Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 170 Times in 167 Posts
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casey, there's an old phrase among sailors: "sh|t happens".
Which is the short way to say that no matter how well you are prepared, no matter how much skill and luck you have, things will go wrong beyond your control, and you can't waste your time worrying about them. You know, like what if the sun goes supernova tomorrow? Not much you can do about it, so put it out of your mind.
So you inspect your rigging from time to time. You replace it every 10-20 years as preventive maintenance. You carry a rig cutter, distress equipment, file float plans, whatever the mythological "prudent mariner" does to be ready for everything. And avoid buying anything that says "Made in China", yes, I fully agree on that. Except maybe bobble-head dolls, those should be safe as long as no one chews or sucks on them. (Lead paint, PVCs.)
And you don't worry about the rig failing. Sure, plan for it, remember to tack or whatever to shift the strain off a lost shroud until you can accomodate the problem. But don't lose sleep over it.
In theory, you could swing your feet out of bed in the morning, and fall straight through the floor, because we really don't know why "mainly empty space between atoms" doesn't just entangle us is whatever is around us. Or there could be a bug in your shoes, ugh. In the desert, you learn to shake them out in case of scorpions, you never assume you can just put on your shoes.
The rig? Yeah, you could get attacked and sunk by giant narwhals, just like Jules Verne wrote. There are just some things that you take on faith, like a well-maintained rig not falling down. Or you stay on land, and worry about the kitchen appliances causing a fire in the middle of the night. Now THAT actually happens, way more often than rigging failures. Like the t-shirt says, don't worry, be happy. You do the best you can, and leave it at that.