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  #341  
Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Hubris don't float. And it's a major buzzkill at parties.
That's it Smack... if I ever do buy a boat this summer, I'm renaming it "Hubris".

I think there is a definite line with the A-S thing. Case studies, and lessons learned are one thing. Shoulda-woulda-why did ya type talk is something entirely different. The first is an attempt at objectively looking at what happened hopefully without judgement, the second is an attempt to elevate yourself over the subject of the comment.

I know, personally, that when I'm talking about some incident or mishap I try to err on the side of sounding like a USCG mission briefing than on sounding like Cliff Claven downing one at the nearest Cheers.
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  #342  
Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I think it has more to do with the attitude of the critic than anything else. If the critic only criticizes - without finding anything redeeming in the account or, worse, without acknowledging his own foibles, you have an A-S...even if that A-S has 100K miles under his keel.
This is a terrible definition. Basically if you brown-nose a bit, you earn some points, and then you get to spend those points criticizing?

The name is clearly meant to suggest a person who spends significantly more time sitting in the comfort of their home and speculating about sailing, than they do actually sailing. Anybody who limits their criticism to their expertise and experience is not an armchair sailor, regardless of whether they say enough nice things to balance out the mean things they say.
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  #343  
Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
This is a terrible definition. Basically if you brown-nose a bit, you earn some points, and then you get to spend those points criticizing?

The name is clearly meant to suggest a person who spends significantly more time sitting in the comfort of their home and speculating about sailing, than they do actually sailing. Anybody who limits their criticism to their expertise and experience is not an armchair sailor, regardless of whether they say enough nice things to balance out the mean things they say.
..clearly meant...? That's the issue I suppose. Different people seem to think it means different things. I think A-Sism can easily span the extremes of inexperienced speculation and uber-experienced hyper-criticism (at least in the context of a forum like this). After all, in either case, it's speculation isn't it?

The amount of time spent in the armchair versus the sailboat doesn't really matter in this regard.

See, I personally don't care as much about being "nice" as I do about being "objective". That's what I meant by my comment above. Objective is being able to see (and acknowledge) both the good and bad in things, as well as your own faults and mistakes.
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  #344  
Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Good points. On the other hand, though you might "NEVER do" A-or-B (i.e. - repeat a specific mistake), you, and/or any other seasoned sailor, will most likely do something, or miss something at some point that puts you and/or your boat in somewhat similar peril. You have to look no further than incidents such as the recent Farallones tragedy, Skip Allan's rescue, or the many other very seasoned sailors who have run into trouble.

I think that's really the main point here. While A-S'rs are scoffing at all those things "they'd never do", there's still a very long list of things that can take them down...things they're simply overlooking, or worse, dismissing as impossibilities.

Hubris don't float. And it's a major buzzkill at parties.
Well, no way am I gonna revisit this entire thread, but I've taken some time to review a considerable portion of it... Sorry, but I'm just not seeing any real chest beating from anyone of the "I'd never do THAT variety... Rather, most of the criticism is more in the form of the "well, this is another example of why the value of a shakedown cruise in advance of such a passage cannot be overstated..." variety...

I was critical of his failure to sort out his windvane prior to departure, for example... Well, I've done many, far dumber things than that in the past, some of them even more than once... but, I'm just not seeing where simply pointing out such errors or oversights necessarily falls into the category of second-guessing, or Monday morning quarterbacking...

In addition, I think the distinction should be made between judgements made, and "occurrences"... It's one thing to claim, for example, "I would NEVER cruise a place like Labrador without paper charts..." Not everyone might agree, but that's simply the way I roll... But if I were to say "I've learned my lesson, have configured a bulletproof preventer setup, and will NEVER again suffer an accidental jibe...", well... then that would be an Armchair Sailor talking, one with precious little respect for the infinite variety of surprises the sea might have in store for you...
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 05-16-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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  #345  
Old 05-17-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I think it has more to do with the attitude of the critic than anything else. If the critic only criticizes - without finding anything redeeming in the account or, worse, without acknowledging his own foibles, you have an A-S...even if that A-S has 100K miles under his keel. Worse, if the critic holds the "I would never..." or "What kind of dolt would..." stance in his criticism, you have an A-S, because it's the sea out there..."he will" make similar mistakes.

Basically, if a sailor presents himself as "having arrived" at all things sailing, the only place he has really arrived at is his armchair.

IMUSO. Heh-heh.

John Esiberg,

Smakky pretty much nailed my take on the issue. My comments weren't aimed at you, by the way. It's been long enough since I've reviewed the thread that I've forgotten who had what opinion on the issue.

My intent was to refer to MYSELF as the armchair sailor in this case. If you look again at all the "I" and "me" statements in my post, I hope that it looks a little less accusatory. I have opinions based on what I've read, and I can try extrapolating my coastal and inshore experience to his situation, but I have not sailed offshore, and have not single-handed offshore. So I consider my comments to be those of an armchair sailor. My relating of my seriously idiotic move on the ambulance was an attempt at further self-depreciation (I'm half British, so it's a habit) as well as extrapolation of my experience (in sleep deprivation in this case) to fit his experience.

I was NOT trying to say that I thought he did everything right, I only wanted to say that I appreciated the story told as it was, and that I didn't feel qualified to criticize. Others with more similar/relevant may.

My comments were an attempt to honor the value I place in honest accounts of experience, especially mistakes. Much is learned from mistakes and often people aren't willing to tell all (so that we can learn) for fear of looking bad. Drake told it as it was, warts and all, and I think that has real value for those of us who want to listen to his story. Take notice of the post I chose to quote. I was echoing that sentiment.

I do think his story has more value than our armchair sailor/quarterbacking discussion of it, which is part of what I was trying to say, but I also DO value our discussion and our diversity of opinions. That's why I'm here posting and not just reading and lurking.

MedSailor
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Last edited by MedSailor; 05-17-2012 at 01:30 AM.
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  #346  
Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Watched the videos and did some extra reading.

I would suggest that Drake is a great guy who made a very good (not great decision) in the case.

Towing in calm seas is an acceptable rendering of assistance. Ending the tow after the collision is also acceptable as the tow proved to be unsafe. I would be interested to read what happened when Titan 14 towed Cha Cha in. Did they have the same problems?

I also believe that not only is Drake entitled to payment for the damages, he is entitled to remuneration for his assistance under the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law respecting Assistance and Salvage at Sea (Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law respecting Assistance and Salvage at Sea (Brussels 1910))

Drake's actions in providing the assistance are hugely commendable. He acted reasonably and had reasons for his actions. I think the most telling action he took was ensuring that his engine was ready for the tow. How many here would think of changing the engine oil?

Could things have been done differently? Of course.

Should he have tested his wind vane - of course. But that had no bearing on the course of events. Should he have had a ditch bag, SSB, Sat Phone - probably a good idea. Again no bearing on the outcome. Should he have had the JSD set to deploy - definitely. The irony is that would have probably put him out of radio contact with Cha Cha, as would his being on a more appropriate tack when hove-to.

Should he be single-handing on an ocean passage - I think most here would know my opinion.
My opinion exactly. Only difference, Ii would have offered to save him and the passengers. WIth that rudder jammed, Ii would not tow him. And if it was not jammed, I would tell him that if the seas get rough or a storm is coming, all bets are off and you will be getting on my boat.

Good guy, Drake. Hope I can meet him out there. I might even buy him a drink.

Brian
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  #347  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

I really enjoyed those videos a lot. As someone with zero offshore experience, it gave a real feel for what it's like. It seems that he didn't do everything perfectly, but had very sound judgement when it came time to recover from his mistakes. He had a heart of gold for helping out that penniless fool on the other boat. Littauer's poor passenger/crew Gail proves why you never want to head offshore with someone you don't know. (My wife won't even do a daysail with someone we don't know. And Internet pals fall into the "don't know" category.)

If I find myself in trouble someday, I hope there's someone like Drake nearby to render assistance. He just seems like a nice guy, and not at all self-absorbed like that publicity whore Dom "Mee Mee Mee."
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  #348  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
I really enjoyed those videos a lot. As someone with zero offshore experience, it gave a real feel for what it's like. It seems that he didn't do everything perfectly, but had very sound judgement when it came time to recover from his mistakes. He had a heart of gold for helping out that penniless fool on the other boat. Littauer's poor passenger/crew Gail proves why you never want to head offshore with someone you don't know. (My wife won't even do a daysail with someone we don't know. And Internet pals fall into the "don't know" category.)

If I find myself in trouble someday, I hope there's someone like Drake nearby to render assistance. He just seems like a nice guy, and not at all self-absorbed like that publicity whore Dom "Mee Mee Mee."
Good post. Agree. Tell your wife the best way to get to know your internet friends is to babysit. I got two coming your way right now... (snicker).

In all seriousnes though, who is this Dom you referred to?

Brian
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  #349  
Old 06-09-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

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...In all seriousnes though, who is this Dom you referred to?
He's another guy who made a video of himself on a singlehanded ocean passage. Discussed in this thread.
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  #350  
Old 06-18-2012
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Re: Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

I think the problem in many of these cases is that would-be sailors get steeped in the mythology of single-handed ocean passages before they get any real experience. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case here, but it well could be.

So, instead of going from A to B, they want to go from A to Z in one go. The logical progression is some coastal, then progressive longer and more complex offshore passages -- with crew (preferably experienced). Instead, they want to go straight for the single-handed circumnavigation or some such.

It's definitely not smart and potentially dangerous. After all, how many climbers start by trying to summit Mt.Everest without supplemental oxygen?

Last edited by sneuman; 06-18-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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