Of all the things that I have experienced on a boat at sea, being with someone who is loosing their shit in heavy weather is by far the scariest. It’s hard enough to take care of yourself and the boat but finding myself in this situation is something I work hard at avoiding. I was solo in the worst Gale I’ve ever experienced and in many ways it was a good thing because it’s the most frightened I’ve ever been in my life.
The mental fatigue wears at you, the motion feels like you are slowly being beaten to death and physically things go south surprisingly fast. For all my love of the sea, heavy weather sailing has never been something I enjoy although being caught in it has its finer points. It’s impossible to understand the power and beauty of the sea unless you have been a spec on the ocean caught in her mighty fury.
At some point in our lives we call it and say enough is enough and decide to live a more sedate and comefortable life. In thirty years of sailing I’ve met thousands of people who call them selfs sailors but less than a dozen with the skills to safely sail solo in Gale conditions in a small boat, it’s a whole different game. It’s a test 99.99% of sailors would fail if they had the courage “read stupidity” to show up. I’ve found my solace in this tiny sea that I dwell in but still the ocean calls.
My desire for a much larger and heavier sailboat is primarily based off of age and experience, I can’t tolerate what I could when I was 25 or 35. I get fatigued easier, cold faster and my brain goes stupid in half the amount of time, this latter point is the most dangerous place a sailor can ever be and where most bad things happen out there. To understand my position all you have to do is take your small boat, or any boat into a full blown gale in the straits a time and place very few will ever see.
I sent this amazing journey …continued in part two.