Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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"It's a teachable moment"--(meaning instructor mistakes ;-)
I've been doing this more lately, though not intentionally of course:
a) Halyard knot (mine, I admit it) opened up and disappeared into mast, main wriggles down mast in a fresh breeze while heading upwind for home. 7/8ths rig and no spare masthead halyard on the small sport boat. Bummer. Wait...spinny halyard? but it's forward of the spreaders (duh) and only at headstay height. Hmmmmm..Drink a water bottle down to half, tie spin halyard to it, pick student with the best arm, and have him toss it up and aft, over the spreader. Hoist her up as far as she goes, then get an admittedly ugly reef in with jury lines, but hey, we're back to beating home with actual sails, not bad.. Way more fun than motor and jib. Lesson: be imaginative and and adaptable when somthing goes wrong. (personal lesson: tie better halyard knots, tom you dummy. Now we have a shackle up there).
b) beating out through the harbor, uh-huh we can make it on just one more tack if there's enough water at the end of the first tack, yeah, I think there is, sure......
Oops. We are no longer moving. That soft lake muck's got our keel Teachable moment! Get everyone on the "deeper water" rail and heel her a lot. Back the jib to help turn her. Nothing--lean out more!! There we go, a little movement, then a lot, and off we go. Lesson: heel the heck out of her and you can probably get off, even without the motor. (Lesson to me: no, you can't actually go where you went even if it does cost you another set of tacks, there indeed isn't enough water).
c) Minimall dry "squall" with angry dark clouds materalizes from the "wrong" direction, so we round up (heeling a good bit in the process), wrestle sails down and motor downwind towards home. All students kept cool heads and did fine. Afterward, we all agreed it was "fun", even if not at the moment!
(I mentioned this one since it wasn't quite as obviously my own fault as the others).
Anyway, I think there's value in the unexpected "teachable moments". But maybe I should teach myself not to cause them? ;-)