My sailing adventures

Sailing to the Bay Area is what Aspen is to skiing. If you live there, you just have to do it.

Now, the traditional approach to starting a sailing yacht is to take a basic keelboat certification course. This lasts for two weekends (4 days) and costs around $500. After that, you can rent small boats (about $200 per day). You can also join a yacht club (a few thousand per year) which reduces the cost of chartering. If you take additional courses, another $500 here and another $500 there will allow you to rent larger boats (about $400 for the day).

Needless to say I took a different approach.

I joined the racing crew. You can read more about how I started sailing in this post.

Skippers who sail frequently are looking for people to crew their boats. Special setups only allow you to sail your boat alone, and even then this is usually an inefficient proposition (for racing purposes) and somewhat risky (for racing boats, less so for full cruisers) than having more people on board. Racing boats in particular are generally designed to require several crew members to act as ballast on the topside to balance the boat and keep it afloat.

Crew members who are able to commit to showing up on a consistent basis are highly valued and captains are generally willing to train these people for free.

Admission price for a fixed person: free training and free sailing.

Admission price for those who do not have the time: $1,500 for training and $200-400 per day.

Well, it wasn’t exactly free. I spent about $500 on safety equipment in the form of a marine life jacket, a double leash, a strobe light, and an emergency gear knife. I also bought some boat shoes on clearance ($36 instead of $70). I got some used bad weather pants on eBay. My “bad weather” jacket is actually my winter jacket.

In fact, anyone willing to spend frivolously can easily spend $800-$1,000 more on the latest fashions in foul weather gear (which change every year). In terms of durability, it will not exceed the standard Rain gear for fishermen. In general, then, you can pay as much as you want. I’m sure Jill’s latest outfit will make me look stylish but it won’t give me any respect on the water, so why would I do that?

Anyway, this money has been paid. From now on, my cost is time, not dollars.

I realize that since I no longer spend any significant money on this, my standard of living has decreased. Yes, that was a joke, and it would be funny if some people didn’t think that spending too little automatically meant not truly living life.

In terms of living life. Well, what is living? Living for me is learning. Learning about myself and the rest of the universe. (For some it is to try things. For others it fits into the traditional structures of society.) Learning happens faster when limits are crossed. This is the only way to experience something completely different.

Experiencing situations similar to oneself more than a hundred times is actually only one experience. I’ve traveled to 14 countries, but they all pretty much followed the same “travel to a foreign country” recipe. In any case …

I have witnessed it during my short time sailing [not all at the same time, fortunately] Force 6 winds (this is when they issue a little ship warning), 10 foot waves (makes you feel very small), being on a sinking/(slowly) ship, torn sail, torn mainsail, and more Pins From what I can’t count, loss of rudder, loss of engine, loss of radio, loss of bilge pump (automatic and manual), another boat rescued by towing it from a lee beach,… and a whole host of other less dramatic things (seals, dolphins, sea lions) .

[I have learned how I deal with fear, anxiety, and how I respond to scary situations. I think I take a more relaxed attitude to physical danger now. And then of course I learned a bunch of technical stuff about sail twist, the slot, the foot, the belly, etc.]

I realize that crazy things make the best stories, but I was also on the boat finding a finger of air sailing through the mist and mist swirling around the sails as the sun was setting over the water and the boat was gliding along at 4 knots. Or sail along the waterfront, feeling the breeze and watching the city lights and the lights of other navigational vessels. beautiful things.

Yes yes I know. I don’t spend money. As a result, my life sucks, right?

In just over half a year, she has sailed about 40 times. This is probably more than the average boat owner or Keelboat certified boat charterer can sail in 5 years or so. Does this mean I live 10 times faster than the average person?

What is the difference between paying and not paying?

The person paying a lot of value is not contributing to the system. It extracts value. So he pays money. Conversely, someone who doesn’t pay provides value. Therefore he does not pay.

I’m usually responsible for trimming the mainsail. The mainsail trimmer is the person directly responsible for making the boat go fast – or at least the person who receives the majority of the blame if the boat is slow. To provide more value (and because I want to improve my skills), I spend time studying trimming, hardware tuning, what have you. I’m not an advanced trimmer, but I’m not a beginner anymore. In particular, I am not a non-sailor. I’m not trying to brag here, I’m trying to explain the differences: A non-sailor will pay for the trip either with money or by asking very, very nicely (you probably know a boat owner). A person willing to commit to the crew position will board the aircraft for free and be trained. However, this will only happen if someone more advanced is not already available. You see, skill provides value. (This value is not available which is why there are occasional slots for starters.)

If we transplant this into other areas of life, it will make sense how it is possible to have a high quality of life while spending so little. You don’t necessarily have to provide value to others. You can also give it to your family or just yourself.

If you can’t provide value. Then you pay. In this case, ironically, you are seen as having a high standard of living.

It boggles the mind.

Of course people might argue that acquiring a skill is work. I don’t really see it that way. I naturally tend to try to improve myself in things I find interesting. This is what humans do. They play music, not because they hope to become famous, but simply because they like to improve or because of it They just enjoy it. However, at some point, they will be good enough to provide value to others which will lead to all kinds of benefits. This happens if a person has enough time to practice. Without this practice, the person must pay.

This is the basic difference between consumer and producer. (More details in the book about that).

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Originally published on 2010-06-28 00:27:50.

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