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Old 08-07-2013, 19:05   #31
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Re: Giving it a go...

Yeah, you get tired enough or confident enough to just get some sleep! Eventually you realize that unless the wind pipes up big time, and/or the wind shifts, that the anchor will hold or you will wake up when the rig starts rattling....
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Old 09-07-2013, 00:13   #32
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Re: Giving it a go...

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Originally Posted by DaBod View Post
I tend to worry a lot, and I worried a lot more on this trip than expected. In fact, the first night at anchor I didn’t sleep at all and was a bit of a nervous wreck. The second I closed my eyes my head would fill with “Are we dragging?” “Are we visible enough?” “How are we doing on battery power?” “What the hell was that noise?” I’ve never been so relieved to see the sun come up, which incidentally, was breathtaking.
Hi DaBod
I loved reading your latest report. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Being worried on your first overnight trip when new to cruising is a really good sign .

As you anchor out more and with stronger winds, you will slowly learn if your anchoring technique is correct and if your gear is adequate (note I avoided use of the highly controversial word 'anchor'), but before that I would be extremely cautious in all but the most benign conditions. Use of an anchor alarm is useful (eg use an app on an tablet/phone if power draw is too high on your boat equipment).

Safe and happy sailing
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:22   #33
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Re: Giving it a go...

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Ha! According to the wife it did happen several weeks ago on the boat. Hopefully that means the kid is hard wired to enjoy a life aboard.
Fantastic to hear your experience.

I always wondered why I like the sea so much. A few years ago while looking at some old holiday photos that my parents had found, my mother casually mentioned "that was the beach where you were conceived"
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Old 10-07-2013, 00:55   #34
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Re: Giving it a go...

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Oh that's soooo true about anchoring out the first night.
DITTO - especially after the wind changed and I found myself on the windward side of the island.

but I did have an anchor app on my phone so I was able to confirm that I was not drifting but still I did not get much sleep that first night.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:10   #35
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Re: Giving it a go...

Congratulations & good luck. My partner & I have been doing little trips for 12 mths now & still get excited everytime we arrive at the marina.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:40   #36
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Well, we made it through. The boat didn’t sink, we still love each other, and I am back at my desk with the rocking feeling of the boat still under me.

I’d say for a trip that involved several days of living on a boat things went very smoothly. There were some issues and challenges, but they weren’t catastrophic and were or will be fixed. One will require a trip up the stick to change the anchor light, and the other will require me to learn more about the one system I’ve procrastinated digging into: the head (the macerator pump, specifically). From my time on this forum and books I have read, it seems one is not a proper boat owner if he/she has not had to deal with marine sanitation issues, so I will consider it my initiation. Fortunately, the issue didn’t arise until we were back in the slip yesterday afternoon, so it didn’t impact the entire trip.

Enough with the bad; here’s what I learned:

1. It is different from camping, as space is far more limited. Accessing one item usually means moving three or four others, which can require a lot of patience. I am certain that this improves over time as you adapt to living in a small area.

2. Organization is critical and must be strategic.

3. All areas of the boat serve multiple purposes. By living in a house we are engrained with notions that certain items/activities only belong in certain areas, but on a boat that just cannot be the case…at least on our small boat. For instance, when cooking, it wasn’t uncommon to prep items or have them set aside on the chart table, cockpit seat, or companionway steps. All areas have names, but in reality they are just surfaces and provide a lot more benefit than their name suggests.

4. I tend to worry a lot, and I worried a lot more on this trip than expected. In fact, the first night at anchor I didn’t sleep at all and was a bit of a nervous wreck. The second I closed my eyes my head would fill with “Are we dragging?” “Are we visible enough?” “How are we doing on battery power?” “What the hell was that noise?” I’ve never been so relieved to see the sun come up, which incidentally, was breathtaking.

5. Guests don’t get it. We had overnight guests come out for the last night, and they just didn’t seem to get it. Not that it is entirely their fault, but the idea of self sufficiency requires thought, planning, and fairly significant responsibility. While I very much enjoyed their company, I also noticed how easily they would forget to turn off cabin lights, or want to blast the stereo for hours on end without considering the source of that power. Finding a balance in the conveyance of such issues without being a tyrant adds another layer of stress, and can be a bit frustrating.

6. Food tastes better in the cockpit. Conversations are better at anchor than they are on land. Sunsets are incredible as they dance across the water. Sleep (when had) is deeper and much more fulfilling on a boat.

7. It takes a bit of time to realize that it is ok to have nothing to do and to relax, but it is wonderful when you finally do.

8. And lastly, I am going to be a father. My wife informed me that the dreams we share of a life aboard will now include at least one more. Astounding, a little terrifying, and overwhelmingly exciting.

All in all, I’d say it was a success, and life altering in more ways than one. We’ve got a long ways to go and a lot to learn, but we become smarter, stronger, and a more cohesive team each time we set sail, drop anchor, reef the main, land at a dock, chase an elusive electrical issue, etc. I can’t wait for more, and really appreciate the support and encouragement of the folks on this forum.
Congratulations.

The " guests do not get it" thing sounds familiar.

I think one of the best things a couple can give each other is time. Sailing allows that in spades and it appears you are putting that time to good use.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:47   #37
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Re: Giving it a go...

Well done.... on all fronts

I don't know how much experience you've got under your belt, but one of the first things I did when we bought our boat was increase the anchor size by about 60%. You could probably check the size recommended for your boat and go up 1 or 2 sizes.

We've had a few really big wind experiences (gusts 40+) to the point where I've started the engine, just in case.
So far we haven't needed to put it in gear and my confidence in the ground tackle is much better knowing how well it holds. I sleep like the dead.

Let out plenty of rode... 4-7 times the depth, it's not doing you any good sitting in the locker, reverse until it's set, use a snubber, and enjoy your sleep. You're going to be short enough of it in 7 or 8 months anyway

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Old 11-07-2013, 12:32   #38
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Re: Giving it a go...

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Well done.... on all fronts

I don't know how much experience you've got under your belt, but one of the first things I did when we bought our boat was increase the anchor size by about 60%. You could probably check the size recommended for your boat and go up 1 or 2 sizes.

We've had a few really big wind experiences (gusts 40+) to the point where I've started the engine, just in case.
So far we haven't needed to put it in gear and my confidence in the ground tackle is much better knowing how well it holds. I sleep like the dead.

Let out plenty of rode... 4-7 times the depth, it's not doing you any good sitting in the locker, reverse until it's set, use a snubber, and enjoy your sleep. You're going to be short enough of it in 7 or 8 months anyway

Vic
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:53   #39
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Re: Giving it a go...

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My wife and I bought our boat back in September of 2012 and have been toiling away ever since. As with any boat, the project list is unending, but as of this past weekend I finally feel like we have overcome neglect of someone who clearly held a different opinion of "nice" than I do. She looks like a completely different boat, and IMHO is the prettiest in the marina. Now we just have to keep her that way!

To celebrate, we are going to spend our first few nights aboard. We'll shove off the morning of the 4th and not return to the slip until the evening of the 7th. Obviously to the seasoned cruisers and liveaboards such a thing isn't even worth mentioning, but to us this is yet another step toward the ultimate goal.

In our time together we've done a great deal of camping and have traveled coast to coast in the car, so we are quite used to tight quarters and non-luxurious living. I am sure, however, that staying on the boat will present new challenges and learning opportunities and I simply cannot put into words how excited I am.

I haven't felt this antsy or looked forward to a trip this much in a very long time. The weather looks like it will be beyond perfect and as long as we survive the drunken powerboaters zipping around after the fireworks it will be great (fingers crossed).

My apologies for a post that doesn't have much merit, but I had to share my excitement somewhere and thought this was a place in which some might relate.

I hope your trip went well.

Your plan is solid. Baby steps.

We have done the same thing. I had more experience than my wife and I wanted to make certain she did not feel overwhelmed in any way by the ocean. She has grown in confidence and ability to a point where she is now very comfortable (as am I) doing a solo watch at night.

Keep going down the path and you will find a remarkable world of adventure "out there".
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