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Old 26-06-2011, 08:22   #1
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Bad Day or Dream Sunk ?

The dream:

-save money
-practice sailing
-buy better boat
-sail Caribbean and beyond (around the world?)


I planned to anchor in Shamrock cove on the other side of Corpus Christi bay for my first overnight trip. The winds were supposed to be 15-20 mph. Well I think the winds were 20+ and the bay was extremely choppy. Two hours later I had only traveled about two of the ten miles and started to feel sea sick. Feeling sick and seeing no end in sight I turned back. Now I'm seriously doubting my dream.

The negative:

-If I can't make it across the bay how am I going to cross oceans?
-How will I handle rough weather when more than a few miles from safety?
-I'm a baby when sick, could be a problem.

The Positive:

-I was beating into the wind and sailing against waves bigger than found on many beaches. Waiting for better conditions would have been wise.
-The way back was great running down wind. Set the autopilot then sit back and relax.
-There are always reasons not to do something, this might be just one more obstacle to overcome.

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Old 26-06-2011, 08:29   #2
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

First, management; Article - Seasickness: Prevention and Treatment I live and die by my scope patches. They work a treat for me. Other things work for others. try them until you find what works for you!

Second; KEEP practicing.

The rest will follow....

; -)


ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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Old 26-06-2011, 08:36   #3
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Don't quit, it does'nt last forever. My dad was a commerical fiherman and got sick every time he went out. Never stopped till he died. I've never been seasick, but have seen many, most keep going. Find what works for you. Keep Sailing.. Michael..
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Old 26-06-2011, 08:37   #4
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pirate Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Every time you go out have alternate ports/destinations... useful when wind & tide don't co-operate.... that way an 'on the nose' situation turns into a fun broad reach...

Born To Be Wild
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Old 26-06-2011, 08:48   #5
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Some say dreams are goals without direction ( I think that's just semantics, but it does provide some focus). Any goal worth having takes a proportional amount of hard work. The only difference is some work is fun and some isn't! You just have to decide if what you are seeking out to do is fun or not, and then focus on achievable short- and long-term goals goals.

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Old 26-06-2011, 09:01   #6
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Bay sailing mahes a lot of people queasy, short steep seas are about the worst to sail in. If you could have gotten into the GOM you probably would've okay.

Susan Hiscock use to get seasick every trup they went on and Eric only got sick once. That didn't stop them ftom all their voyages, and thay had a lot.

Formerly Santana
The winds blow true,The skies stay blue,
Everyday is a good day for SAILING!!!!
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:29   #7
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

You did the right thing at the time for your skill level.
Upwind in short steep chop is never a picnic.

One of the things which really impressed my wife (and she still mentions it occasionally) was when we left Mazatlan for La Paz.
We left one morning in company of 2 other bigger boats, and it was a light air upwind sail at first.
As the hours passed, the conditions got progressively worse.
We all were in VHF contact, and the larger boats decided to keep going.
After taking green water into the cockpit, I did a 180 and sailed right back to Mazatlan.
It was a sleigh ride back although it was dark before we arrived.
The next day, the wind was favorable and we had a great sail to La Paz with the cruising spinnaker.
The other boats said they had gear breakage, and we had done the right thing.

Cruising is about having fun and proper timing.
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:51   #8
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

As others have said, upwind in short, choppy seas is no fun. Also, it's possible that with more experience or a differently set up boat, you could have been faster and more comfortable getting upwind. Many boats are really hard to set up for upwind in the heavy stuff because they have huge genoas that don't roll up nicely or don't have all their reef points set up properly.

Did you reef down? How much weather helm did you have? What was your angle of heel? If your tactics weren't well suited to the conditions, you could have ended up way overpowered which means that you were heeled so far that you were basically sliding sideways downwind and using so much rudder that it acted as a speedbrake (a very common mistake, even amongst sailors who have been out sailing for years).

Or it might just have been nasty conditions. If the waves were steep enough, even a well set up boat would have been severely slowed by them.
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Old 26-06-2011, 10:35   #9
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

As several have said, don't let one day of bay sailing make the decision for you. Bay sailing can be the worst AND most people are more sensitive to getting seasick if they have not been out for a while.

Several times I have gotten very quesy and at least a couple of times I ended up chumming the fisth when I went out after months in port and it got a bit choppy. But after a day at sea I am immune (so far) and nothing bothers me. It's called getting your sea legs and works for most people. To be completely honest there are some people that do not adjust and if the seas get rought they will turn green.

Only way to tell is to try it yourself. It would help if before you go out, you could spend a night or so on the boat at anchor in a harbor where you get just a little rocking.

Good luck.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 26-06-2011, 10:49   #10
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Keep at it. I have never been seasick but I have been out with people who were. It apparently is not a pleasant feeling.

If next time your out and you again get that feeling then you have learned something and can plan the next time. If you are inclined to be seasick, you can take preventive medicine before you go, even the day or evening before.

If I were you I would stay the course, learn from it and learn how to prevent it. Your dream of sailing to far off places will not be dashed before you get out of the bay!
Jim - Bahala na!
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Old 26-06-2011, 11:20   #11
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Takes me 48 hrs before I am sure I won't be seasick. Like you we had a similar experience trying to cross the English channel last August. A rush down to the boat on a Friday evening to catch the tide and get going. An hour past the Needles and out into the channel we were in a short nasty sea with wind over tide at 11pm at night with a 60 miles night crossing ahead. Viv was feeling very well so gave her the option of going back and she readily said yes. We shot back into a safe harbour for the night and a good sleep. Following day conditions were completely different and we had a great sail across.

You probably learnt more from that those couple of hours bashing into the wind that a season sailing in calm conditions. You didn't die and had a good sail home. The experience is the valuable bit.

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Old 26-06-2011, 16:52   #12
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Thanks for the encouragement. After thinking about it more, the water really was rough. Strait line waves one after the other a boat length apart, and I was trying to sail directly against them.

My worry was if most people would consider those conditions bad or was I nuts for trying to fight it. If a significant part of cruising was like yesterday I would pack up tomorrow and forget the whole thing.
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Old 26-06-2011, 18:39   #13
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Calm seas don't make good sailors. i was thrown about in the Cheasapeake last year on the last leg on my trip up the coast. this trip wasn't all peaches and cream so i learned alot about me and the Nico. this day there were 5'seas in the bay, on the nose, in rain and fog...i counldn't wait to tie her to the destination dock and walk away.
it's been 8months since my arrival and i've got the itch do it go again.
don't give up on your dream, i'm sure your experience will make a stronger better sailor, you can do it, man.
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Old 26-06-2011, 19:03   #14
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

You fell down more than once when you were learning to walk.
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Old 26-06-2011, 19:36   #15
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Re: Bad day or dream sunk?

Hey Corpus. Hang in there. Far from a lost dream yet. Though I wouldn't wish this on anyone check back in with the same question when you are broke, w/o prospects, a blown fuel injector pump, shorted batteries and down to a weeks' worth of rice and beans. Keep sailing!
My first two patrols on a uscg cutter I was sea sick for half the trip and still had to pull duty of course. After that I haven't seen a bit of it. Could backslide though on a small boat with longer exposure to bad weather. Will see.

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