The Peanut Gallery Has Scared Me Senseless!

0 Posted by - May 4, 2015 - cruising, Learn

Living in the marina means you get to know the fellow boat owners that are on the same jetty. I have spent the last week painting the non-skid on our deck, so that we have grip when the deck gets wet.  With all the time I have spent on the deck, I have been getting lots of feedback from all the other sailors and boat owners on their way past.

Marina with sailing boats

Of course setting sail on an extended voyage, there are fears that arise. They are all pretty standard fears.Rough weather, dragging anchors, pirates, equipment failure, in general deciding that this trip isn’t what I actually wanted. As these fears come up,  I can usually rationalise them, and decide that I want this life style more than the fears associated with it. I usually pick myself up and get on to the next step to pursue our dream and get sailing.

One of the best ways we have been prepping for our journey is to chat to people that have been there and done it before. We love to chat to any salty sailor and hear their advice. However, this past week has had me hear some pretty horror stories and get some pretty ridiculous advice along the way.

A recap:

“ Don’t let your engine break down… Really! don’t let it break down, because there is no wind in East Indonesia”

“You’re sailing up to Indo in this boat?? You know there are pirates up their right? Is it just the two of you going?”

“There are these uncharted reefs up the coast that aren’t very far out.  You won’t see them, won’t know that they are coming and they have sunk boats before.”

“Do you have your ballast (weights in the bilges) fiberglassed in? You better because when the boat gets knocked down they are going to come flying out and can knock you out” ( Which is great advice as we didn’t think of this one)

“There is this inlet up north and it can pull a boat in from up to a nautical mile out, then you get sucked into the inlet and there is a massive world pool that your boat will get caught in. It’s sunk so many boats, don’t go in there”


Then there has been the lightening conundrum.

Double lightening strike

“Do you have a lightning rod, you’re bound to get struck by lightning and it will blow out all of your equipment, even worse I know a boat that had all it’s seacocks blown out from a lightning strike and caused it to sink.”

I ask someone else – Do you know much about lightning rods? – Answer: “ Nah, you don’t need one of those, just get a strip of copper from your mast and run it along the deck into the water when there is lightening, you’ll be fine.”

I ask someone else: Do you know about copper to protect against lightening? Answer: “Seriously? What do you think a little strip of copper is going to do to deal with the power in a lightening bolt?”

Well then… I am left shaking my head, confused and bloody worried about lightning.

Of course there is advice to take in from all of these interactions, but my god, it’s a lot to add to the load on my brain already.

We know we will never be 100% ready it always feels like there is more we can do. At some point we just have to go.

We were at the Boat Chandlery yesterday and the store clerk had been a sailing  cruiser for 11 years, he sailed all around the world. We told him how our week had been and he said “ In 11 years, I have never seen a pirate, and never seen a world pool, the stories you are hearing are from people that rarely leave the harbour, just remember that”

Great advice.

We will be adding to our skills and knowledge and learning as we go. Of course we are going to be as prepared as we can, but at some point we just need to set sail and head off.



  • Dad May 5, 2015 - 1:31 am Reply

    Jamie and Base

    Listen to the experienced sailors.

    Be Prepared for the unexpected, be excited and go on the adventure , don’t get scared, just get started, you 2 will be able to handle anything that comes your way. Embrace it, and Enjoy

  • luxagraf May 5, 2015 - 1:55 am Reply

    It’s outdated, but the webster’s 1913 dictionary defines adventure as “that which happens without design; chance; hazard; hap; hence, chance of danger or loss”. Most people aren’t too keen on their chances i guess.

    I get the similar reactions when I tell people I’m fixing up an old travel trailer and driving my family to south america. Most people are supportive actually, but there are also plenty who are just a walking list of worries I should apparently be losing sleep over. But I don’t. At some point you have to either cast off the lines and go or stay in the harbor and worry, to stick with nautical metaphors. Never liked harbors much myself.

    Anyway looking forward to hearing about your travels.

  • Kelly December 9, 2015 - 3:10 pm Reply

    Hehe, thoroughly enjoyed reading this advice! I can agree with the store clerk. The people with boats that I’ve never seen move have so much advice on why not to go, or what crazy precautions to take. Then the people who just arrive from somewhere to stay for a few days then head off and enjoy themselves again are the ones who say to just go, you’ll never be 100% safe from anything. Look forward to seeing you guys head off and start an awesome adventure! (Says me sitting in a boat that hasn’t moved for well over 6 months and currently has the engine disconnected… Doh!)

    • saltytimes December 10, 2015 - 6:41 pm Reply

      When are you guys planning to set sail Kelly? It always takes so much longer than you think to get everything ready to go. We are running sailing charters over summer and taking off in April. But the list of things to do is still quite long! All the best and if you’re ever in WA, come for a sail!

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