Trusting Your Captain

the captain  

I've heard several horror stories, especially from women, about close calls they've had or rotten trips that they thought could have been avoided. They blame their “captains”, usually their husbands, who had opted to sail when the weather forecast was iffy or had taken a shortcut to avoid a few extra miles … part impatience, part bravado and the boat and/or crew ended up in jeopardy.

We've certainly had our share of troubles, woes and mishaps during passages, but I never felt fearful of my life and I never lost trust in my captain. Probably, because he never gave me reason to. David is a prudent, careful captain. He maintains the boat well. We always have the spares we need aboard or he's innovative enough to jury-rig something that works. We don't take chances with the boat (our home) or our lives. He's much better in a stressful situation than I am and I readily admit it. He's logical, level-headed and acts sensibly in the worst of conditions. I've come to respect him for that at sea more than ever before.

When I hear men say, “I love to sail, but my wife hates it” followed by “We were so drunk that night, we nearly hit the reef. Ha, ha, ha” or hollering while trying to berth, “WTF are you doing? I told you to …”, I don't really need to wonder why some wives don't like it. Taking a non-sailor out on a crappy day or expecting him/her to do things unfamiliar to them under adverse conditions is not the best way to talk a partner into enjoying a sailing adventure. Being imprudent or foolish doesn't work well either … nor does bullying. Encouraging participation, explaining things, keeping your cool and dealing sensibly with situations that arise are part of the “just a little further” philosophy that we espouse. Learn, read, try, experience, encourage, take your time.

If I've learned anything aboard Nine of Cups it's that teamwork really counts in stressful situations and relying on each other is key.

Days and Ways to Celebrate
A daily list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.
Name Yourself Day
Ever wish you had a different name? This is the day to try a new one. If you're going to go for a change, make it drastic. Call yourself Pinocchio or Hector of Medusa for the day. Guaranteed after a day of that, you'll be happy with your current name.