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post #1 of 5 Old 08-14-2011 Thread Starter
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Smile Introduction

I'm new to SailNet... been lurking for a few days reading as many of the threads as I can, since I'm considering getting back into Sailing. I just wanted to say hi and introduce myself...

First, a little background... 44 y/o male, married, 4 children... my introduction to sailing was in Grad School in Madison, WI. Sailing in the summers (2) on their Tech Dinghys... mostly recreational, but did work up to the Sunday races on a few occasions and loved it. For most of the last 20 years, I've been landlocked in central Minnesota working too much and playing too little. Over the years, I've day-sailed a few times in the Keys or Caribbean or on a friends 28' hunter in MN, but that's about it... I absolutely LOVE sailing when I can get the chance.

I realize I have MUCH to learn, and I'm signed up for my Bareboat cruising certification on Lake Superior in 2 weeks. Even convinced my wife (hopefully soon to be Admiral) to take the class with me. She enjoys sailing... but as she says, what she enjoys most about it is "sitting back enjoying the sun and having one of the crew keep my [her] champagne glass filled". The class is 3 days/nights and we sleep on board (port 2 nights, anchor 1 night). I'm told the class will go on no matter the weather unless it's so bad that there are warnings against sailing. I'm a bit worried about this because I know she will hate me if the weather is bad... might even be a quick end to a dream.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-15-2011
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I'm told the class will go on no matter the weather unless it's so bad that there are warnings against sailing. I'm a bit worried about this because I know she will hate me if the weather is bad... might even be a quick end to a dream.
Welcome to SailNet!

Have you asked your wife how she'd feel if the weather turns bad? Maybe if you talk about it before you go, it might settle her simply knowing that you understand her concerns. Or, you might find out that she's fine with it and ready to take on the challenge.

If you wait for perfect days to sail, you'll cut your sailing time considerably. On the other hand, if you strongly feel that you can't handle whatever weather is coming, you absolutely should not go. Not just for this class, but later when you're sailing on your own. I have never regretted the few times I decided that we weren't leaving the dock because of impending weather and my partner has always felt my decisions were a good call (especially listening to the numerous mayday calls while we're comfortable).

Tackling bad weather when you have an instructor with you might make you feel more comfortable in bad weather when it's just you and your family. Things will come up during the class that you can immediately get answers to and you'll have that knowledge when you need it in the future.

It is extremely important to learn how to deal with bad weather should it come up unexpectedly, but for a first lesson, if you are so anxious about the boat capsizing or whatever fears you have, you might not absorb the basic boating instruction and may miss hearing something crucial not to mention be distracted which is a safety issue. Find out from whatever school you're enrolled in if you can take the class on a different day should you feel too uncomfortable about the weather. Maybe they will be amenable to letting you postpone if you're not asking for a refund.

The more you learn, the more you practice what you've learned, the safer you'll be and the more you'll enjoy the experience as you stretch yourselves.

Prior to the class, you might also read a book or two about heavy weather sailing, then, if you decide to tackle the weather, you will have at least read beforehand some of the techniques your instructor should show you. If you continue sailing, you should have a bunch of weather books in your sailing library anyway.

Good luck and I hope you both go for it!

Donna


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post #3 of 5 Old 08-15-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great response. Yes, we have talked about it a little bit, and she's not too keen on it. She definitely wants to remain a Fair Weather Admiral. I can't say that I blame her... the weather doesn't bother me, but then again, I've never been out in anything larger than 4-5' waves either.

At this point, I realize that my approach probably isn't perfect, but all I can do is pray to the weather gods and let the chips fall where they may. Who knows... she may surprise me.

The bulk of our sailing (after our class) will most likely be up on Leech Lake in northern Minnesota. Being an inland lake, the weather is a bit more manageable. At 110,000 acres, it's significantly smaller than Lake Superior... but still large enough to go cruising for the weekend. We're looking for a boat and going to think of it as our mobile cabin up north.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-15-2011
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Thanks for the great response. Yes, we have talked about it a little bit, and she's not too keen on it. She definitely wants to remain a Fair Weather Admiral. I can't say that I blame her... the weather doesn't bother me, but then again, I've never been out in anything larger than 4-5' waves either.
4-5' waves is nothing to sneeze at. I'd be concerned if a sailing school had a novice out in those conditions. We had 1-2-foot (at least) waves yesterday and it wasn't a picnic. Larger boats can handle those conditions like it's nothing. 30' and under is get out of my way I need to puke-type conditions, at least for me.

Anyway, good luck!

Donna


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post #5 of 5 Old 08-17-2011
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hoofers in madison

So you are an old Hoofer, then? My hubby and I are learning to sail through the Hoofers - but the Techs are too tippy for us. J-24s seem quite small enough! We did ASA 103/104 on Lake Michigan last month, on an old 47 foot Jenneau. Two quiet days and one beating into four foot seas - enough to make me toss my cookies, I'm embarrassed to admit. Lake Superior.... well, I wish for you Fair Winds and Tiny Seas
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