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Old 24-07-2018, 08:43   #31
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

I agree with getting lots of offshore experience with good captains on good offshore not Coastal Cruiser type boats. Experience both good and bad will teach you valuable lessons. There are many good book to read and learn from. Make sure you are an asset to the Captain not a liability. Have a good healthy attitude about taking direction/orders. Know the right questions to ask before you crew. Is the boat set up to Heave To and has the Captain any experience Heaving to.
Watch the Skip Novac videos on Utube. Read Lin and Larry Pardyís books. You will be just fine.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:56   #32
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

I think this anxiety is a given. I have never gotten over it, but what I do to manage it is set up the best communication system possible. I haven't been in blue water for a couple of years, but a SAT phone made me feel better, along with the latest information on towing services and Coast Guard and their geographical limits.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:59   #33
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

We like not seeing land.
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Old 24-07-2018, 09:08   #34
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

The boat doesn't know you can't see land!
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Old 24-07-2018, 09:15   #35
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

Sign on as crew on ocean races with an experienced skipper and well tested boat. Usually they would take you on as trial crew for one race, then if you like each other they may ask you back for the season.

The racing part is very important for quick learning. They have to deal with whatever the ocean throws at them without using the engine. In the company of other experienced sailors, you will have companionship and little thought or fear of being offshore. Learn from them about safety, sail handling and navigation. Its cheap education and will make you a confident cruiser.
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Old 24-07-2018, 09:21   #36
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

In nice weather and a forecast for favorable weather into the night, a good sized chart plotter and most of the anxiety disappears. Anxiety reappears when weather turns out way worse than forecast, thunderstorms or fog, etc along with a crowded shipping lane and you are in it. So to me the key to venturing offshore first time is to be patient and wait for a decent weather window with clear skies at night. Initially if you are headed to Bahamas from Florida no full night sailing should be required any where in the chain.


After the first couple of times being 20 miles offshore is hardly noticed and the feeling is not a lot different 500 miles offshore. I must say watching the sunrise after a hard night under sail, is a very nice feeling.
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Old 24-07-2018, 09:51   #37
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

Courage is just fear management.

You have vulnerabilities. Your boat has vulnerabilities. Learn them, and know that there is no end to the learning.

Appreciate that you have some anxiety. It motivates you to learn. But don’t let it cripple you.

I have had passages that I needed to heal from. Some people heal by selling their boat.
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Old 24-07-2018, 10:44   #38
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

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Get used to it? I crave it , and have felt claustrophobic ashore after a long passage.
I agree. Iím one of those sailors that are much more afraid of land than the ocean. I fear a lee shore more than anything. Iím always much more comfortable out of sight of land in deep water.

Al, S/V Finlandia
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Old 24-07-2018, 11:05   #39
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

No anxiety, started boatingat 4 . Dad hada commercial boat, loved to go offshorethe boats were wood and leaked, one of my jods was to measure bilge water, over a foot put on pump. Go out in your boat and know your boat, inside and out, in varied weather. Gradually increase your distance from land til you get confidence and skill, your anxiety will go away or go crazy, then you will start to know where your comfort level is. In florida you can be a mile offshore in 20í of water and be hit with holy moly weather, same as being 50 miles out in 1200í of water, its about your confidence in your boat and yourself. Dont overthink yourself be careful and smart. Saltine crackers can help anxiety in the gut.
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Old 24-07-2018, 14:34   #40
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

I find that once I get far enough away from land to no longer see it, I quit looking for it and thus the distraction thereof disappears and instead of looking for it, I settle into sailing the sea.

But as my voyage route begins to near land, I notice that I begin looking anew for it, on ocassion becoming embarrassed when I thence first spot land but on the "wrong" side of the boat, or in my wake.

Whereas some shipmates seem to begin worrying about going over the edge of the ocean.
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Old 24-07-2018, 15:30   #41
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

As a young man Bernard Moitessiere (spelling?) learned a trick from Vietnamese fishermen. They cast off, travel a short distance, then anchor for the night and begin their more serious journey the following day. No jitters about the short trip, and having begun the voyage, no jitters next morning. Done this on a number of occasions, and it works very well. As others have expressed here, once you get underway, fear and anxiety are replaced with alertness.
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Old 24-07-2018, 16:19   #42
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

Anxiety or apprehension is good, it ensures one is never blase about risk or hazard.


Years ago I asked a friend of mine who was a military parachute instructor and a member of a parachute display team whether he ever felt frightened when he jumped - His answer, "everytime, the day you don't have fear you are an accident looking for a place to happen"


It is natural to have some apprehension, it keeps one safe by stopping one from taking unnecessary chances.
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Old 24-07-2018, 16:21   #43
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

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I like the way you put that, Respect of the elements,

Coming home I will be crossing the great Australian bight, Perth to Melbourne,
3000 Miles across the southern ocean,
It is one ocean I am very wary off, It is known for some very big waves and very strong winds,
But I have planned it out in stages, 200 miles max from point to point,
Thats from safe harbour to safe harbour, Then wait for the right winds,
I have already planned the trip and where I can find sheltered harbours from the waves and winds of the Southern Ocean,
I need a 3 day weather window to accomplish it safely,
I dont fancy sailing in 40 foot plus waves, Like others have done,
But if im out there when it goes bad, I will just go with it, Ride it out,
Most storms blow over in 3 days or so,
Great plan Brian, but you should invest in some new charts. Even following the curve northwards to hug the shore in the bight it is less than 2000 miles from Perth to Melbourne. And since the majority of the passage is well north of 35 degrees South, and the furthest south is around 38 degrees, it is hardly "across the southern ocean".

But otherwise it seems a reasonable plan, so good luck with the wx windows.

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Old 24-07-2018, 16:42   #44
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

My anxiousness always built and became greatest prior to untying from the berth. Once out of the Marina, and with sail up - all anxiousness gone - then it's just "care". This regardless of a day sail, or an ocean crossing.

On coastal, in heavier weather, in a busy shipping lane etc have to show a higher level of care. Once well out to sea, in good conditions, even the cares slip away.
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Old 24-07-2018, 16:43   #45
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Re: Anxiety from Offshore Cruising

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I am worrying every time before I go out. There are so many things that can go wrong. And do go wrong. Once on passage, the worries just disappear.

I think the anxiety keeps you focused and is mostly helpful.
Agreed. I get anxious about all the stuff to do to get ready. Being offshore is easy compared to that, and to me it is relaxing.

Now, if you want anxiety, spend some time on the ICW when the idiots are out in force.
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