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Old 28-10-2006, 11:30   #1
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Confessional Booth

This isn't so much of a disaster confession... it's just a plain old sit down and pour out what you're guilty of. What better place to go for support and comfort than your fellow sailors/cruisers...?

I'm getting cold feet.

I've sailed through Samoa/Fiiji/Tonga albeit as crew but nonetheless, it's miles earned. A few other boats & watercraft have come and gone. I've owned Holding Pattern for 1 1/2 years now, been cruising the US E coast since Easter weekend, what 7 months now.

Our Bahamas trip is close at hand and we've both got anxiety. I'm sure it's normal - especially since she's our only home. We've got the necessary skills, a little iff-y on the Perkins 4-107, but who isn't intimidated by the beast at first? We've got the provisioning, water usage, sail plan, etc. down pat, have the necessary spares, she's certainly seaworthy, having recently circumnavigated... I can answer every problem I come up with but I seem to keep coming up with scenarios.

Has anyone else gone through a case of the "what if's" (I'm sure everyone else has...I think I'm just looking for some good words about whats to come.
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Old 28-10-2006, 11:38   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holding Pattern
Has anyone else gone through a case of the "what if's" (I'm sure everyone else has...I think I'm just looking for some good words about whats to come.
I think we all do when breaking new ground. NOW, go away.
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Old 28-10-2006, 11:47   #3
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Aloha Brian & Heather,
Yes, I went through what you are feeling prior to my first Pacific crossing in my very own boat. The what ifs are good because it keeps you checking your gear and polishing your nav skills.
I had a Perkins 4-107 aboard. If it is running now and you have all your filters clean and clean fuel for it it won't let you down. My engine only died once because it sucked one tank dry and picked up a lot of junk from the the bottom of the tank and clogged the filters. No problem because I had extra filters and bled the system. That was my fault because I didn't switch to a full tank after 40 hours of running time. It happened in a ferry channel with a ferry coming and light winds. Needless to say there was a lot of sail work in a short time to stay away from the ferry and the edge of the channel. Check the alternater bracket for sign of stress cracking.
That and nearly running aground in the fog twice (No GPS, no radar) were the only problems in 23 days of sailing and it was dubbed a "golden voyage."
Fair winds and following seas. You'll have a great time.
Regards,
JohnL
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Old 28-10-2006, 12:34   #4
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The trick is to remember the biggest what if of all. "What if I just don't go?" After you answer that one, none of the rest matter.
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Old 28-10-2006, 12:39   #5
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I can only echo the comments about the Perkins. It's a good reliable engine. You just need a few of the normal consumable spares. Filters, Oil, impellor and V belts. You can get carried away with spares, you don't need to. Just the basics.
The "what if's" are the major fear factor for any skipper. The anxiety is just that you are the type of person that likes to be well prepared and that's good to a point. I would sail with a skipper like you anyday. But the real trick is knowing when to switch off from that and not start Over thinking the exercise. That becomes the anxiety and that feeling can ruin a good trip.
So you do it ike this. You need to think of the "what if's". That's good. So "what if" question everything onboard. Rest easy in knowing your engine is reliable. If it stops, it wioll be becuase of fuel most likely. So what if the engine stops? carry filters. What if the engine over heats? carry a spare impellor. What if the seacock breaks off? carry a wooden bung. What if a sail blows out? carry a spare. What if the boat sinks? carry a liferaft and a means of communication to let the authorities know. But don't go over board with your spares. Chances are you will have a faultless voyage. If something goes wrong, chances are the backup will be sufficient. No point in carrying a spare liferaft incase the one you have may not inflate. So careful planning, but relax from there after and enjoy the trip. Of course, that's easy for me to say, because I suffer from anxiety as well, I know personaly it is not easy to do.
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Old 28-10-2006, 13:48   #6
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If you dont go, wont you always regret it? I hate it when I do that.
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Old 28-10-2006, 20:38   #7
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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Old 28-10-2006, 22:08   #8
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Brian, there comes a point when you've checked all the lists and you just have to go. I've gotten used to the feeling that I've forgotten something when I leave home, eventually I figure out what I forgot and then I can relax.<G>

So you go, you know you'll have forgotten something, and no matter, you can relax after you figure out what it was.

And, there's no one on this earth who can tell me that tossing one offering into the air (for Aeolus, and toss it well so it all STAYS in the air) and one more offering right to Poseidon, can't help a voyage start well.

As for the rest, well, it's the sea, and you know the line about the ships are so small.
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Old 29-10-2006, 00:22   #9
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Hey Wheels,after what you were saying I think it could be a good idear to have a second "liferaft"Even though the thought sounds scarey.Mudnut.
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Old 29-10-2006, 01:36   #10
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You have sailed through Samoa/Fiiji/Tonga! WOW. The Bahamas should be a piece of cake. If you can make down the ICW, you should not have a problem with it.

A safe harbor or anchorage every few miles, lots of people, Good SSB coverage, great water and well traveled. It has been done in 16 foot boats by sail alone.

Try finding somebody to cross the stream with.

The Bahamas is an adventure. Real cool.
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Old 29-10-2006, 03:25   #11
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Brian and Heather

Following 2 months on Pittwater NSW learning t sail my cat, it was a HUGE descision to sail 15 miles south to Sydney Harbour! The journey broke the back of my `holding back' and I have now covered 8000 nm on the east coast over the last 2 years.

Good sailing
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Old 29-10-2006, 08:48   #12
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On the flight home from Miami Tuesday, we sat next to an architect who sails, and he was telling us about when he singlehanded a 14 ft. sailboat from Miami to Bimini, when he was 12 years old.

Does that help?
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Old 29-10-2006, 18:21   #13
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Your cold feet will disappear as soon as florida drops from the horizon. When you make your first Bahamas stop you'll likely wish it was just a little farther away.Far less experienced and prepared people than you make the trip. Also, you will have company the whole way - the stream is littered with boats. Plus, south Florida is lame compared to the Bahamas! (or just about anywhere else for that matter)
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Old 30-10-2006, 16:49   #14
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Florida to Bahamas...Not to scare you, but that's the route where I took the bridge visit on a cattle [sic] boat and then watched an empty an unmanned bridge through the window, with the boat steaming ahead at cruising speed and NO ONE ON WATCH.

Just keep an eye out for anything that outweighs you by a couple of thousand dozen tons.<G>
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Old 30-10-2006, 18:01   #15
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I just picked up the Lats and Atts sixth annual seafaring special edition, Nov. 2006, issue # 78, and theres an article on page 114 called "Preparing to Cruise, How to Overcome Harbor Paralysis".

I havent even read it yet, just skimmed thru it, but I wanted to point it out to S/V Holding Pattern. Looks interesting.

Just dont tell the regulars on THIS forum you read Lats and Atts, and you can get away with it.
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