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Old 27-08-2013, 08:41   #1
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What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

Well, I am now two and half weeks through my 5 week cruising. I have done some significant passage making: off shore with crew, inshore solo and inshore completely under sail. I have developed some self steering for boat for under 25 USD. And I have almost been dinged by a merchant marine ship while tacking up the sound next to Seattle at 0300. I have sailed every day, usually with others, but some passages by myself. Impressions?
1. Sailing is very addictive. For me it is the ultimate vacation, because I can't think about my profession, worry about bills or anything else. It pretty much consumes you in a good way. You start living on "island time" were there is no hurry, and no deadlines- because sailing has to be its own addenda, and cannot be changed into a rigid schedule. If your going to do a schedule, then you going to motor a lot. And the charter sailboats I see everywhere is the San Juans aren't sailing, they are motoring with a sailboat. Different addiction, different game.
2. Sailing is safer with all the electronic stuff and a axillary motor. For all you luddites out there, I have sailed with just sweeps and a depth finder, but that usually confines you to sailing in clear conditions and usually during the day. I use a chartplotter, radar and AIS when fog, darkness of other things inhibit my visibility. Helps me to keep going when the old timer would have just sat at anchor. And my little diesel keeps the batteries topped in the rain, allow me to make a pass when the current is right and I am behind, etc. Very useful devices all of them. Maybe these things aren't essential, but allows me many options when sailing (all sail, motor sail, getting out of tight spots quickly)
3. 45 degree water is not your friend. My hands get numb almost instantly placing them below the waterline here. If you were to fall overboard here, it is a life and death crisis. Just like the maxim "reef early" there should be a "tie in early" to whoever sails these waters. I wear a survival suit but do not have any unrealistic ideas should I go overboard while soloing.
More to come when I am back in a few weeks....
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:02   #2
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

Hey, Newt,

It's great to read how much fun you're having. Good on ya!
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:11   #3
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

hay newt--get down here where water is 90 F---too gorgeous and comfy...lol
good to hear you are having fun..
where are you now??
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:28   #4
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

PNW cruising is awesome. Maybe not this time, but next time I recommend you consider investing in a fishing license and a couple crab traps if you're into that sort of thing. Very low effort access to delicious Dungeness and Red Rock Crabs while at anchor, yum!
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:37   #5
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I have developed some self steering for boat for under 25 USD. And I have almost been dinged by a merchant marine ship while tacking up the sound next to Seattle at 0300.
See! Didn't Mom tell you that self steering would get you killed!!!

I'd be really interested in your solution.

Have a great time, nice post.
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:37   #6
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

I can really relate to the "schedule" effect of sailing. The wind, the tides, the sunrise and sunset (also moonrise and moonset) become your schedule. At anchor, I love the evening routine of lighting the anchor light, preparing dinner, settling in for the night, and looking for stars. Hope to experience some of that this upcoming weekend.......
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:38   #7
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Hey Newt!

Sounds like a good time. Well ... except for the water temp.

Zee's right you need to get down here -- her side or ours, the water spectacularly warm and wonderful!

Robyn
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:46   #8
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

Just a quick note before I shove off again. Z- I am up in Seattle right now, going up the inside passage in Canada for the next couple of weeks. Stu- have been on a diet of Salmon, Crabs and flounder and fruit (berries are on). Am looking into clamming and shrimping too. And Robyn and Z- planning on transiting the canal in a year of two. Still keeping my day job (half time) and need solar/twiking my boat some more before I go. But I am getting close.
Well, I'm off. Will text in when I have digital on my phone....
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:54   #9
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

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PNW cruising is awesome. Maybe not this time, but next time I recommend you consider investing in a fishing license and a couple crab traps if you're into that sort of thing. Very low effort access to delicious Dungeness and Red Rock Crabs while at anchor, yum!
Probably don't need to mention those Red Rock Crabs will bite your head off if given the chance! Aggressive little tikes!
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Old 27-08-2013, 10:18   #10
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

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If your going to do a schedule, then you going to motor a lot.
Yep. I always have to wonder why those kinds of people don't just get a powerboat in the first place.

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Sailing is safer with all the electronic stuff...
I would phrase it a little differently, by saying that sailing CAN BE safer with all the electronic stuff. The electronic stuff doesn't automatically and all by itself make you safer. In fact, I think that it can be misused, and when it is it actually makes you LESS safe. Used correctly, though, you are absolutely right.

The reason that I think this distinction is important is because of all of the people who rely too exclusively on their electronics to keep them safe--apparently imagining that it is okay for them to switch off their brains as soon as they switch on their electronics. We're all familiar with the phenomenon of a "technology induced grounding." Unfortunately that sort of thing happens too often.
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Old 27-08-2013, 10:18   #11
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

Mmmm, geoduck sashimi! Tricky to catch yourself and you can't harvest from private owned property. If you see anyone harvesting commercially ask if they have any with broken shells which they can't take to market. They ship to Asia, something like $150 a pound.
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Old 27-08-2013, 11:03   #12
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

Great report Newt!

Never enjoyed the temperature of the water at Neah Bay much when I went for a swim. It is tolerable for about .1 seconds.
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Old 06-09-2013, 17:25   #13
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

Thanks Newt Sounds like it's going pretty well except the part where you tried to ram that ship
Up on Kodiak when I was stationed on the wmec Confidence we would make a sport of jumping off the ship while in port... all I remember was that the minute I hit all could think of doing was trying to climb out... straight up into the air! I may be perverse but I love PNW weather. Never tired of it when I was there. Will sweaters and wood burning stoves!
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Old 06-09-2013, 17:44   #14
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

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Yep. I always have to wonder why those kinds of people don't just get a powerboat in the first place.


I would phrase it a little differently, by saying that sailing CAN BE safer with all the electronic stuff. The electronic stuff doesn't automatically and all by itself make you safer. In fact, I think that it can be misused, and when it is it actually makes you LESS safe. Used correctly, though, you are absolutely right.

The reason that I think this distinction is important is because of all of the people who rely too exclusively on their electronics to keep them safe--apparently imagining that it is okay for them to switch off their brains as soon as they switch on their electronics. We're all familiar with the phenomenon of a "technology induced grounding." Unfortunately that sort of thing happens too often.
I still don't know where all "those people" are. I've only come across one -- told the story before about the power boater who wanted the Coast Guard to come lead him to the mouth of the channel that runs along the side of the Skyway Bridge because his chart plotter had gone out. Couldn't have a much bigger marker for something than the Skyway Bridge.

Well that's not quite true. The guy who hit my boat had his on auto pilot, and he was sitting in the cockpit next to the cabin with no one at the helm. He really does rely WAY too much on his AP, and I'm sure his chart plotter as well, but he's also not quite right in the head ...
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Old 06-09-2013, 17:48   #15
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Re: What I have learned from 5 weeks of Cruising

Have fun Newt! You going "round the island"?
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