I have been writing a lot about safety lately: person overboard, storm survival, fire at sea, and so on. All important stuff. But I do sometimes worry about how this all relates to our primary goal here at Attainable Adventure Cruising, as stated on our homepage, of: Helping you go cruising. Now most people would say that writing about safety is part of that mission, and that's true, but there is also another aspect, which Winston Churchill defined way back on 16th November 1943:
You may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman, or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together—what do you get? The sum of their fears.He was pointing out that while each military adviser may be brave and decisive, they each have their own demons. And so if they are all in the same room planning an action there is a good likelihood that they will get mired by their collective fears and take no action. The answer to this problem is the presence of a strong leader who holistically weighs the chances of success against the risks, cuts through that paralysis to order decisive action, and then takes responsibility for the outcome—in WWII that leader was often Churchill. So what does this have to do with offshore sailing? Never before have we boat owners had access to as much writing, and video, about safety equipment, techniques, and strategies as we do today. Although that can be a good thing, it also exposes us relentlessly to "the sum of their fears". To every:
- Blog writer's bad safety-related experience.
- Marine journalist's pet fear. (I will tell you about mine in a minute.)
- Tale of disaster on FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter and so on.
- Salty sailor's hard and fast opinions, based on their own worst experiences, on what we must add to our boats and do at sea to be safe.