There are always lessons to be learned from a disaster, and this one can teach us many things, as well as remind us all of some fundamentals of good seamanship.
Turning back is hard, but sometimes it’s the only right thing to do. John tells some true stories about turning back.
Here is Part 2 of John’s tips on how to decide which old salts to listen to, as well as how to decide between conflicting opinions expressed by experienced voyagers.
Blindly following the teachings of old salts, no matter how experienced and well meaning they are, can lead to poor gear choices and big mistakes once out there. But how do we decide who to believe or between two conflicting opinions? John has ten tips that even the most inexperienced offshore sailor can use to make that easier.
It’s always easier not to fix our boats right, and using the excuse that everyone does it like this is a tempting way to excuse doing extra work and spending more money, but the sea does not recognize excuses.
John muses on why doing basic seamanship tasks, like moving heavy weights safely and efficiently using only the boat’s own gear, are so satisfying…and why the practice is important too.
John continues to make backing-in approaches easy, with four detailed step-by-step recipes (complete with diagrams), one for each wind direction.
The general wisdom, repeated over and over again on wharves, in sailors’ bars, and on the forums, is that it’s difficult to back a boat into a tight space, and impossible if said boat has a long keel. But that’s just dead wrong. John shares backing techniques that will work, and even make the process easy, with most any boat.
Learning everything we need to go cruising can be overwhelming, but John helps by exposing seven commonly-recommended skills we actually don’t need to master and, better still, sharing simple filters that will help all of us decide what’s not important so we can focus on what is.
Seamanship is a word that gets bandied about all the time in the cruising community. But what does seamanship really mean? John and Phyllis get a hard real-world reminder.
Bringing a boat alongside in good order is one thing when it’s calm, and quite another when it’s blowing the dog off the chain. John shares step-by-step instructions on how to make a good safe docking in big breeze, with no drama, shouting, or crashes.
The key to stress free approaches to wharves and floating docks (docking) is in understanding and anticipating what the boat will do in the final few seconds. John shares this vital information.
Many cruisers miss out on the most sheltered berths in a harbour, but it does not have to be that way. Master this one close-quarters boat-handling skill, and getting in and out of tight places, even with a wind blowing, becomes easy.
If your boat is not equipped and set up right, the most skilled crew in the world will have trouble coming alongside. John looks at 10 things you can change on your boat to make docking easy.
John sticks his neck out and gets right controversial but it’s really all about seamanship…it’s always all about seamanship.