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My favorite nautical quote is about the infamous 1979 Fastnet Storm in which several yachtsman died and many boats were lost. Bill Burrows, Chief Engineer Royal Navy Lifeboat Institution, who retrieved three disable sailboats in a 21 hour rescue said:
"... Look, you get 300 Yachts in poor weather and you're going to have some trouble, almost certainly. But the majority of the trouble was hysteria created by the situation and by inexperienced crews.
Yes, I know they were racing sailors, not cruising men, but that's no excuse. We went out that night and we passed a little old hooker sort of thing with a family of kids aboard and they were going away to Ireland with no trouble at all...."
Attitude and philosophy are as important to good seamanship as the body of knowledge. The nature of the sea as a dangerous and unforgiving environment is not to be minimized. However, a great deal of the fear and danger experienced in bad weather can be self generated in the mind.
There are sports and activities in which stimulation of adrenaline production is a primary objective. Cruising is not one of them. Life aboard "Strider" is devoted to practicing the maintenance of calm and controlled management of challenging situations. There is almost always far more time to deal with an unexpected situation at sea than it seems in the heat of the moment. It's amazing how the pressure of the wind eases and the motion of the boat becomes steadier when you realize that there is time to slow down and think things through.