Gin Swilling Yacht Monkey
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: S.F. bay area, CA
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Re: Another first for me today
Early on when learning to sail, I chartered a boat with some friends, knowing that I was still pretty new but with some certs, classes, and academic knowledge, but not many sea hours. I was happy to have a friend on board who had been sailing a couple of years longer than I, and who had been though the same sailing courses I had recently completed.
I noticed that he tended to use the winch handle on the jib sheets when he shouldn't have needed to if he had timed pulling them in as the sail passed over the deck, but I respected his seniority, despite my being the "skipper" of the charter. I, too gently, made a reference to the winch being the "penalty stick" for a poorly times tack. The gentle reminder sorta bounced of him, and I didn't feel like going all "type A" and telling him how to sheet in the jib when he had been going it longer than I had, by years. No one wants a green graduate to tell relatively old timers how to do simple things, right? I had much to learn.
Then I noticed he was just leaving the winch handle in place since he was going to need to use it for _every_ tack... Just as I was about to get formal with him and tell him that we were both taught not to do that, a line snagged the handle and sent it overboard...
It was a lesson in realizing that while I should respect experience, I needed to recognize that experience does not necessarily grant skill. Even with that knowledge it took a couple more of his complete eff-ups to realize that my friend must have been lucky to get certified... I wouldn't hold the lost winch handle against my friend, but I learned not to trust his experience over my own. I also have some friends with less coursework, but a much greater knowledge of sailing and good habits..