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post #11 of 33 Old 07-03-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

My oldest was born to the boat, on a circumnavigation. At around 5 years old we unfortunately hit a hurricane (cyclone down there) and rolled the boat three times and filled her with a lot of water each time. After one capsize we found a large bilge ballast rock from under the floorboards, in our daughter's lap as she sat on the settee, but she was unhurt.
Afterwards, she never discussed that adventure, but she didn't show any fear of sailing either. She remained with me for 7 more years, on various vessels, until she left to go to a boarding school. She apparently doesn't have any feelings about sailing either way now, but she will come down to visit and sail from time to time, but it's not something she misses.
Perhaps you should become a lot more competent (and confident) sailor/navigator before you invite her out sailing again. Just spend some nice days together in the slip, but still on the water, for now.
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post #12 of 33 Old 07-03-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

We all have moods.
The bottom of your dinghy might be scuzzy.
Mind numbing Internet...is not real....
Make any excuse that works for you to break a negative glow.....
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post #13 of 33 Old 07-03-2017
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I had a similar experience, a father's mistake with one of our horses. My daughter was 4. The horse was skittish about some things. I had been taking photos and the horse was fine.

I talked my daughter into sitting on the horse for a picture to help her get used to the horse and have a photo to remember the time. When I picked my camera up I accidently turned on the flash. That spooked the horse and she got thrown and fell and got a green stick fracture in her wrist and a bloody lip. (The green stick fracture required no cast). I was in trouble at home later with her mother and it was a long time before she would get back on the horse.

Fast forward 10 years, she rode our horses. It helped that she had a few girlfriends who were those horse-crazy kind of girls. When we went to Costa Rica, horseback riding around the base of Arenal Volcano was one of her favorite memories.

Today she teases me about having put her on a horse and spooking it with a flash photo. She counts it as one of my few lapses in an otherwise illustrious career of fathering.

Take the advice about chartplotters and sailing further from the shore away from rocks. Plan some trips where you can guarantee a beautiful idyllic day on the water with a picnic, her favorite foods, no mishaps, and invite one of her more adventurous girl friends along.
Create new memories to replace the negative associations with positive ones.

Praise her for what a brave and tough girl she is for trying it again with you, after a couple of mishaps. Tell her she has the spirit of Wonder Woman.

There is a niece of mine who went in my canoe on a family float trip. I have a reputation for being adventurous and taking all of the most challenging routes through the rapids. We tipped once and I had to grab her out of the water by her life jacket. She cried but her dad said, "Hey, at least Uncle Bill grabbed you out of water before he swam for his beer cooler". That got everyone laughing and she was better.

The next week, I had a t-shirt made for her at a local t-shirt lettering shop that said on the front, "I went canoeing with my Uncle Bill and.... (on back) "....and lived"! She loved it and wore it everywhere for a while, so she could tell the story of her adventure. Make it fun, try to laugh about the mishaps, get back on the horse (boat). You're a good dad.
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post #14 of 33 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

rocksmasher, how long have you been sailing, and how long have you been sailing in the area where you had these groundings?

How much time have you put into studying the charts of the waters around your slip or mooring? Are your charts current?

If you are relatively knew to sailing, do you have any friends or acquaintances with more experience who can mentor you on this stuff, or go out with you from time to time and provide some wisdom and local knowledge of the waters from experience?
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post #15 of 33 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

Ive also been hitting my share of rocks out of sheer sloppiness when it came to reading the charts. We dont have tide over here either. Maybe start her out by putting her at a sailing school? Seeing how she can make friends with sailing might be a good incentive
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post #16 of 33 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

As a father who's hit a few rocks with young kids on board, I'm giving you a bye on your mistake. There's no excuse for hitting rocks, but it happens to the best of us. I feel lucky to have sailed with our kids from babies to adults. But a family onboard can add extra distractions to navigation.

When my daughter was about 10, I hit some rocks so hard, the boat began sinking, rapidly! In fact, we only had enough time to beach it on a nearby island. The kids were scared!

We saved that boat, and still sail it, today. That episode and others on the water (not so dramatic), are now the stories of our lives together.

The important thing is - whatever happens - you get through it and everybody learned. You're honest in admitting your mistake, you're now a better navigator, she'll appreciate that in time. You got her home safely, you fixed it.

My daughter is here for the holiday, and she insisted (as did her brother), on going sailing with us. We joke about when 'dad sunk the boat', these days.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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post #17 of 33 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

Originally Posted by rocksmasher View Post
The worst rock hit was over, but coming into our harbour I hit another rock, less violent no doubt but still enough to knock over items and again bring tears and fear into my child. We were only 30 minutes from tieing up and this one shattered me and my confidence in my abilities.
Funniest post for years

The stupid old adage to get back on the horse may be good to have a look at.

You might say to Ms 10: "I need to improve my navigation skills a bit so this weekend I want to sail very close to those rocks again but without hitting them. There must be a channel through them and I want to explore and discover it. Would you like to come and help me? It might be scary, it might be dangerous but it will be much easier for me if you are there."

Then go motor right up to them and mark them on your plotter and make a safe area.

It may restore both of your confidences

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post #18 of 33 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

Get your daughter into a Jr sailing program where she can sail with other kids and eventually pilot her own small boat ( a pram at first) - sailing with dear old Dad just does not do it sometimes, She will gain a lot of confidence and as she gets older she can mock you if you hit a rock again.

My daughter sailed with me when she was young - was never really into it until she realized she could sail a Hobie with a friend - lost her as crew for a couple of years - then she came back = would not let me helm anymore - I wasn't good enough - she ended up sailing on the college team and now is in China teaching English but looking to crew on a race boat out of Hong Kong.
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post #19 of 33 Old 07-04-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated

I was 9 when Dad hit a stump a full throttle with his 27 foot fin keel US yacht. threw me across the cabin, and smacked open my head, had a lump for a week.

I was 9 when he ran hard aground on rocks (same boat), so hard actually we had to dive the boat to look for damage.

Earlier still I was 4 yo when he filled the cockpit with water on his Oday Daysailor, scared the hell out of me, I vowed to never go on the boat again.

At age 8 Dad had us out with too much sail up on his Montego 19, thunderstorms popped up, and we sufferred any number of knockdowns, and I vowed to not sail again.

You know... You cannot keep me from sailing today.

First, give yourself a break... Stuff happens.
Second, talk to your daughter about it... let her know you care that you have shaken her confidence, and you would like to make it up to her, maybe she can suggest her own best way forward.
Third, please check the boat... rocks ain't no laughing matter. If its any consolation, dad's boat was fine... chunk out of the keel (lead keel), took some fairing, but nothing serious.

Funny had a similar conversation today while sailing with my brother (yes July 4) about my brother having ,run aground when he had his US 25 out, and hitting a rock at speed (same lake as Dad with his US 27, only many years later) he said same thing, hunk out of the keel (he was cutting a point to save fuel)... his son was I think 10? He's also an excellent sailor today (the son).

Not the end of the world. Don't let it be the end of your attempt at becoming better. We are all learning, and nobody is ever perfect.

Keep us posted.

Oh and getting back on a horse is a great suggestion, but if horse bucks your keester off, it ain't always a good plan to get back on the SAME horse. Take it from a person who owns and rides a lot of horses. That analogy only applies so far
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Last edited by SHNOOL; 07-04-2017 at 09:17 PM.
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post #20 of 33 Old 07-05-2017
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Re: Feeling guilty and deflated


I have a 9 year old daughter. About a year ago, my brother and I thought it would be fun to swim in a little stream beneath a small weir. My daughter didn't know how to swim at that time, but we took her in anyway, carrying her in our arms as we waded. Long story short, we made at least these mistakes:
  • We didn't know the place where we were swimming
  • We hadn't informed anyone where we were going
  • We didn't know our own limits/ were overconfident of our swimming ability
  • The non-swimmer didn't have any floatation aid.

The inevitable nearly happened when we suddenly found ourselves stepping into a big pit and out of our depths. We were drowning, trying to push my daughter back to the bank, and if not for some kids who were also swimming there and fished her out, we would have drowned.

Well, that was my biggest mistake to date in trying to bring up a kid with a flair for adventure, but she has been very brave and now she's learning to swim too!

The reason I'm sharing this is that, I think you're being too hard on yourself. All parents want to give their kids the best life they can, and we sometimes make mistakes. It can't be helped. C'est la vie.

The only dumb question is the one that you didn't ask because you thought it would make you look dumb.
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