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Old 24-08-2009, 14:07   #1
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'Blue Water' - What Does This Mean to You?

All these threads with Blue Water this Blue Water that! They always seem to go down the same paths after a few replies. So what is your definition of "blue water"? How far from nearest land, or nearest support? If you are 20 miles from anywhere are you in "blue water"?

To me the term means more "limited support" than the water etc itself. What does the term mean to you?
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Old 24-08-2009, 14:11   #2
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Possibility of big seas, big winds, lack of food and water and no chance of assistance. That's before things go wrong.
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Old 24-08-2009, 14:40   #3
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I describe it as intercontinental/ocean crossing. Brown water would be coastal and inland waterways
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:03   #4
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I describe it as intercontinental/ocean crossing. Brown water would be coastal and inland waterways
AGREED, crossing oceans, but not all oceans. The Southern Ocean is quite another beast that can be BEASTLY.........i2f
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:24   #5
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Possibility of big seas, big winds, lack of food and water and no chance of assistance. That's before things go wrong.
This means something a lot worse off to me!
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:28   #6
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Blue water - offshore or extensive inshore - where you can't dodge whatever the blue water throws your way - and you, and the ship, have to just bite the bullet and (at least) survive.

The ingredients may be numerous, but they will include:

1) a safe boat (well-designed, well-maintained, etc...),
2) a boat capable of carrying the necessary supplies without limiting her sailing ability (water, food, equipment, spares, diesel, etc.),
3) preferably above some lower limit of displacement/length - so that normal ocean conditions will not create unnecessary risks for the safety of crew and the craft,

* by 'normal ocean conditions' I understand anything other than a bad hurricane, freak waves, waterspouts and other such phenomena that we avoid if we know they are there,

b.
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:32   #7
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My personal definition of blue water would involve being outside the national territorial limits for a country. In New Zealand the territorial limit is 12 nautical miles - beyond that you're in international waters.

Having said that, simply sailing 13 nautical miles offshore and turning around to return to port would not make me feel like a blue water sailor.

Once I've sailed a journey complete with clearing out of one country and clearing into another, I would then count blue water sailing amongst my personal inventory of experience.

But that's just me.
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:44   #8
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I think of "bluewater" in relationship to structure and build of a boat. The ability of a vessel in good condition with a good crew to withstand whatever weather normally is thrown at it while crossing the Pacific or Atlantic.
I would not consider 20 miles as bluewater but I would consider a 50 to 100 mile course parralleling the coastline offshore to be bluewater.
Oh, I spell it one word, is it two?
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Old 24-08-2009, 15:59   #9
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I feel a storm 20 miles from shore is the same as one 50 miles from shore. Is the 30 miles going to help you any really? Is it going to made any difference to the boat that you are on? In some ways getting caught up close to shore could be a lot worst.
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Old 24-08-2009, 16:13   #10
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Is the 30 miles going to help you any really?
Under ideal conditions, a USCG helo will meet you in 8 minutes at 20 miles and 20 minutes at 50 miles. That is an extra 12 minutes in the water - unless you are naked in the cold water, its bad but not fatal.

A storm is less than ideal so a factor of 4 for weather and response initiation. That would be 32 minutes versus 80 minutes in the water. That is a long 48 minutes in the water.
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Old 24-08-2009, 16:18   #11
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Aloha Don,
Just my point of view. I'm certain there are a hundred arguments against it but I'll not join them.
regards
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Old 24-08-2009, 17:23   #12
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Bluewater? I consider it the point when the water turns that cobalt blue and the bottom drops away.
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Old 24-08-2009, 18:04   #13
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I'm not arguing one way or the other, just debating it. In my mind if I start thinking of the difference in CG helicopter time being 8 minutes verse 20 minutes etc because I'm going in the water I figure I'm lost. That becomes more a discussion on things to do to stay with the boat. I would say on this line in questioning that the point where the helicopter can not get to you anymore becomes "blue water". But that becomes that "limited support" point. Rememeber the topic question isn't about the boat or equipment being blue water (there are lots of those threads already), but what the point in your cruising that you made the changeover from coastral etc to blue water.
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Old 24-08-2009, 18:11   #14
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50 miles of Sydney or New York means you can still get a salvage tug or medivac in a few hours.

A few weeks ago here in Indonesia 2 people went down in their catamaran less than 50 miles off a major island and were picked by a Chinese cargo ship.... they will be put off in Shanghi!!!!!!!!!

So blue water to me means being outside the cordon of 1st world countries immediate support.

When we did Tonga to Sydney, its only 1,600nm miles, not far, but we didn't see another ship or boat the whole way!!!!!

It would have been a long wait to be picked up.


Then theres the log passages....
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Old 24-08-2009, 18:18   #15
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Past the Continental Shelf

Or past the littoral zones of an offshore Island
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