I think I mentioned on my blog and on Facebook, my thoughts about the headlines regarding the sinking of the sailboat, Rebel Heart. Involving a family being rescued, at great expense, by a government agency.
A few minutes ago someone directed me to the following article, and I think it is extremely well written.
Life, anywhere that I know of, is inherently dangerous. Human beings are usually pretty good at risk assessment. Many years ago I read an article in the nautical reference book, Bowditch, that talked about the invention of radar. It was assumed that with radar, that collisions at sea would become a thing of the past. However, the expert’s were puzzled, when they found that if you look at many years of data, that the probability of having a collision at sea, had not dramatically changed.
They were puzzled. But, then someone pointed out that, perhaps sailors are willing to take a certain amount of risk. And, if they are pretty good at calculating the amount of risk, with all the factors of their particular situation, then the probability of an accident would be relatively constant.
With radar, more captains left port in fog, came into a dangerous harbor in the dark, etc., and they did things that they would’ve never done if they did not have the radar.
I use that analogy to point out that, in the case of Rebel Heart, a few landlubbers, who knew nothing about cruising, were sincerely upset that anyone would be stupid enough to take children to sea. This was because they believe that it was obviously very dangerous.
My position is that life IS inherently dangerous, and our homework is to learn to correctly assess those dangers, and to live the best life we can, for as long as we can.
My first two year trip, to the South Pacific, aboard Alegria, made my parents very proud, that I was so fortunate as to be able to fulfill a dream adventure.
When, after only a couple of years back in America, I chose to leave again for an open-ended trip. (To my parents, they saw this as, “Our wonderful son, who had so much potential, is going to throw it all away, and be a boat bum!)
For quite a while, every time I spoke to them on the telephone from Mexico, my father would plead, “When are you going to stop doing that, and come back to the Real World?”
Eventually, I got the idea through to him, that I felt that his world, of waking up in his air-conditioned home, getting into his air-conditioned car, driving to his air-conditioned office, shopping in a giant supermarket for items that came from all over the planet, and then going home to watch TV and sleep in his air-conditioned home, was not nearly as real, as life on a small boat, traveling in remote, and wonderful places.
I certainly agree that there are a few people cruising that have no idea what they’re doing. That is logical because no one is born knowing any of this stuff. And there is a huge amount of knowledge that you should know.
Yes, I have met some people that have no business doing what they’re doing. However, because only few people are truly stupid, the vast majority know a great deal about what they’re doing, and are busy learning more as they go.
Anyway, if you made it this far, here’s a nice article: