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post #151 of 173 Old 10-10-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

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Good post and very pertinent. Cognitive decline is not always easily definable as it’s so gradual. However I believe the person has some sense of it on different levels.

One of the reasons I continue to work vs retire is that I manage 60 other high level managers. It requires I constantly think and problem solve and keeps my mind active and challenged. Taking the genetic component out of it, I believe that you use it......or you lose it.

I am constantly looking for alternatives to use my cognitive functions after/ when I retire to maintain my level or some facsimile of it. Many retirement communities have college course taught at them recognizing its importance to wellness.

While I’d love to remove the daily grind of arising at 4:45, I don’t want to remove my daily challenges as well as my social interactions. The last two are why I would never consider long term cruising.

People say stress kills you. I disagree ....it’s how you deal with the stress.
Inactivity kills you. Loss of cognition kills you. Loss of social interaction kills you.
Indeed. My gal's retirement career is to teach. After retiring as a Corporate Attorney she got a Masters degree in teaching. Teaches one course each semester. She also does Arbitration on occasion. She also takes OLLI courses (OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE). All this to help keep her mind sharp. Personally, I find my curiosity along with You Tube and the Internet is enough to keep me interested in life and learning new things.
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post #152 of 173 Old 10-11-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
One of the reasons I continue to work vs retire is that I manage 60 other high level managers. It requires I constantly think and problem solve and keeps my mind active and challenged. Taking the genetic component out of it, I believe that you use it......or you lose it.

.

I have met *many* times in my round-the-world travels people who have acheived highly enough to buy a nice boat and sail the world (or the part that interests them) to find its great for the first year but fixing the heads in exotic places is not compatable with them.

"We've got no Plans, and are sticking to them" is the most stupid statement I have ever heard uttered by an intelligent person. Its the recipe for boredom.

High achievers: Doctors, lawyers, scientists, entrepreneurs, business owners, etc etc etc, have built their lives around their hard work ethic and intelligence (and stress) that they have absolutely no use for sitting under a palm tree sipping margaritas. Either some early onset senility or sheer boredom follow.

My 'method' is to Keep Busy, brain, body, creativity etc. Maybe its not working, but
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Re: Sailing as a senior

If one boat won’t challenge buy two.

Now that we are retired we are thinly about what to do when we retire from sailing.

Speaking for myself I’ve challenges enough.

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Re: Sailing as a senior

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High achievers: Doctors, lawyers, scientists, entrepreneurs, business owners, etc etc etc, have built their lives around their hard work ethic and intelligence (and stress) that they have absolutely no use for sitting under a palm tree sipping margaritas. Either some early onset senility or sheer boredom follow.
Ain't it the truth. I haven't had six solid nights of sleep since my first night of law school in 1991! It doesn't have to be big, but I have to do something. That's why sailing appeals to me vs. power boating -- it's physically more active, there are a few more rules of the road to consider, there's more mental activity (e.g., weather science), etc., and more risk (capsizing). But I do consider "sipping margaritas" an important activity! :-)
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post #155 of 173 Old 10-12-2019
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Cognitive thinking is a funny thing.
Problem solving sailing is not that for me.
Sedentary watching is not that for me.

I am not speaking for others just myself. Sailing is just one facet of my intellect.

Socialization is similar. I have a variety of interests. Masters in psychology and political science. Career as an Executive Chef and 20 years in food and beverage Admin afterwards. I like being around people. It keeps me young....it keeps me engaged.

Giving it up would slowly take away from my life. I have found that there are many chapters in most people’s life by interacting with them . Whatever I choose in retirement will need to keep my intellect sharp and my social interactions present. I will have plenty of time to relax when I am put in the ground.


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Re: Sailing as a senior

Balance and Flexibility

It's apparent that older people are generally not as flexible... stiff joints and limitations on range of motion. This may be helped with exercise.

I suffered from an injured sciatic nerve in my right leg done spine surgery. Before that I noticed that I was having some slight balance issues. For example closing your eyes and trying to balance on one leg... not so easy. This could be the result of problems in the cochlea I am led to believe. It's something I suspect that only gets worse... as your hearing will degrade.

However I learned that balance when standing requires proper control of the muscles of the foot and lower leg and maybe even through and above the knees. When you are standing your muscles are working which is why you DO get tired from simply standing. You are normally not aware of the muscles doing anything. It's not like grasping an object. So your balance is very much dependent on proper functioning of the nerves in your leg... right to the foot and all the muscles in the foot and leg. There needs to be a rapid feed back loop to make the subtle adjustments need to maintain balance... which I suppose is maintain the center of mass in the correct place... whatever that means.

Since I have one perfectly functioning leg and one not so much because of the nerve damage I have more difficulty with balance. I am not falling over. But my body does not recover its center/balance as it once did. So for example if I am standing and quickly rotate my upper body... I can easily feel out of balance. I almost consciously compensate. I never had to do this with the nerve working properly. So my case my be more extreme... but I see this as foreshadowing what happens as we get older. My nerve is recovering... very very slowly. Don't know if it will fully recover.

Having said the above... good balance control is mission critical for moving about a boat with is a moving platform. Hand rails or any other "thing" you can use to maintain balance becomes more and more important as your balance mechanisms are not working properly. Knee problems also reduce flexibility and cause (I suspect) muscle atrophy... and this works against maintaining balance. If you look at a dancer, a gymnast or a figure skater you can see how well developed their "sense of balance" is along with all the muscles needed for stability.

I see the balance issue as cause for concern for any work involving being on deck... and worse when the boat is heeled and the deck pitching. Balance may be difficult on a stable platform... on a moving one is order of magnitudes more difficult.

I am thinking self awareness of losing one's balance has to be a major factor for sailors retiring.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: Sailing as a senior

I'm 68, I sail with others and singlehanded an Alberg 35 that is not particularly set up for single handing; main halyard at the mast. All the points made here are good.
- Jumping off the boat? Never a good idea. I explicitly tell guests NOT to do this. Slow, careful approach to a slip is the answer to this. Everyone misses now and then but dinging the boat is better than blood on the dock.
- Lists! I write down lists now, I don't trust my own memory. I do them on a To Do program (mine is Wunderlist) that syncs across devices. I have some persistent ones (Before Taking Boat Out) and some I make at the moment.
- Shorter times. I get tired more easily. When I was younger, a 10 hour sail was routine. Now, I keep plans to 4-6 hours, which i calculate as 15-20 miles. I see more anchorages.
- I'm starting to sail more with friends.
I loved hearing about the guy in his 90's and I totally get why he turned down the help. It's good to know you can still do it on your own.
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post #158 of 173 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing as a senior

Jim,
I don't think anyone would advocate jumping TO a dock from a moving boat. If you deck is well above the dock level you have to jump DOWN to the dock. The height depends on the freeboard. My deck at midship is about 30+ inches to a floating dock. This sort of jump is no problem for good knees... but it is for me with my knees!

I have a clever invention called SailStep which hooks into my toe rail and provides a step at about 16" below deck. Easy to fold and easy to deploy and stow. And makes getting on and off from a freeboard such as mine.

SailStep's award-winning boarding ladder: Portable and Rock-solid.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #159 of 173 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Sailing as a senior

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
I have a clever invention called SailStep which hooks into my toe rail and provides a step at about 16" below deck. Easy to fold and easy to deploy and stow. And makes getting on and off from a freeboard such as mine.

SailStep's award-winning boarding ladder: Portable and Rock-solid.

Has anyone used fender steps? Any opinions?

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FenderStep™

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on a starboard tack

Last edited by Minnesail; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:06 PM.
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Re: Sailing as a senior

A problem with these steps is also something to hold on. I use a halyard clipped to the toe rail. Not optimal but workable because it's not rigid.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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