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by Lee Martin - Harvey, Texas - USA


Cut and Run


Once again, we've spent a miserable day on the water. Overpowered, overwaved and soaking wet. It doesn't have to be this way, but for me the decision to turn back or not start, is a hard one to make. My primary mistake comes, when, after listening to N.O.A.A. and Katie tell me it's too rough, too windy and too rainy, I make the optimistic appraisal that the winds won't be as strong, the waves won't be as high, "Hey, the rain is slowing down already. That's why we call those damn computer voices '"don't N.O.A.A."', Right"? Logic follows that we can always turn back or quit early and head in. Katie usually maintains that we've got two anchors in, good books and a cheap restaurant in town, why would we go out in "iffy weather"? It's simple to follow---I'm bored and there's new ground to cover. My actions are made to that criteria, not the one that begins "common sense dictates.....".

The trouble starts after pulling the hooks and heading out. Once past the seawall and the discovery that the winds and waves are too much for our boat and the rain has increased, the decision must be made to turn back or pony on. While Katie is usually early to admit my mistake and attempt to correct it, I never am! I maintain my choice to the point that we're taking solid water in the cockpit and Katie has retired below for life jackets and survival kit!! The situations I have gotten us in with this attitude are ridiculous. The fact is I do it time and time again. It seems impossible for me to say "let's just sit it out. Conditions will improve and we've only lost time, not our lives or our boat." But that is the attitude required for successful voyaging.

Next time you're stir crazy in the confines of your 20 footer after 3 days of rain, keep in mind this admission of ineptitude. Remind yourself you're above all that, grab your weathers and oars and head for the local library to spend the day. Beats replacing broken gear and heads, hands down.


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