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Date: 28 December 2013. We've Seen Worse.


There is a definite difference between the genders, and when it comes to cruisers there are some that you (or more accurately, I) have to wonder about. It is the old testosterone inclination of Macho Man versus Sea. Almost every time the ocean will win. The lessons can be harsh.

From CARRABELLE to CEDAR KEY is a distance of approximately 100 miles.

Just recently I listened to a group of trawlers crossing the Gulf of Mexico heading toward Cedar Key. Several boats had started out but conditions were a little hairier than anticipated. The first to turn back was on the radio and I listened while she said:

"Listen guys, we're turning back. This is not comfortable and we are cruising for fun. We'll see you further down the coast but we are heading back into Carrabelle." Those continuing wished the returning couple well and continued.

Waiting for a weather window is an underappreciated skill. Delaying departure to help ensure a comfortable passage is smart!


Later I listened while a couple of larger trawlers (40+ feet) were talking about taking the waves on the beam. That's going to cause rolling which is an uncomfortable motion from side to side. The lead captain had decided to head a bit further east to get a better angle on the waves.

Still later I listened one more time to the two guys and one said "We've seen worse" and all I could think to myself is:

That wife is not having fun and no amount of bravado
on the part of her captain is going to improve the situation.


They KNEW shortly after leaving that conditions were not ideal. One boat came back. Rather than turn around, at least two others decided to plow through to the destination.

At some point the wife of "We've seen worse" will have had enough and she'll be on a plane back to her grandchildren. And the fellow will wonder "what happened?!"

The allure of new grand children is real!


Know this: As Jeff Allen says "Happy Wife, Happy Life"
Also, if mamma isn't glad, everyone's going to be sad.


If the conditions are not ideal you should wait. Your partner isn't going remain so if she cannot trust you to keep her safe.  When a couple of testosterone laden Type-A captains decide to cruise in tandem, I hope for the best. Still, there is not much surprise on my part when I find one or both boats further down the coast for sale.

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Happy Wife, Happy Life Revisited with Jeff Allan

Presuming you are smart enough to buy a boat and outfit her well, realize that cruising can be wonderful with a partner who shares your life. Keep her happy and toss out the schedule. Definitely plan on taking advantage of those days when the weather is iffy by staying put. Those are the days to read on your Kindle, play a game of
Upwords or just relax and enjoy the life so many wish for.

We are already where we want to be: afloat. Nothing more is required!

Do you kibitz on the VHF too?
Also, has anything special happened/occurred because you chose to wait?

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2013, 2023

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The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

A favorite aphorism:  Trying to beat storms instead of waiting to go in behind them is analogous to having a boat race with the devil.

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