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Old 21-04-2008, 23:59   #121
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surfing off the Cape

Wotname,
You must see a bit of weather off Perth, nasty stuff, the problem off the Cape (and for that matter the Horn) is the wave become so large that they block the wind that is hitting your sails which is driving your boat which is giving you the ability to steer.
Normal (past) techinique is to encougage the boat onto her side and to surf down the waves with the keel as far out of the water as you can get it. Not having the nerve for the above! I developed a way through trial and error- it's in the book- to prevent the seas from breaking on top of the boat (which is when the bad stuff happens) by careful placement by twin self tailers of the trailing warp.
A storm like that is really beautiful if you can relax enough to enjoy it. The birds! The birds really love a good blow! But if your fingers are white fighting off the approaching aura of your early death, well, it isn't anywhere as beautiful.
Modern world cruisers are built to surf, not so my 32 year old beauty.

Would I have lost the boat heaved to? Sideways to such seas is asking for a 360 if not a 720. I would have lost the masts, I believe. The main mast is keel mounted so chances are I would have lost some cabin top too.

Don't let all this scare you. I had the chance to pull into a safe harbor but thought I could make it to the next one. Couldn't. Damn. ****. But I made it through without breaking the boat apart. You really should read Education of a Falcon. It has some horrifing stories of cat 5 hurricanes that I seem to attract. Reach it via the above website or I think this might work:

education.of.a.falcon - ¬*¬*¬*¬* The Education of a Falcon var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://

Cap't Mike
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Old 22-04-2008, 04:14   #122
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Thanks for the description and yes, the Wx can get a little wild south of Cape Leeuwin.
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Old 23-04-2008, 12:33   #123
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When motor sailing north on the Baja Bash. I would hove-to to add fuel, so the deck would be more stable, and drier. Since being close to land at times I hove-to for sleep. With the bow pointed to sea, and only moving with the drift of current I was comfortable that a rock wouldn't be my alarm to wake.
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Old 23-04-2008, 18:45   #124
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imagine2frolic,
I have met many ex friends who went up the Baha coast and slept at night. Many of them are dead---lost at sea.
Don't become one of them. There are lots of places to pull into for a bit of sleep. You are out there for adventure aren't you? Go exploring!

I almost got run down off the baha coast, for the story, see the web sites above.

Cap't Mike
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Old 24-04-2008, 10:41   #125
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svbeausoleil,

When I left Cabo the autopilot quit, so I hand steered thinking I could make it to Magdellena, and fix it.....DUMB. Fell asleep at the entrance to the bay, and the surf woke me. I did a 180, and got my act together, and then went in to sleep on the hook. It was a powerful lesson I learned that night after 48 hours of hand steering.
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Old 16-06-2008, 16:51   #126
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The notion of hand-steering non-stop for 36 or 48 hours just seems nuts to me. I would do a LOT to avoid that. I've driven for 12 hours non-stop a few times and my lower back and shoulders have a lot to say about that, not to mention higher brain function. If you're in huge seas and you don't have a choice...it's drive or roll the boat, then whatcha' gonna do? But in any other situation, if I had 15-20 miles of sea room or more, I'd put the sails aback and get my head down for some sleep.

No sleep = stupid and stupid is a really good way to lose your boat and/or your life.
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Old 16-06-2008, 18:59   #127
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Hi Alan H,
I used to think that too. I even tried it. Problem
is that the next morning you wake up and the current
has taken you back to where you started. DAMN!!!

Going down wind, and heaving to, no problem. Bashing
to windward and heaving to??? Get a motor boat and an oil refinery.

But the real story starts south or north of 50. That's where the weather gets, like, nasty. Real nasty. That's the crap we are talking about. And
the truth is that kind of weather can happen anywhere. I was 5 degrees
below the equator in the Indian and had one of the worse storms ever.

Breaking waves were covering the boat bow to stern (to be fair it was only a 24 footer so it didn't have to be that big of a wave). I ran down wind under bare poles for three days and covered 550 miles! Truth!

True a lot was surfing, a lot current, it was a singlehander's boat (me) so was mostly empty and easily driven, but still that was one hell of a storm.

The answer? Yes, OH sea dog, what is the answer?????

Don't take the sea lightly. Don't think you know the answer(s). Be prepared. Watch carefully. Enjoy. (even enjoy the storms--this is part of why you are out there, isn't it?)

Read as many books of voyages as you can. In fact, read mine!!!

education.of.a.falcon - ¬*¬*¬*¬* ¬*¬* Education of a Falcon var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://s

sailingbooks - ¬*¬* Mike Riley's Sailing Books Page¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬* Sailing Books for the Rest of us¬* ¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬*¬* Sai

Good luck,
Cap't Mike
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Old 16-06-2008, 19:16   #128
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I have conquered the hardships of single handing-I go out for three hours on flat water sail around then go home and turn on the sauna -shower- super-sleep and do it again tomorrow if I feel like. If I have an urge to go to hawaii - that's what big jets do well. You have to examine your motivation for going out there alone for such protracted time and operating at such a handicap. I need a little solitude and Peace and 3 to 6hrs out there alone is enough for me then back to the real world.
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Old 05-09-2008, 16:45   #129
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I can cruise for a year on the cost of a brief vacation via big jets, hotels , etc. Jets are for brief trips , sailing is for those not content with three weeks a year doing what they want and the rest of each year working to pay for it.
I found the trip up the Baja ,an easy beam reach in light winds, with as much sleep as I wanted. I did the clipper route, putting the boat on a reach leaving Soccoro. When the northerlies became northeast trades just west of Socoro, I was heading NW. By the time the westerlies hit I was 1,000 miles west of San Diego. I kept my westing to 40 degrees north as the winds become northwest closer to the coast. North of 40 I could still reach in a NW wind. Easy beam reaching from Socoro to Vancouver Island. By the time I left Mexico three boats had been lost beating up the coast, including one I tried to talk into doing the more sensible clipper route.
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Old 06-09-2008, 13:30   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
I have conquered the hardships of single handing-I go out for three hours on flat water sail around then go home and turn on the sauna -shower- super-sleep and do it again tomorrow if I feel like. If I have an urge to go to hawaii - that's what big jets do well. You have to examine your motivation for going out there alone for such protracted time and operating at such a handicap. I need a little solitude and Peace and 3 to 6hrs out there alone is enough for me then back to the real world.
Everybody goes about life differently. Some do it passively while others push the envelope. I wouldn't say I push the envelope, but I do like to expand my horizons. For me it was either stay home, and never sail, or just go.

Sailing from the East Bay to the Golden Gate, and back becomes a little mundane after a while. Since I was a child with a bike. I was always exploring other neighborhoods. I would ride half the day in one direction, and make it home for dinner.

Now that I am an adult I take dinner with me, and just keep going. My wife now goes with me everywhere on the boat. If for some reason that changes. I will immediatley go back to single-handing rather than stay home. That's me sailing out the gate, and making a left for Mexico alone.
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Old 06-09-2008, 19:21   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Everybody goes about life differently. Some do it passively while others push the envelope. I wouldn't say I push the envelope, but I do like to expand my horizons. For me it was either stay home, and never sail, or just go.

Sailing from the East Bay to the Golden Gate, and back becomes a little mundane after a while. Since I was a child with a bike. I was always exploring other neighborhoods. I would ride half the day in one direction, and make it home for dinner.

Now that I am an adult I take dinner with me, and just keep going. My wife now goes with me everywhere on the boat. If for some reason that changes. I will immediatley go back to single-handing rather than stay home. That's me sailing out the gate, and making a left for Mexico alone.
You sum that up very nicely for a free spirit could not have said it any better
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:50   #132
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Coastal Single Handed

Just thought I would add in my piece.

After single handing for 4 months down the coast I still stick to my original plan, with a few added in for good measure, so here are my golden rules;

Have alarm (kitchen timer) attached to safety harness (on 24 hrs),
Set so that it alarms every 20 min,
No matter how tired, up every 20 min to look around and check sail conditions,
Never sleep when getting too close to land, less than 30 min,
Never sleep whilst engine is running, can't hear a thing and it makes you sleep more soundly!
If near shipping lanes, time your sleep to coincide,
Eat often,
Coincide your sleep for the weather conditions, in my case when the offshore winds are blowing strong during the night, stay up and rest during the day when winds are at the bottom end of the scale,
Adjust time asleep for the conditions, when in a fishing area I reduced time down to 10 min. (very quiet bit of coast)
Sleep often, adjust sail to make things easier.
Use electronic equipment to help, but don't rely on it!
Longest sail for coastal cruising was two nights and three days, after that you need a good rest.

Hope this helps somewhat, as to the comment that I wasn't keeping a watch 24 hrs a day. I spotted several ships in the shipping lanes, they never knew I was there. Most rely on a radar which is tuned out to allow for sea conditions. In short, you have to look out, as they will never see you!

Tim


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Old 12-12-2008, 05:22   #133
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although i've only sailed my home for a few years its always been solo, during that time i've sailed about a few countries and seen enough to reinforce that sailing your home is the only way to live.

granted i'm not entirely convinced that doing it alone is the best way, but the idea of picking up a couple of swedish backpackers is not part of this reality.

i've often been without any worthwhile sleep for weeks and always used to dread the sun rising because when that happened the ropes would stop talking to me, during the day my daughter would visit me in the cabin and share a cup of tea and on other occasions totally alien creatures would turn up and say g'day. during bad weather i would lay on the floor of the cabin and listen to the water conversations and soon developed a theory that all the conversations ever spoken on this planet were encapsulated in the oceans, as a yacht passed through the water it disturbed the molecules holding those conversations and released them to the ether.

getting back to the original post in this thread i was a day across the gulf of carpentaria, north australia, everything was going smoothly, sun had set, sails were set nicely, i'll have a sleep, visually checked the surrounding waters went inside to have a drink and climb into a bunk and bugger me if there wasnt a bright flashing light coming into the cabin, the next thing on vhf radio was a call from an australian warship to the boat who we are flashing our lights at (me), grabbed the mic and responded to the buggers, really wasnt very impressed with what they were doing, took the mic out into the cockpit, they were looking for illegal fishing boats, does my little yacht look like an illegal fishing boat? and then they shot through, that was the thing that really pissed me off, they shot through at about 40kn in their high powered patrol boat and before i could even scratch myself had disappeared out of site...
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:21   #134
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Would anti-collision alarm on a radar help with single-handling?
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:31   #135
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I had a friend--a crusty old Nam vet--who had a radar alarm that he swore by. He single-handed a lot, and the alarm apparently beeped when he was painted by someone else's radar. I never saw the device, but he said that it was cheap and would wake him frequently even before the boat painting him appeared over the horizon.
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