Join Date: Dec 2002
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the chicken of the sea
If you were a dinghy sailor, I would recommend a capsize drill. Nothing reduces anxiety like discovering first hand that the worst thing that can happen (well, just about the worst) results in getting wet, and you live to sail another day.
With bigger boats, I guess you just have to become familiar enough with the boat and how it is handled to realize, in the back of your mind, that no matter what may happen, there is a backup plan. Having proper safety gear for the type of sailing you are doing and where you are doing it (anything from hull patches to lightning protection, first aid kits, flares, liferaft, etc.) and knowing how and when it is used can also settle your nerves. Just remind yourself that if you get caught by a squall, and everything goes wrong (dismasted, for example), you still have options and if you''re properly prepared, you will live to sail another day.