Monday, February 28, 2011

The worse danger in sailing

There seems to be common agreement among sailing authorities on the worse danger in sailing -a schedule. Trying to keep a schedule, boats go out when they shouldn't. Conditions may be unfavorable, the boat unready, or the crew not up to it.

Today, my lovely wife is feeling a bit under the weather, so the boat stays at home. No sense going out when she doesn't feel up to it. There's always another day.

Plenty of things to do here on shore. Spent most of my morning getting a new cell phone on-line. I don't require much from a phone. As long as It transmits and receives calls, that's enough. $10 pay as you go phones work just fine. There isn't even any cell phone service at my house, so we only use a cell phone when traveling.

Now of course, we travel on a sailboat, so the cell phone is a good safety item to have. The marine radio is our primary communication method. Mounting the antenna at the top of the mast has given us decent range. In fact, in the Gulf, we normally keep the radio on low power as we hear too much stuff. Seems like the Coast Guard is kept pretty busy. Every single day we've been on they water, they've been dealing with disabled boats. Often it's a simple as a boat running out of gas, but a few times it's been for things like a boat disabled and taking on water. Not good.

Communication is nice. It could be a life saver. All the same, electronic communication devices won't untangle a sail, fix a motor, set an anchor, or patch up a bad cut. Nice to know the Coast Guard and private companies are there to call on, but it's no substitute for skills and proper preparation.

Today, the proper maneuver is to stay in port.



  1. From what I've seen of most boaters, they are severely lacking in the skills and common sense department. Last summer, a jon boat with SIX people aboard (plus coolers, fishing gear, etc. headed out into the Gulf. I don't recall what conditions were, but it doesn't take much to get pretty snotty at the end of the Packery Channel jetties. Needless to say, a breaker caught the jon boat, flipped it, and dumped everyone into the Gulf. Out of town morons, overloaded boat, and poor conditions made for a very bad day. There's about 3 days per year when a jon boat can venture offshore around here, and that day wasn't one of them! But I'm sure their "rationale" was "we came all this way"... Everyone survived, but not without injury. And they lost all their gear...

  2. Better to stay on shore than become a statistic dude.

  3. We sometimes waited long periods to make the crossing to the Bahamas, once we anchored out at Ft. Pierce for three weeks waiting for favorable conditions. Always crossing to the islands in mill pond weather. Patience Is very much a virtue that pays dividends.

  4. Thanks for the encouraging words guys!

  5. The sea will take us when she wants us, if we're ready or not. :pirates creedo

  6. Glad to see there is at least one smart sailor out there, buddy!

    More common sense is what we need...and I hope you keep on showing others the way!