There is no paranoid
3 JUN 2016
Stuart, Florida, USA
It is said that there is no Paranoid, only Prepared, Lucky or Dead. And of these, Prepared is the one we have control over.
There are a lot of ways to be prepared. It is partly about carrying spare parts. But the boat is built from 30,000 parts and you can't carry a whole new boat with you, you have to choose. Coming across from Mexico last month, our boom vang sheared off the mast and left our main sail only under limited-at-best control. Obviously, we weren't carrying a spare boom vang. But, being prepared, we had enough blocks on board to rig a temporary soft vang and used the spare main halyard to keep the boom from crashing down on to our cockpit-top Bimini cover. Score one for Prepared.
And then there's the weather. We do the best we can with the usual shore-side internet-based data sources, but even with modern supercomputers running models that predict out 7 days, the predictions beyond three days are not much better than general trends. And it often takes more than three days to get where you are going. So we also have a subscription to a weather services guy who specializes in supporting cruisers and he communicates this information by shortwave to most places in the world. That really helps us to stay aware, and therefore prepare for what's coming, or choose to not go at all.
And then there are hurricanes. It really doesn't matter much if you know one's coming. Yes, you can prepare, on the dock, by stripping off everything loose above decks, double tying the boat, choosing your marina wisely, closing all stopcocks and breakers before you leave. But when the wind and storm surge is so strong they will drive straws through palm trees and strip asphalt roads right off the ground, there's only so much you can prepare. That's what insurance is for. And Luck.
Or not: Long Beach Island, NJ after Sandy went through