At Edison Sailing Center we believe in equipping each young sailor with life skills for now and for the future.
A sailor must be self-disciplined – from the steps and processes required to prepare the boat for launching to the knowledge, skills and behaviors required of the sailor on the water. The sailor is truly the captain of his own ship – and while safety-rescue boats may be available for emergencies, it is ultimately the sailor who has ownership of all that sailing entails.
Sailors need to be adaptable to any and all situations, e.g. how will the sailor adapt once the threat of a storm is on the horizon? When another boat appears to be on the same course? When equipment breaks down…and it will break down. Coupled with adaptability is a positive attitude. Most of the Seven Dwarfs would not have made good sailors! Attitude is everything.
One of the attributes of a sailor is the ability to use one’s imagination. Imagination paired with knowledge goes a long way, i.e. “ I’m sailing at a pretty good speed because my tell-tales are streaming backward and the boat is moving, but what if I….” – and that is the start of an excellent internal conversation. We can’t dismiss intuition here, either. Sometimes that little voice in your head is giving you direction and guidance.
And that leads us into learning from successes as well as mistakes. Our imagination and skill can take us only so far. How we apply our attitudes, behaviors and skills in each situation may be very different. The important thing is that our young sailors learn from each experience – did this work? Why/why not? Is there something different that I could have done? How will I apply this to my next sailing experience?
Opportunities – sailors learn something every time they are on the water. Each experience is another opportunity to experiment with how far the sailor can push the envelope, or simply enjoy the breeze flowing through the sails.
No sailor is worth his salt if he is not a steward of his environment. Being a responsible boater means being thoughtful about the chemicals we use to clean our boats & sails; whether we wash down our boats after we’ve come out of the water to make sure microbes & sea critters have not been added to our shores or down our septic systems. Marine debris trackers log thousands of tons annually, creating gyres that are literally floating trash islands. This is not the ocean legacy we should leave behind.