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Old 26-03-2014, 21:47   #76
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Re: First time offshore

irishmike, forgive me if I'm taking care of you too much, I know that's uncomfortable. My thought was the chemical handwarmers for backpackers might prove useful if you took some along..

I was just thinking along with Neptune's Gear, and thinking "freezing rain" + 60-70 k winds, and very large seas, and thinking that unless you are familiar with sailing in cold weather (and usually folks who lay their boats up for the winter are not), you may be underestimating the hazards from wet and cold. An early April trip -- if the current weather systems continue -- is clearly something to respect. ...like the NOAA info that k4wja posted.
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Old 26-03-2014, 22:06   #77
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Re: First time offshore

+1 on hand warmers I keep a box on board. The larger ones are better and last well over 12 hours. Nice treat to pass out to the crew when it's nippy out. Hoping it will stop being cold some day. I'm running low on hand warmers


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Old 27-03-2014, 03:32   #78
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Re: First time offshore

Mike -- one quick suggestion on the time thing

get a cheap watch or clock and set it for utc time - we keep one on board just in case somedays i forget where i am (i have done that more than once) or (i lose a brain cell and have lost few lately but lucky occassionally find one too)

as for ssb frequecies -- go to dockside radio a bunch of stuff there and a bit of work on the internet will give you more than you can process --
i am right now working of wx fax for the med and it is called research on the internet and it works


good luck and take you best cold wx gear - it gets cold out there
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Old 27-03-2014, 07:39   #79
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Re: First time offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
Sailpower, just because something can be done, does it mean it should?

If you are an experienced sailor, (and it sounds like you are) and wish to go with the basics, feel free! Once there were no charts either, but it would be foolish to say they did not make voyages generally safer.

In this case professional seamen have been engaged to skipper the vessel, and are looking at taking a bluewater novice. They are responsible for him. Professionals have ALWAYS used every means available to them to make voyages a safe as possible, especially when committing others to a passage. IMO.
I'm not clear if it is a delivery or the owner and his friend are professional captains. Either way, the boat obviously cruises with the gear that it has. I expected that the pros will get their weather before they leave. He didn't say that they wouldn't.

Going by way of Bermuda is only 6/7 days each leg.
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Old 27-03-2014, 07:42   #80
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Re: First time offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Sailpower,
I'm not a "naysayer", and I didn't realize I had to post a cv every time I answer a question... Well, count me as one of those "other seamen" that have done it with less!!

My first offshore passages were as a kid in the 1960's wit just DR and an old RDF for approach.....my first Atlantic crossing as an adult (navigator) was in the 1970's with sextant and DR (well before the days of GPS), but I did have SSB radio ('cause I'm a radio nut...read some of my communications posts!)...on my more recent Atlantic crossings (on my current boat) I did use GPS, and wefax, BUT I STILL USE PAPER CHARTS!!!
Just modern seamanship (in my opinion!)...

Cruising and delivering to/from the Caribbean can be a fun, pleasurable trip....but I don't think it "silly" to recommend getting weather forecasts before departure and enroute (especially when the guy ASKED for recommendations/advice)...

Fair winds to 'ya sailpower...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
No CV required. The boat cruises with what it has. He didn't say that they wouldn't be getting weather before they departed. Each leg is pretty short.
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Old 27-03-2014, 08:43   #81
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Go for it... **** happens.. accept that and all will be fine.
No point spending life in bed wondering how safe your roof REALLY is....
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:09   #82
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Re: First time offshore

Hi all,
Well I have returned from the epic adventure in one piece! We spent four days prepping the boat (noticed that the Captain had two sets of spares for many systems) and as soon as we left Tortola the wind picked up to mid to high twenties and seas were 4 or 5 feet, which was the most of either I had ever seen to that point. We set our sails for an Easterly wind and for the next week we belted along at an average of about 6.5 knots, but it was rough enough that we were unable to have a hot meal for 7 days,.... plenty of fruit and cereal on board, so we were not hungry. The night watches were my favorite as I rarely have sailed at night and really enjoyed the beauty and serenity of it. I learned a lot from my two shipmates and they were very forthcoming with all of my queries, plus we really had great camaraderie and lots of salty stories and laughs. On the down side we were all nauseous for the first three days and subsequently the sleep deprivation kicked in at various stages along the way.
Around Bermuda we got three days of calm seas and lovely weather, so we cooked lots of hot meals which we were very excited about! The radio that we bought DID NOT WORK despite many attempts even with all electronics turned off etc. so we had to resort to the Satphone to get an accurate pic of the weather as we approached the Gulf Stream. Things got quite lively from that point onwards with gusts up to 35 and up to 15 foot seas. However it was the last 20 miles from Block Island to Newport that really kicked our asses, .........freezing rain and gusts up to 46mph, the captain succumbed to hypothermia and was incapacitated at a critical time and myself and the first mate had to battle the extreme cold, manage the boat and dodge all the fishing boats around us. I can tell you that I prayed fervently for our lives that night but in fairness the boat never let us down. I do not regret going but would not do it again in early April. Once again, thank you all for the solid advice before we set off.
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:18   #83
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Re: First time offshore

That which does not kill us makes us stronger...now it's just another story you can tell (Nietzche and Buffett in the same sentence!).

Congratulations! It sounds like you may have left Tortola around the same time as we did (bound for FL), which was 03 April. The wind was incredible, for 5 straight days a consistent 25 with gusts to 35.

Anyway, I'm glad you made it intact and now have an adventure to tell about! Best, Pete
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:21   #84
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Congrats on the trip Irish..
Sounds like you picked up some valuable experience along the way which will stand you in good stead in the future..
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:38   #85
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Re: First time offshore

Congratulations! Solo night watches offshore on clear nights are about as good as it gets. Sounds like you'll have enough stories for others to pick up your bar tab for a few weeks! Not to mention great experience to build on.

I'm with you on holding off until later in the season for this trip. I must admit that I don't get the attraction to high latitude sailing. When water is falling in a solid state during a blow, I want to be ashore in front of a fire.
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:45   #86
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Re: First time offshore

irishmike -- good to go for you -- imagine the number of stories over the years -- congradulations on a great and your most valuable learning experience of knowing when and when not to go
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:52   #87
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Re: First time offshore

Here's to you irishmike, well done Sir.
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Old 21-04-2014, 14:54   #88
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Re: First time offshore

Congratulations, Irish Mike! Aren't you glad you didn't listen to the Captain No-Go's? Good luck and good offshore sailing.
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Old 22-04-2014, 13:42   #89
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Re: First time offshore

Mile,
I'm glad you went and had a great time!!!
(only one problem that I for see....every other boat and every other passage is going to seem a bit ho-hum after delivering a Hinckley SW-52 from the Caribbean!!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmike View Post
I do not regret going but would not do it again in early April.
As for the weather once north of Bermuda, and the cold and nasty stuff once you get near 40*.....
Yep, that's why April is not the usual time-of-year to do this passage...
But, glad that you all had a great time anyway!!!





I'm sorry that the radio didn't work out for you....(honestly it would have been rare if you did have good luck with it right out-of-the-box, without any experience...but, I didn't want to discourage you up front...
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmike View Post
The radio that we bought DID NOT WORK despite many attempts even with all electronics turned off etc. so we had to resort to the Satphone to get an accurate pic of the weather as we approached the Gulf Stream.
I don't want to turn this into a "radio discussion", but if you (or anyone) is interested in using an SSB-enabled SW radio effectively for offshore weather, please let me know...


Again, I'm glad you had a good time!!!


Fair winds...

John
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Old 22-04-2014, 14:02   #90
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Re: First time offshore

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
I don't want to turn this into a "radio discussion", but if you (or anyone) is interested in using an SSB-enabled SW radio effectively for offshore weather, please let me know...
OK, John, I'll bite.

What's the trick?
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