Date: 3 December 2013. Capable of Learning.
All too often I read massive lists of all a boater needs to
know before shoving off, and I've got to tell you it's a personal pet
peeve of mine. Absolutely there are basics of navigation you must know and
there are a plethora of places to learn those things. And too, knowing how
to fix the items onboard is always good however it should not be the
determining factor as to your successful life afloat. Besides if a former
housewife can do it without testosterone, surely you can do so as well!
And as an aside, both my Seaweed and the sailboat at anchor
shown further in the article are skippered by women soloists. We are out
here having fun and if there's a smidgen of determination in you, well,
you could be out here too. Why not get started today!?!
Experience is what you get when you
get what you wanted. Randy Pausch.
You DO NOT have to know every system and how to fix it
before departure. That's elitist garbage that implies only "old-timers"
should be out here. It's not possible to know everything (contrary to
online experts you'll hear/read elsewhere) and if you wait until you do
know that much, you'll be dead -- or too infirm physically to cruise.
That said, you must be capable of learning -- and it's
always helpful to have engine manuals, along with
Calder's Mechanical and Electrical Manual aboard to guide you. Tools
are important too. If while out here you discover you need a tool you
don't have, buy it.
Every time I read one of these lists of all one must know
first, it rankles my temperament. I'm not suggesting a blithering idiot
get out here and cruise, but certainly a person with a modicum of sense
and the ability to extrapolate information is capable of being an active
cruiser -- I'm doing it so surely you can too.
And when stuff goes wrong, I learn more. Quite frankly I've
learned way more than I ever wanted to know about my engine. Still I'm out
here, enjoying life afloat while so many are stuck on shore, shopping for
a blue-water sailboat to circumnavigate aboard (never having sailed mind
you) or, fixing (and upgrading) a vessel to take them anywhere (still
without ever having spent a week afloat) or, well, you get the picture.
Perfection is the enemy of good enough, and
often good enough is just that!
IF you really wanted to be out here, you'd be doing all you
could to make it happen. Just don't get bogged down worrying about
learning everything prior to departure. It's not necessary. In my opinion
an individual (man or woman) can certainly be a successful cruiser without
being able to quote
Calder's verbatim at the onset and with enough time
out here, well, you too can become an old salt.
I'd love to hear of your experience with the local
Does it drive you crazy to hear the nay-sayers, or does it motivate you to
"show 'em" what you're made of?
In the Bilges
Fine Folks ~
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