Saturday, 12 May 2012

Water safety ~ the last word goes to Peter Blake, yachtsman

In the previous two articles about water safety I may have seemed to emphasise the risks inherent in watery environments.  The purpose of these cautions is to pass on what has given me confidence in my own potterings.  Once properly aware of risks and safety measures we can enjoy ourselves a whole lot more.

Yachtsman Peter Blake made a similar point in an interview I saw on television years ago: the interviewer quite understandably described long distance yacht racing as dangerous.  Rather to my surprise Peter calmly but firmly correcting him by saying "It's not dangerous, it's challenging".  If my memory serves me correctly he went on to explain that when you know what you're doing you can handle it.  It certainly looks dangerous to me but he had reason to know this, having taken on the world's toughest yachting challenges - and won.

Confidence in such challenges arises from knowing your environment, knowing the risks, knowing your own capabilities, knowing you can rely on the people around you and your gear, and being sure of your leader.  I'm sure this is true of many undertakings.  Peter's talk about leadership underlines some of these points.  The background music is annoying - and entirely superfluous - but his talk is really worthwhile:

Peter Blake's stature as an international yachtsman and leader was truly great; to New Zealanders he was a hero, straight up.   He was certainly a hero of mine, and remains so, for his shining leadership qualities.  I was disappointed not to find more about him on YouTube and other media.

This video excerpt from the television tribute "Blakey" - gives a further glimpse of him, and includes some dramatic footage of him yachting in freezing conditions in the far south.

Yachting is an excellent skill to have!  I'm no yachtie myself but admire the skill of others.  This video clip is entitled "Yachting in New Zealand":

And one last video link for a look at boatie challenges: 
This one is not for the faint-hearted.  Sorry, no embeds permitted for this one, so you'll have to venture into YouTube territory to see it.  It's a very well put-together bit of footage and soundtrack - awesome, in the truest sense of the word!  Now I'd call that dangerous!!!

You can find my other articles about exploring the beach and its rock pools via the link below: 

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