The task of becoming sea-worthy

Posts tagged “desensitization

The first day as REAL sailors…

Admiral’s Log 08/29/2010

Before It Got Exciting

If I’m not the captain, then I cannot write the Captain’s Log.  He says he wants to write on here too, we shall see.  In the meanwhile, my new friends at have explained that I am the Admiral.  I like that!

Yesterday was quite exciting.  It didn’t last that long.  We had a guest crew member, so there were a lot of skill-trials we did not do.  But there was a point that we were moving forward at a speed of about 6 knots, strong but comfortable lean to the boat and everyone was in sync.  That’s when we realized, ‘we were sailing’.

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  It had been my intention to take lots of pictures so we’d have a photo record of the great moments.  But as the great moments came, picture-taking was not possible.   Either we would have tipped or my new droid would have been lost at sea.  As our sailing skills increase, my photo ops will improve.

It felt different heading out of the marina today.  We knew it’s going to be different.  We were going to notch it up just a bit.  There was limited wind at the start, so we motored after pulling up the sails.  We had a guest crew member, GP,(guy’s son) and we didn’t want him to be bored.  The challenge for Cap’n Guy was to effectively captain, to feel confident in instructing his ‘crew’ on what to do.

We began this day’s adventure with Cap’n Guy at the helm, me on the mainsail and GP working the jib.  We were at quite an advantage seeing as GP is in the Navy.  As I said, in the beginning we were motoring with the sails raised initially.  There was a point that we could see we were actually under wind power.  We killed the engine and paused to listen… yep, we were under wind power for the very first time.  What a feeling!

The beginning stages of learning to sail is a lot of letting those around you make mistakes so they can learn what to do, and what not to do.  I am a perfectionist by nature, so a lot of my energy was just focusing on the mainsail & leaving the others to their duties.  There was synergy amist the lack of knowledge we all shared.  The wind was strong enough to move the boat, but not enough to heel uncomfortably. 



Heeling is leaning.

As my new friend Eric explains, it is a necessary part of successful sailing.

There is a Lev-O-Gage on the boat.  It’s like a level, zero at the bottom middle numbering left and right.  You can gauge how much the boat is heeling with this.

Right now we are working at mastering the 0-5 degrees of heeling.




Perfect Storm

I suffer with anxieties, so sailing is not something I ever thought I would be ale to do.  I believe in facing my fears, so we OWN a sailboat now.  Every time we go out, I am doing something called ‘Desensitization’.  I go out on the boat, in a controlled environment (ie, limited winds, ability to return to dock at my discretion, limitation on amount of heeling, etc.), and experience sailing to recondition myself to feel fear and instead experience it as enjoyment.  The picture to the right describes what my brain experiences as we heel 15 degrees.

Over time, I will be able to heel at 15 degrees and have it feel like the boat is leaning a little and we are picking up speed.  I will have a typical exposure response like everyone else.  That is what we are working towards.  Join us again and see how it goes!