel no fear of water no matter what size it is. Now let me follow that up by saying I have been on the one way or another since I was 6 years old, I use a PFD and a safety line so if I fall over I'll not lose my ride. So what else can I do?
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  #37  
Old 11-06-2007
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  #38  
Old 11-06-2007
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bobmcgov tells it true. We used to teach our kids to swim so they could go swimming. Swimming where we didn't have to watch their every move, or even be there to watch over them. Now we teach them to swim, only in an Olympic sized pool so they can join the swim team and get a college scholarship! And you don't see those kids out jumping off the RR trestle bridge into the river; they're at swim practise in an indoor pool on a hot summer day. Cruel and unusual punishment I call it.

I don't think the risk is all of it, although there's enough risk adversity to go around. Golf and skiing used to be the rich kids sports around here. Now pretty much all the kids can get involved for a much more reasonable rate too. I think for sailing to grow in popularity it is necessary for parents, with an interest, to form clubs with like minded parents and beg, borrow, rent , or steal boats to get their kids into for fun and instruction. Lake access can be a hurdle as well. For those clubs to survive and grow it is essential to recruit new parents and kids each year. An almost essential ingredient is older parents whose kids are grown and gone who are still willing to participate. this gives the program continuity and history, and helps with the inevitable waxing and waning of interests.

And if you're not taking your kids or other kids sailing, who is?
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  #39  
Old 11-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canatc1 View Post
I hate to say it but that risk factor prevails in every age group. We have been inundated with warnings and dire predictions to the point that people in general are afraid of their own shadow. I'm 70 and my wife will not go sailing on anything bigger than the local lake. She,s just sure I'm going to die if I go out on the blue water. I feel like I want the freedom to sail with no boundaries but not necessarily alone but I truly feel no fear of water no matter what size it is. Now let me follow that up by saying I have been on the one way or another since I was 6 years old, I use a PFD and a safety line so if I fall over I'll not lose my ride. So what else can I do?
Sitting in that La-Z-Boy at home will kill you sooner than sailing will.
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  #40  
Old 11-06-2007
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BTW, I was reminded of a quotation from Swallows and Amazons that sums up the difference in attitude.

The four kids, aged twelve down to seven, have to apply to their father (a British Navy man away overseas) before they may set off on their adventure. His reply, by telegram: "BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WON'T DROWN."

Can. You. Imagine.
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