the most important thing about sailing

In my profile i asked the question what is the most important thing about sailing.  The question is one that was asked of me when i was wintering in Israel.  

To stay in Israel for more than 3 months i had to get a visa for myself as well as a boat inspection, boat numbers, an inspection that had to include a number of items and they of course gave me a list>  But it was in Hebrew; the official language of Israel.  I do not speak or write Hebrew so a friend that sheppared me through the process translated for me.  

The inspector arrived and i was ready with the numbers, nav lights on, safety equipment out but he really did not even look.  He knew i had been out a long time, crossed the Atlantic and sailed the Black Sea so we just sat and talked.  This guy was not a lite weight as he is recognized a world renowned racer, race judge, and was in the process of setting up the sailing board championships.  

As we talked we talked about courses and sailing and how well my Jeanneau DS40 sailed. At the end he said at each students final exam i always ask one final question-- what is the most important thing about sailing?  I was about to answer when to go when he said most will say when to go but the proper answer is when not to go.  

As i look back on the many times i looked out and decided not to go, for example when i was sitting Georgia ready to sail to Sochi Russia i looked at the weather and knew it was iffy but doable but as i got off the boat the tug boat capt next to me said leaving today to which i answered maybe -- when to go -- he said no you are not, i am not and that big freighter is not leaving either and said look and pointed to a breakwall in the far distance and seas breaking over it -- yep when no to go -- 

chuck sitting Grenada