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Can The Easily Panicked Be Taught To Sail?


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I've got a friend I've taken out exactly three times.  Every time we've been out she panics at some point.  But when we get back to the dock she always says how much fun it was and how she wants me to teach her more.

Personally, I don't think she's learned anything other than I will always do whatever has to be done to stop her from freaking out.

She frequently bugs me to go out again and I always find a way not to go.  I've even told her she has to overcome panicking but all that comes from that is the promise she won't.

Is it possible for her to learn to sail without me wanting to throw her overboard?

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Maybe she needs to grasp the concept of sailing on a dinghy and then set foot on tour boat when her confidence is up and panic attacks are gone

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Well, we honestly cannot offer you our hallowed opinion without you first respecting forums decorum.  You must first post of picture of her tits.  After careful analysis of the photographic evidence, we shall render our mutual mature opinions to answer your question.  Now shoo and get that evidence posted.

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1 minute ago, Senator Seditious Maximus said:

Well, we honestly cannot offer you our hallowed opinion without you first respecting forums decorum.  You must first post of picture of her tits.  After careful analysis of the photographic evidence, we shall render our mutual mature opinions to answer your question.  Now shoo and get that evidence posted.

While you are waiting, go clean your room like your mom asked you to.

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Is her panic perhaps an indication that you need to be taught to sail? Or is her panic and your reaction just how the relationship works?

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Is it possible to replicate the "panic" moment?

Like a flogging headsail?

Can you repeat the moment a few times after a pause in between to reflect on the fact that the panic is not justified?

rinse repeat?

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You need to figure out what situations cause those panic sessions. Then next time, before you go out, you explain to her what is happening on the boat at that point and what you are doing to return the boat to a non-panic inducing state. Then you can teach her to take those actions herself, which will give her a feeling of control that will counter her panic reflex.

For entertainment, sorry RESEARCH purposes, having the situation recorded on a go pro and shared here will enable us to further counsel you in this matter, how to resolve it and if she is worth the effort!

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1 hour ago, Jules said:

I've got a friend I've taken out exactly three times.  Every time we've been out she panics at some point.  But when we get back to the dock she always says how much fun it was and how she wants me to teach her more.

Personally, I don't think she's learned anything other than I will always do whatever has to be done to stop her from freaking out.

She frequently bugs me to go out again and I always find a way not to go.  I've even told her she has to overcome panicking but all that comes from that is the promise she won't.

Is it possible for her to learn to sail without me wanting to throw her overboard?

No. Some people just freak out. What I hate is when they go "wuhhhhh" like it's dangerous over 12knots of breeze or 15 degrees of heel.

The most beneficial solution is to take them out in sort of windy conditions for a 3-4 day sail so they get used to it, but don't expect their comfort level to remain high for more than a few days.

Personal experience, YMMV.

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Let her drive..  Not knowing anything and just sitting there doing nothing holding a beer would freak anyone out.  Dad used to give the newbies the wheel once we got out of the harbor.  "Keep her into the wind" The look of utter WTF on their faces was priceless, but after maneuvering the boat whilst all 3 sails were put up(Ketch), fear was gone.  Obviously myself, my mom or someone that could actually drive was really close by to "usher" the newbie in the right direction.  

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Some folks just don’t get past it. Took some friends out one summer day a s had a great sail but noticed a typical Chesapeake afternoon squall line coming so wrapped things up and headed toward the harbor. Turns out one of the women was deathly afraid of thunderstorms. Hide in the closet with the dog afraid.  She panicked and “had to get ashore” but refused to go below. Her husband was useless. Against my better judgement, we entered the harbor and made a crash landing in the slip in 25-30 knot gusts just as the squall hit so she could run for cover. 
 

Never took her out again. 

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Before my now-wife ever went sailing, she was a bit afraid of it even though she swims like a fish. We were going out on a friend's small cat and I'd told her to be prepared to capsize, which kind of freaked her out. Once we got out there, we started out gently and as her confidence built, we did some capsize drills. She learned that it was very difficult to get hurt and we had no problem righting the boat even from a full turtle, so all her fears about getting injured or being unable to get back to shore subsided. She still knew that there were certain ways you could get hurt, like hitting the mast on the way into the water, but they were unlikely and avoidable to a certain extent. After this, she become completely enthusiastic. 

Extrapolating to your situation, I'd suggest sitting down with your friend and replaying all the situations that led her to panic, trying to find out what specific situations and fears drive your friend's reaction. If you can identify them and then confront them in a controlled manner (e.g. "okay, now we're going to gybe so watch out for the boom", etc) so she can turn an irrational fear into a rational one, you might be able to get past the panic reaction.

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IStreams comments got me thinking ... can your friend swim?

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Good question! My Mom grew up in Scotland and never learned to swim. My Dad loved the water. He had a small rowboat and then a laser. My Mom hated both because she was scared.

On the other hand, sometimes it is idiosyncratic. My wife has sailed all her life on dinghies, but when we graduated to keelboats she was suddenly uncomfortable in strong conditions. I still can't get her to drive when the wind builds, seems she just doesn't want to handle a bigger boat in strong conditions.

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First time out can really goof people up it its too intense and they have zero experience.

Beer can races are actually good first time events for folks if they can stand in the companionway and its not too windy. They can observe, grab beers, help pull in spinnakers. Additionally being around a number of folks who are totally comfortable and clearly in control of events and having fun is infectious.

Totally 2nd the driving suggestion, especially upwind when you can give them the "fly the telltales" task or even tell them to try to make the inner telltales fly up a little when its flat water and then do the same with the outer tell tales when waves have to be negotiated even if thats not the fastest for your boat but you get the picture. You also immediately learn a lot about their basic nature and ability to take in information and react to new experiences.

 

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1 hour ago, Windward said:

Is it possible to replicate the "panic" moment?

Like a flogging headsail?

Can you repeat the moment a few times after a pause in between to reflect on the fact that the panic is not justified?

rinse repeat?

Just set up and do an epic wipeout with her on the bow so she gets a good view. Then she will see that it is no big deal and be good to go. Or her fear will be justified

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With most people, systematic desensitization will work, eventually.  Turns out people cannot panic while being very bored.

Just how long it might take, and whether either of you want to wait that long, I cannot say.

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3 hours ago, Jules said:

I've got a friend I've taken out exactly three times.  Every time we've been out she panics at some point.  But when we get back to the dock she always says how much fun it was and how she wants me to teach her more.

Personally, I don't think she's learned anything other than I will always do whatever has to be done to stop her from freaking out.

She frequently bugs me to go out again and I always find a way not to go.  I've even told her she has to overcome panicking but all that comes from that is the promise she won't.

Is it possible for her to learn to sail without me wanting to throw her overboard?

You've given her a safe way to have the shit scared out of her. She wants more. It could be as simple as that.

Maybe talk through sailing with her - what are her goals, and what does she enjoy about sailing? If she just wants to be scared, she can be rail meat. If she wants to learn sailing and really lean into the speed junkie thing, then teach her foredeck, send her up the mast, go sailing in big wind, etc.

 

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1 hour ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Some folks just don’t get past it. Took some friends out one summer day a s had a great sail but noticed a typical Chesapeake afternoon squall line coming so wrapped things up and headed toward the harbor. Turns out one of the women was deathly afraid of thunderstorms. Hide in the closet with the dog afraid.  She panicked and “had to get ashore” but refused to go below. Her husband was useless. Against my better judgement, we entered the harbor and made a crash landing in the slip in 25-30 knot gusts just as the squall hit so she could run for cover. 
 

Never took her out again. 

Reminds me of an incident from my ill-spent youth... some group or another gathered for a picnic, and of course the kids all flocked together for some kind of mischief. In this case, I found a slimy pond behind the trees which had an old equally slimy and leaky rowboat. Playing around in even the sorriest boat was always better IMHO, so I started paddling it around the pond and soon was taking other kids for rides in it. After coaxing a pretty & well dressed girl into the boat, we paddle around a while and suddenly she looks down at the water in the bilge and starts shrieking about her new shoes getting RUINED!!!

So she jumps out of the boat!

Fortunately the pond was only about knee deep on a 10 year old, which none had any idea of before she jumped in. She very quickly made it ashore and disappeared in the direction of the grown-ups. I was used to being in trouble so I just shrugged it off.

Some people, don't even bother to take them out in boats. They will NEVERr fuckin' get it.

FB- Doug

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I agree with the dinghy sailing suggestion.  Once you've capsized a laser a few dozen times you're less afraid of heeling.  Letting her drive is another good idea.  

I've found a lot of people are freaked out by the heeling of a keelboat - it's very unsettling if you don't have an intuitive feel for how it "should" feel.  Just doing it a lot helps, but my wife really never got into it, which is part of the reason we now have a trawler.  

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2 hours ago, socalrider said:

I agree with the dinghy sailing suggestion.  Once you've capsized a laser a few dozen times you're less afraid of heeling.  Letting her drive is another good idea.  

I've found a lot of people are freaked out by the heeling of a keelboat - it's very unsettling if you don't have an intuitive feel for how it "should" feel.  Just doing it a lot helps, but my wife really never got into it, which is part of the reason we now have a trawler.  

Whenever I take newbies out on my folkboat, I point to the cabin sole and tell them that underneath that is the weight of a small car that will keep the boat from fully tipping over - haven't had much panic on board, so it must work!

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I think the answer to the OP's question is, "Yes" for about 95% of folks, esp if they want to go try again.  I think a combination of education around the basic physics of sailing (there's a 3000 lb lead keel that sticks 5 ft down to keep us from tipping over), and understanding of controls (when the boat starts to tip we can ease the main, or head up some), and recognition of what causes the panic (typically, the boat heeling - that's a new concept to many people, and tipping over seems "wrong/leads to impending disaster), followed by taking that person out sailing on days that don't produce the conditions that cause the panic at first, followed by days that might begin to approach it, followed by days that actually approach it, followed by days that do it, followed by days that might even exceed it.

Whether or not you are willing to invest that time and effort is a different story.  Plus, as IB rightly points out, there are some who will never acclimatize, regardless of how slowly and gently you go...

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Some people don't like the feeling when things are "out of control".  I take first-time passengers flying in gliders frequently, and I find that the most important thing is to keep talking to them in a calm, confident voice.  lf they know that you are not scared, they will not be scared.  

So, with this person, I would be a bit of a blabbermouth and just keep the conversation going.   Be careful about the expression on your face and your tone of voice.   Laugh a lot and make jokes.

A lot of people pick up little cues and mis-interpret them, like an extended silence, leading to fear.  When I am going to be silent for a while during a flight (I get tired of hearing myself too after a while) I tell the passenger I'm going to be quiet and just enjoy the feeling for a while.

Communicate everything you are doing before you do it.  Even small changes in course and sail trim, and explain why you are doing them.  

Make sure you don't take them out in conditions where you are anything less than 100% confident in your ability to not just manage the boat but do it without drama or anxiety on your part.  The slightest anxiety on your part is likely to be communicated unintentionally and may trigger your friend's panic.

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7 hours ago, Parma said:

No. Some people just freak out. What I hate is when they go "wuhhhhh" like it's dangerous over 12knots of breeze or 15 degrees of heel.

The most beneficial solution is to take them out in sort of windy conditions for a 3-4 day sail so they get used to it, but don't expect their comfort level to remain high for more than a few days.

Personal experience, YMMV.

We went out today.  Thus my timely post.  But we invited some friends.  Two were in their 80s and absolutely no help at all.  But one knows his shit, and is one of those guys who says, "It's not a problem.  We'll be okay."  And he's a huge help working the boat.

Sailing today was brisk.  Winds were topping at maybe 15 or so.  One 80 something guest was freaking at the start.  (Her husband was nestled comfortably in the cockpit.)  But my scaredy-cat friend jumped on the helm and steered us into some rail-burying runs.  And she was elated.

I'm glad I didn't choose psychology as an occupation.

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1 hour ago, Marcjsmith said:

Is she an adrenaline junkie.  Loves the fear, love the panic, and that’s why she want to keep coming back for more?

You may be onto something...

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Take her out in a double handed dinghy(420 or similar) plane the boat and capsize it again & again until it breaks her panicky habit or quits sailing all together. 
 

Most of us cherish every opportunity to go for a sail. Why bring someone that will consistently ruin it for you. Leave her on the dock. 

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12 hours ago, Jules said:

I've got a friend I've taken out exactly three times.  Every time we've been out she panics at some point.  But when we get back to the dock she always says how much fun it was and how she wants me to teach her more.

Personally, I don't think she's learned anything other than I will always do whatever has to be done to stop her from freaking out.

She frequently bugs me to go out again and I always find a way not to go.  I've even told her she has to overcome panicking but all that comes from that is the promise she won't.

Is it possible for her to learn to sail without me wanting to throw her overboard?

pop a few strong margaritas into her first , then go sailing,..

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On top of the already mentioned dinghy sailing, dinghy capsizing, putting her on the wheel, plying her with Margaritas, and RainMans most prescient commentary on fear as contagion, I'd add only one thing...

...trim and reef for comfort in advance of a stiffening breeze and let your newbie crew in on what you're doing. Making the boat controllable and docile in a stiffening breeze, or having the right amount of sail up to match a wave period...even just little adjustments...can go a huge way towards giving the boat a slightly more comfortable and predictable ride. The more predictable the less panic...

A lot of great things about giving someone the wheel...gives them control/confidence/feel for the boat but also gets them standing and perhaps flexing legs and instinctively balancing the inner ear. Complete opposite of if they go down below etc.

After that...at some point yeah you should go for more and more controlled heel, put the rail in the water and bring it back. If she's still smiling, who knows, maybe she's a keeper.

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12 hours ago, Jules said:

I've got a friend I've taken out exactly three times.  Every time we've been out she panics at some point.  But when we get back to the dock she always says how much fun it was and how she wants me to teach her more.

Personally, I don't think she's learned anything other than I will always do whatever has to be done to stop her from freaking out.

She frequently bugs me to go out again and I always find a way not to go.  I've even told her she has to overcome panicking but all that comes from that is the promise she won't.

Is it possible for her to learn to sail without me wanting to throw her overboard?

Yes.

 

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12 hours ago, Jules said:

We went out today.  Thus my timely post.  But we invited some friends.  Two were in their 80s and absolutely no help at all.  But one knows his shit, and is one of those guys who says, "It's not a problem.  We'll be okay."  And he's a huge help working the boat.

Sailing today was brisk.  Winds were topping at maybe 15 or so.  One 80 something guest was freaking at the start.  (Her husband was nestled comfortably in the cockpit.)  But my scaredy-cat friend jumped on the helm and steered us into some rail-burying runs.  And she was elated.

I'm glad I didn't choose psychology as an occupation.

Looks like she learned something... maybe the wrong things??

Keep the guy who was a lot of help. Sounds like the others may not want to come back anyway. And always have that skipper's awareness of who is crew, who is merely a passenger

FB- Doug

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13 hours ago, markwbird said:

Only one way to be sure. Marry her and see if her interest in sailing drops to zero.  

I think she would have to get a divorce from her husband and take up this lady to test your theory!

As an aside, that’s how things worked out with my marriage. She lost interest in sailing and me and now she doesn’t have to bother with either:)

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16 hours ago, Jules said:

We went out today.  Thus my timely post.  But we invited some friends.  Two were in their 80s and absolutely no help at all.  But one knows his shit, and is one of those guys who says, "It's not a problem.  We'll be okay."  And he's a huge help working the boat.

Sailing today was brisk.  Winds were topping at maybe 15 or so.  One 80 something guest was freaking at the start.  (Her husband was nestled comfortably in the cockpit.)  But my scaredy-cat friend jumped on the helm and steered us into some rail-burying runs.  And she was elated.

I'm glad I didn't choose psychology as an occupation.

There is always that moment when the Brain Clicks and the owner of said brain thinks...."I get it now".

 

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On 3/17/2021 at 6:40 AM, apophenia said:

You've given her a safe way to have the shit scared out of her. She wants more. It could be as simple as that.

Maybe talk through sailing with her - what are her goals, and what does she enjoy about sailing? If she just wants to be scared, she can be rail meat. If she wants to learn sailing and really lean into the speed junkie thing, then teach her foredeck, send her up the mast, go sailing in big wind, etc.

This...... You should count your blessings that she still wants to go out sailing with you. Or  just take her out when conditions are too benign to panic and see what happens....

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On 3/16/2021 at 8:49 PM, CaptainAhab said:

Take her out in a double handed dinghy(420 or similar) plane the boat and capsize it again & again until it breaks her panicky habit or quits sailing all together. 
 

Most of us cherish every opportunity to go for a sail. Why bring someone that will consistently ruin it for you. Leave her on the dock. 

A loooooong time ago, when I was a sailing instructor in a small sailing school in Normandy (a 16 years old me, instructing 9 and 10 years old kids), we had a kid who was simply terrified of capsizes. Having never experienced it, he thought it would be the end of his world... We had the kids sailing by group of 3 in dinghies.

One day, after a more "brisk weather" afternoon, I see him walking back the beach and coming back to me. He then stood up in front of me, swaggering and smiling ear to ear: "Laurent, I capsized!!!"

Once he realized it was not the end of his world, fear was gone.

 

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On 3/17/2021 at 2:35 PM, Jules said:

But my scaredy-cat friend jumped on the helm and steered us into some rail-burying runs.  And she was elated.

I'm glad I didn't choose psychology as an occupation.

Perhaps you missed a calling there Jules,  scaredy cat buries the rail and develops an elated shit eating grin.

Sounds like you're winning .....or she's gleefully trying to kill you all. :D

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16 hours ago, Navig8tor said:

Perhaps you missed a calling there Jules,  scaredy cat buries the rail and develops an elated shit eating grin.

Sounds like you're winning .....or she's gleefully trying to kill you all. :D

I think the fact there was someone more scared than her gave her confidence.  The wife of the 80 year old couple had that roller coaster fright face every time the boat heeled.  I think that gave my friend confidence. 

On another note - that 80 year old woman immediately asked for a life vest when she got on the boat.  But when we gave her one, she set it on the seat next to her.  I told her it does no good there.  She said, "I just want it near in case I need it."  To which I replied, "By the time you need it, you'll already be in the water."  Didn't matter.  She refused to put it on.

But what was funny was she said she wanted one because she's afraid of deep water.  I told her if the boat sunk, we would all be sitting on the cabin top since there's only a few feet of water under our keel.  While she's afraid of deep water, I'm looking to avoid running aground.

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It's smart to be afraid of the right thing.

These days I almost always wear a vest type life jacket. I got used to wearing one racing dinghies, then setting an example for junior sailors. One exception is in our motorboat, where I'm almost always inside (pilothouse).

You're smart IMHO to try to make your guests comfortable and not argue with them. Do you think Miss Oo-I'm-Scared-Then-Buries-The-Rail has any serious interest in really learning to sail? She could end up being all right.

Bear in mind that some people never get it. I've known spouses of sailors who really wanted to go along, and I think they really wanted to like sailing, but something in their brains started shrieking DANGER DANGER and they would rather be locked in a burning building than on a heeling sailboat. Nothing could ever change that, including in 2 cases i worked with, people who definitely wanted to learn to sail, doing a series of easy calm capsize drills in dinghies. I've also known a lot of people who wanted to learn to sail but could never learn to steer (meaning, actually hold a course).

Sailing ain't for everybody

FB- Doug

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On 3/17/2021 at 6:19 PM, Sail4beer said:

As an aside, that’s how things worked out with my marriage. She lost interest in sailing and me and now she doesn’t have to bother with either:)

Sounds like my former neighbour Eamon, who loved his pigeons.  I'd hear his wife calling him in from the pigeon lofts: "Eamon, your dinner's ready".

Then I realised it was a month or so since I'd heard her call.  So I stuck my head over the fence: "How're ye, Eamon".

"Grand thanks, and yerself?"

"Grand too.  But I was worried about you.  Hadn't heard your wife's voice for a while.  Is she okay?"

"She told me it was her or the pigeons ... so I told her to feck off".

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The interpersonal dynamics between you and your friend make it very unlikely she will substantially un-panic  by gaining her sailing experience only with you.  That's OK...the conversation should be, "I really want to sail together with you, and to do that we need for you to become more comfortable with sailing.  I believe the best way for that to happen is for you to sail with Bob and Sally for a few sessions, and I have taken the liberty of arranging that along with the wine and snacks for the first outing with them.  Have fun!"

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13 minutes ago, davesimon said:

The interpersonal dynamics between you and your friend make it very unlikely she will substantially un-panic  by gaining her sailing experience only with you.  That's OK...the conversation should be, "I really want to sail together with you, and to do that we need for you to become more comfortable with sailing.  I believe the best way for that to happen is for you to sail with Bob and Sally for a few sessions, and I have taken the liberty of arranging that along with the wine and snacks for the first outing with them.  Have fun!"

That's actually a great idea... benefit of being in a sailing/yacht club, makes it easier

FB- Doug

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11 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

Sounds like my former neighbour Eamon, who loved his pigeons.  I'd hear his wife calling him in from the pigeon lofts: "Eamon, your dinner's ready".

Then I realised it was a month or so since I'd heard her call.  So I stuck my head over the fence: "How're ye, Eamon".

"Grand thanks, and yerself?"

"Grand too.  But I was worried about you.  Hadn't heard your wife's voice for a while.  Is she okay?"

"She told me it was her or the pigeons ... so I told her to feck off".

It was the boat life or her life sitting on the beach sleeping in the sun all day. I had enough of the beach as a little kid. 

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12 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

Sounds like my former neighbour Eamon, who loved his pigeons.  I'd hear his wife calling him in from the pigeon lofts: "Eamon, your dinner's ready".

Then I realised it was a month or so since I'd heard her call.  So I stuck my head over the fence: "How're ye, Eamon".

"Grand thanks, and yerself?"

"Grand too.  But I was worried about you.  Hadn't heard your wife's voice for a while.  Is she okay?"

"She told me it was her or the pigeons ... so I told her to feck off".

I was lucky enough to get to tickets to a rugby test and when we got to our seats there was an old guy next to me with a empty seat next to him. I said how amazed I was that someone wasn't there given it was a sell out. He said that was his wife's seat, that they had not missed a wallabies test match together in 20 years, but she had recently passed away. I asked him if their wasn't a friend or relative he could have asked to come along with him and he replied that they were all at the funeral.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, I will be here all week.

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From someone married three times to hot women, trust me you cannot fix the crazy. Why is it that most women cannot even remember how to wrap a line around a cleat unless they grew up around boats? Be satisfied to let her join you and drink wine without touching anything. Or get a dog, better company on a boat. 

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On 3/20/2021 at 10:39 AM, LB 15 said:

I was lucky enough to get to tickets to a rugby test and when we got to our seats there was an old guy next to me with a empty seat next to him. I said how amazed I was that someone wasn't there given it was a sell out. He said that was his wife's seat, that they had not missed a wallabies test match together in 20 years, but she had recently passed away. I asked him if their wasn't a friend or relative he could have asked to come along with him and he replied that they were all at the funeral.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, I will be here all week.

Were you in Noo Zilland?

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Cool headedness is key on the water. I think people can attain this through life challenges and experience on the water which she might be lacking. I'd say give her another chance but tell her she has to buy a case of beer for each time she freaks out from now on.

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4 hours ago, olaf hart said:

Were you in Noo Zilland?

Kiwi's are scared of getting cancer of the balls because they heard the doctors take their test tickets away.

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On 3/16/2021 at 12:25 PM, Jules said:

I've got a friend I've taken out exactly three times.  Every time we've been out she panics at some point.  But when we get back to the dock she always says how much fun it was and how she wants me to teach her more.

Personally, I don't think she's learned anything other than I will always do whatever has to be done to stop her from freaking out.

She frequently bugs me to go out again and I always find a way not to go.  I've even told her she has to overcome panicking but all that comes from that is the promise she won't.

Is it possible for her to learn to sail without me wanting to throw her overboard?

FWIW, I'll tell a short tale.

My spouse is the ultimate in panic....even my voice from behind has her jumping out of her skin. She is scared of everything and anything. 

However, when we were sailing on my 19 sloop in the heaviest conditions - she ONLY liked it when we were heeled over 20 degrees or more.  Now, obviously this was because she must trust me. But we were over 30 degrees sometimes - staring down at the water.

BUT, there was this old stoner dude who claimed he'd teach her sailing - he put her on a sunfish on a windy day and pushed her around a bit in shallow water....then he pushed her off and told here to sail. That freaked her out - she had no idea what she was doing.

She has since recovered and still sails w/me - we were out today on a Hobie. 

Here is my summary, tho - the Panic can be gotten over. What cannot be corrected for is those many people that have absolutely no idea of the mechanics of things - or don't want to learn. A non-thinking (the type who doesn't want to know which way is south, how that was made, etc.) makes a poor candidate for sailing

So I'd more use the "mechanic" scale - does the person learn things and are they excited by knowing more and more and putting their knowledge to work in the real world. 

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13 hours ago, craigiri said:

Here is my summary, tho - the Panic can be gotten over. What cannot be corrected for is those many people that have absolutely no idea of the mechanics of things - or don't want to learn. A non-thinking (the type who doesn't want to know which way is south, how that was made, etc.) makes a poor candidate for sailing

So I'd more use the "mechanic" scale - does the person learn things and are they excited by knowing more and more and putting their knowledge to work in the real world. 

I had a situation 20+ years ago when I thought it would be good to get a bareboat charter certificate. You get forced to take basic sailing + whatever follows.
A husband and wife were in the course. When the wife was driving or performing some task HE would get nervous and intervene.  She was typically doing the right thing or close enough to it.  His anxiety would overwhelm him and he'd grab the tiller and pull it the wrong way. It was an odd situation for the instructor and everyone else who recognized it. I wonder what happened to those too. Anxiety is a tough thing. Displaced anxiety even weirder.

 

 

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Have someone give her lessons on a Sunfish or any one person dingy.  On day one have her turn the boat over and then right it a couple of times.  Then teach the basics and with a hand on the tiller and the other on the sheet, she will better understand how two work together.  Sitting on a rail and going below for beer and finger food will only make her a snacktision/railrock.  She may never steer again but will better understand how it all works .  .  .

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21 hours ago, PurpleOnion said:

I had a situation 20+ years ago when I thought it would be good to get a bareboat charter certificate. You get forced to take basic sailing + whatever follows.
A husband and wife were in the course. When the wife was driving or performing some task HE would get nervous and intervene.  She was typically doing the right thing or close enough to it.  His anxiety would overwhelm him and he'd grab the tiller and pull it the wrong way. It was an odd situation for the instructor and everyone else who recognized it. I wonder what happened to those too. Anxiety is a tough thing. Displaced anxiety even weirder.

 

 

Spouses often get the idea that their spouse cannot possibly do anything right. I have not had that much to do with teaching adults to sail, but have helped run a few classes and it's a stereotype with strong basis in fact: gotta seperate the husbands and wives.

- DSK

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On 3/28/2021 at 6:03 PM, Somebody Else said:

The easily panicked are the drama queens. 

In their defence, I did learn in my single days, that in the rack, they often went off like a pile of ammonium nitrate in Beirut.

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