How can prepare your small sailboat and sailing crew to face the unexpected “storms” that you can expect to encounter anytime you cast off your docking lines to go sailing? Read on to discover a 2000-year-old piece of advice that can help you sail safer aboard any sailboat anywhere in the world!
In 335 B.C., the Greek historian and philosopher Xenophon came upon a Phoenician ship tied up alongside the wharf. He saw a young seaman with gear spread about the deck and he asked him what he was doing.
To which the young sailor replied: “I am looking to see whether anything is out of order. There will be no time to look for what is missing or out of place when a storm comes up at sea.”
A storm doesn’t need to be one of just blustery sailing weather. It could be an engine that fails as you enter a marina or an anchor that drags in the middle of the night.
It could be that mainsail that needed an inspection a while back. Did you notice that broken stitching near the foot? All of a sudden, it rips across its seam as you’re sailing down the channel in a brisk wind.
Or maybe your electronic chart plotter goes on the blink after a power surge when you’re threading your way through a shoal infested lagoon. Do you have a corrected navigational chart pre-plotted with courses, emergency anchorages, and highlighted dangers?
How can we sailors best prepare ourselves to meet these challenges “when a storm comes up at sea“? Here are three tips to guide you to handle most any situation that crosses your path…