Improving your Boating Skills
Captain Barry Newland
Seamanship is the art of operating a ship or boat.
I was asked to write this post about “Basic Seamanship”, but rather than discussing a few fundamentals and have you think that is all there is to it, I would like to use this as a challenge.
Seamanship is a life-long learning situation. Every time we go out on the water, we should try something just learned, perfect a previously known skill and/or listen to others onboard. You can also learn something new from the ultimate teacher, Mother Nature. Enjoy the stillness, the sounds, the smell of the sea breeze, and become one with nature and your boat.
Just last week I learned blue is the new red for preserving night vision. Think of all the things you can learn if you open your ears and mind to the possibilities. While it is great to be on the water to enhance your learning, other venues provide equal possibilities. Dock chat at a marina can be educational, but be a discerning listener.
When I was little, we played a game where a story was whispered and shared from person to person in a circle. In the end, after passing through fifteen children, the story changed significantly from the beginning story. The take away here is to learn from the professionals by participating in educational events hosted by the professionals. Many times these educational events are free.
Going to large regional and national boat shows every year like the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD provide enormous opportunities to learn from vendors, industry experts and other sailors.
Make it your mission to learn something new every single time you are on the water. Keep in mind that the reason for all of the education is to make you a safer boater, a more confident skipper, and a better communicator to the onboard crew.