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Old 14-12-2014, 19:03   #1
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Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Beth and I made our first crossing with Moorahme last Tuesday. We departed Palafox Marina in Pensacola at 8 a.m., and headed south. It was time, too many frosty mornings of late.

The weather forecast was good from all sources...winds 8 to 15 knots, seas 2 to 3 feet, winds from the north east, falling off to almost no wind on Wednesday and Thursday picking up lightly. So, off we went.

Beth started feeling seasick that evening, and I remained at the helm. At about midnite...yes, it always happens around midnight, the winds picked up big time. We were running 12 to sometimes 20 knots from the north east, but suddenly were hit with 35+ knot winds, and I had left full cloth up. Moorahme was flying along at 10.4 knots when I told Beth she had to take the helm and bring us about so that I could reef the sails. The seas were probably in the 8 foot or better range....totally manageable for a 47 foot Stevens....but with Beth as seasick as she was, we made 3 loops around before she used the automatic pilot to assume command and hold us bow into the wind. Meanwhile, the head sail halyards were whipping me and the bow of the boat pretty good, and we were bouncing in the whipped up seas. I had rigged the jack lines and was tethered on, but really enjoyed the benefit of having the granny bars at the mast.

Once I got the main reefed, I went at it with the headsail, but the halyards had snagged on a deck cleat, and I had a real battle getting it under control. We got things in order, and swung the bow back around and ran in front of the winds, which stayed at 35 or better apparent knots for a few hours. Poor Beth was white as a ghost, and not feeling well at all.

By morning, I had the headsail halyards set up properly again, and things had settled down fairly well. But not for Beth.......she was seasick almost the remainder of the trip.....or about 47 or so hours.

We arrived at Burnt Store Marina some 56 hours after departing Pensacola.....our first overnighter, our first experience with freighter and cruise ship traffic, and our first long distance crossing.

We learned a ton on this trip, reef before dark, always prepare ahead for the worst possible conditions and enjoy it if they don't show up, double check course headings, AIS would be nice...not a absolutely must have, but would be nice, and the cockpit provides a pretty good sleeping area

It was an exciting, experience rendering trip, and will always be remembered by both of us.....her memories not quite as fond as mine!

We are totally pleased with the Stevens 47, awesome boat! Would be nice to have all the lines led back to the cockpit though...something to consider down the road!

Enough of our tale for now, thanks for reading!

gunk
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Old 14-12-2014, 19:07   #2
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

I learned the hard way too, not to carry full sail after dark... welcome to the club!
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Old 15-12-2014, 07:28   #3
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Thanks for sharing the lessons of your cruise. So often it seems people share about how perfect, idyllic it all was; my experience is that especially first time it's hard but you learn.
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Old 15-12-2014, 20:18   #4
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Gunk
Did Beth take anything to prevent sea sickness?


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Old 16-12-2014, 00:58   #5
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendragon35 View Post
Thanks for sharing the lessons of your cruise. So often it seems people share about how perfect, idyllic it all was; my experience is that especially first time it's hard but you learn.
The trip was not perfect, although at times it was idyllic. When the dolphins hung out at the bow of the boat for about a half hour, the sunrises and sunsets, reaching the dock at the end of the trip.

The task at hand now is to nurture Beth's sailing skills and desires. She was quite scared when I was on deck at the mast reefing, worried that if I fell over, even though tied on, that there was nothing she could do. Convincing her to run full sails the next day in 12 to 15 knot winds did not happen, she was scared that we would encounter heavier winds once again. With time, and her gaining confidence in the boat, I am hoping that this will happen. If not, I will sell the boat, I am not sailing at half sail the rest of my sailing life.

Thanks for comment, I always try to keep it real!

gunk

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Old 16-12-2014, 01:01   #6
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

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Gunk
Did Beth take anything to prevent sea sickness?


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Beth has endured seasickness before....ginger candies, water, an ear plug in one ear, and this time gravol. When she is nauseous, she tends to want to sleep, and sleep.

We were given some "Scopamhine"...or however it's spelled for our next time out, we'll see how that works for her. I'll have her take a half a tablet the day before we leave, and a half tab the morning of departure and see how that affects her and go from there.

Good question!

gunk
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Old 16-12-2014, 10:07   #7
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunkylump View Post
Beth has endured seasickness before....ginger candies, water, an ear plug in one ear, and this time gravol. When she is nauseous, she tends to want to sleep, and sleep.

We were given some "Scopamhine"...or however it's spelled for our next time out, we'll see how that works for her. I'll have her take a half a tablet the day before we leave, and a half tab the morning of departure and see how that affects her and go from there.

Good question!

gunk
I hope you find a cure for Beth's sea sickness. I never have for my wife.

They can be troopers but it has to be miserable.
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Old 16-12-2014, 11:04   #8
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Dramamine, check spelling, works well for both my wife and myself even on the short nasty wave patterns we get here on Lake Ontario. It makes you a bit drowsy and dry mouthed but no mal de mare. There is also a non-drowsy dramamine as well which also is quite effective. There is nothing quite so like being seasick. Good luck.
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Old 16-12-2014, 12:59   #9
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Have to get my wife on Dramamine BEFORE you leave, seems to work some as a preventative, once you start getting sick it seems as that is too late.
The stuff, or maybe it's the queasiness makes her sleepy as well, she has essentially slept for the better part of two days or so. I believe she will begin to develop a tolerance for it, but to do that means she has to be nearly constantly exposed, which we are not. Being working slobs, we don't often get to go anywhere on the boat yet.
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Old 16-12-2014, 13:58   #10
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

? why don't you run a line from cockpit forward so you can snap on a safety harness line that would preclude you going overboard if you make another run like that. I have never considered that till after the fact. Been there dun that, scary thinking if someone striking the sails goes over and can't be brought back onboard even though they are tethered.


Another question? Even though you only reefed the main conventional thought, I would think, would be to strike the foresail first. I hope you don't encounter the situation again.
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Old 16-12-2014, 14:22   #11
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

We have lines run from the bow to the stern on both port and starboard to hook the safety lanyard to...I'll have to have a look at the boat closely when we return to it after Christmas to see if it is practical to have a third jack line to tether to......

Perhaps I've been doing it wrong...I have always reefed the main first and then the foresail to help keep the bow "nose in". I find having more sail up on the bow keeps the motion of the boat in a more favourable state....keeps the "hobbyhorsing" effect to a more comfortable level, and I can control the foresail without leaving the cockpit, ie winching in more cloth once the main has been reefed to where we want it to be......perhaps I'm going about it arse backwards, but it works. Clue me in if I'm doing this wrong, I sure don't have a ton of experience....4 years on the Great Lakes at about 3 months a year...well, you do the math.

I hope we don't encounter those conditions again either...but, the more time we have on this boat, the more comfortable both of us will be on it...it was a big jump up from a Bayfield 29. When we bought the Stevens, the former owners told us that they didn't even think about reefing at all up to a minimum 25 knots.......

gunk
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Old 17-12-2014, 05:32   #12
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Bonine for sea sickness - before you leave the dock! No drowsiness!
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Old 17-12-2014, 06:35   #13
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Transderm Scōp* is a small patch you put behind your ear, is indicated in adults for prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your dr and they will write you a prescription for it. Works great. Gives me 3 days to acclimate.

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Old 17-12-2014, 06:37   #14
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

Burnt Store marina is an awesome marina so what are y'all going to do now

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Old 17-12-2014, 07:49   #15
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Re: Pensacola Florida to Port Charlotte Harbour

I'm wondering if those who advocate and choose the in-furling main mast option are saying to themselves while reading this post: "..that's another good example of why I love that in-furling main!".
I'm considering one on my upcoming 40' purchase because of these types of events. Whatever I can do to keep my wife enjoying sailing and feeling safe will afford me (us) many more years of sailing and to farther destinations.
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