Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sailboat sailors and commercial sailors' cognitive bias

I'm not overly respectful of small sailboat sailors.  

 Well, I'm not overly respectful of most pleasureboaters in general, to be fair, the same way a cabinetmaker looks at an Ikea nightstand.

              My general opinion does a disservice to some fine and knowledgeable non-commercial boaters, I know, but I'm not much of a pleasureboater. I, and my friends, are commercial guys. We focus on safety and seamanship, not on having a good time.

... when we get a good enough cell signal, I watch Youtube videos of all sorts. Among others, I enjoy watching 'Sail Life" "SV Delos" "Sailing Project Atticus" and "Learning the Lines," all sailboat videos.

    I'm not a sailboater. The technical prowess necessary to sail a boat well is not in my skills. I did go on a sailboat twice in my life, though. It was neat. That's about it.

          My encounters with pleasureboaters in the course of work have never been all that good. Granted, if a pleasureboater is doing a good job, They'd have no reason to encounter me, either. No, I run into them only when they run into me, which is a thing. Wedging themselves under our bow while we're at anchor, bouncing off the side of our hull... while we're at anchor, or at a dock... things like that. Assholes self-select themselves for encounters with us.

    Over a long enough timeline we get cynical, like so many cops, as well. We've all gotten pulled over by a cop who looks at you like you just robbed a bank when you accidentally swerved because you farted and it turns out it wasn't just gas going on downstairs. You know the drill too. You don't want to tell the cop you just sharted, but you also don't want to have to do a sobriety test right now, and be walking around after you just buttered your bread. So out comes the story, and the dirty look gets replaced by a smothered grin. Your ass just broke the tension. 

        Some sail videos, I see people making decisions using bad seamanship that just make me cringe. These same folks come out of the experience and can be separated into two camps- the willfully foolish who don't learn from the experience, and the ashamed, who do. Of the two, the latter group is more fulfilling to watch, as over time you see someone in a small boat become actually a pretty decent mariner. The former group? Well, it's like looking at a car accident on the other side of the highway. You just want to see the carnage. That's entertaining too. In the end, though, the people who grow become more interesting to watch and the floating shit shows get repetitive. Thus you see the shows I watch above, which are deeply varied, but all are good examples of people with skillsets that improve with time. If nothing else, it's good to have my faith in other people restored a little, and to make me more aware of my own biases.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Try Erik Aanderaa's "No BS, Just Sailing" Youtube channel.

Sailing the North Atlantic alone is pretty manly IMHO.

Thanks for the blog, enjoy the stories!