But if not...
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Annapolis MD
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Re: Rallies Gone Wrong
I've been following this thread with considerable interest since we know people who did the SDR last year and talked about the potential of doing it ourselves in a couple of years. The thread been fascinating from a number of perspectives. To stay on the main point of the thread, it seems to me there are a couple of considerations.
1. the psychology of rallies. AKA herding instinct.
No doubt there are major issues here. We humans are natural groupies. We crave the safety of the tribe whether we acknowledge it or not. It is a strong person who can objectively evaluate others' actions as merely another datapoint to consider in his/her own decision.
2. Shared experiences.
We learn from others. Unfortunately, we also usually only encounter those who are closer to ourselves in experience. As lots of people on all sides of this thread have pointed out, we should each seek out others much more experienced than us and milk them for all we can. Study their boats, sail with them, challenge their thinking and decisions, etc. And alway be open to learning from anyone, anytime. Good ideas come from all quarters.
3. Rallies, liability and regulations
It certainly seems that our litigious society drives a lot of decisions. Long ago I dropped my scuba instructor certification when a fellow instructor was successfully sued by someone who had a diving accident on a vacation charter. Turns out the court said my instructor friend 'should have noticed' that the diver was ill-prepared and thereby prevented the accident. Adding regulations, requirements etc is no one's friend, but is increasingly common.
Bottom line for us after processing all this for the past several pages and several days.
We've sailed a ton in the Chesapeake. I've been offshore a few times, but only for 4-5 days at a stretch. Have also been through extensive offshore sail training including safety, medical, weather, navigation, comms, storm tactics, etc etc. Also rode out a few really bad storms that convinced me that boats are much more capable than I am.
We plan to go south in the next season or so. Do I feel competent? Maybe. Depends on the voyage, the weather, the crew, and a host of other variables.
When the time comes, will I seek out a rally? Maybe. Depends on the rally, the value I perceive they offer. One thing I would definitely value highly is the opportunity to meet with and learn from others prepping for the same voyage.
Would I pay a bunch for a rally. Doubtful. But again, it depends on what I get for that money. Parties? No. Seminars? Possibly. Routing services: if better than I can get on my own. etc. etc.
Would I make my own go/no go decision? I sure hope so. But I also recognize the call of the herd and that it can be strong.
Re this thread, I would offer that people seem to be talking past each other to keep reinforcing the same points over and over again. OK. We got it. Now seek to learn from each other through the discussion.
My 0.03 (inflation)