Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: How nervous are you?
BS aside, I think that anyone who is a thinking sailor approaches going out sailing with at least a small amount of trepidation and a larger amount of caution. I have sailed for a very long time and owned my current boat for 16 years. Yet despite the confidence which comes from sailing a familiar boat in a familiar place, I am always aware that unexpected things can happen out there. As someone like you with structural engineering in my background, I cannot help but be aware of the high forces in a sail boat and cannot help but think about potential weak links in the system. But it is that awareness that hopefully prevents me from letting hubris set in, and which also hopefully prevents me from doing something that is stupid enough to damage the boat or get me killed.
This discussion about courage is a strange one. To me there is nothing courageous about being fearless. To me, that is a mental deficit. To me, real courage is having a well reasoned fear, and yet, putting that fear aside, and doing that thing that you fear most in a cautious and calculated way.
Oddly, for me, my moments of greatest fears are just before the crap hits the fan but I can see what is about to happen. During any really bad stuff, I am so focused on what is happening, there is no time for fear. Being able to articulate your fears as you have, can help clarify what you are feeling. This process of putting fears into words often allows you to break down your concerns into smaller parts, then think ahead and be able to take the kinds of step by step actions that minimize the risks.
You are doing the right things, treating the dangers of the sport with a proper respect, talking with people who have been through this before so that you can learn from their experiences, and going out there and continuing to learn and grow. As long as the fear does not prevent you from enjoying being out there, its all good.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 12-22-2017 at 11:39 AM.