Interesting thread. Let me go back in the time machine.
When I first got Shiva I wanted to "sail away" but knew that I had lots of prep, boat prep, sailing skills, mental prep and so on.
Circumstances conspired in my life which presented an opportunity to give this a go when I was about 42, single
, no children
, parents had passed, no debts and a chunk of cash and a recession so I had little work.
I had been coastal sailing for about 6 years in and around LIS and southern New England
. To see if me and my boat could cut it I decided to do the Marion Bermuda
race in 91. This would be with competent crew amidst a fleet of 200 boats with a safety gear
compliance test. That seemed like a safe way to go.
But before that I decided to cruise
up to ME because after the Marion Bermuda
, if all went well, I would sail back to the States, close up my affairs and head
to the Caribbean
sail would involve coastal sailing from Eastern LI then to Block Island, Cuttyhunk, through the Cape Cod
canal to P Town and then the offshore bit to ME across the gulf of Maine
. Mostly a down wind
broad reach. That was pre GPS
was iffy out there but I had learned DR and traditional nav skills and sure enough we began to see land birds and get a whiff of the connifers of Maine and made landfall in Tenant's Harbor. WOW. Not only was Maine gorgeous but sailing there proved I could head
off into the deep blue and land where I expected I would. Navigation
The return from Maine was hopping along the coast and the real test came in Marion Bermuda race the next Spring. Then we encounted a gale in the stream and huge waves. YIKES. Everyone one board I think was seasick at one point. Nothing broke. The boat took care of us. We did the trip with a sextant
for nav in a very respectable 4 days 12 hrs IRRC.
This may not be as bad as it gets, but it was rough enough to give me confidence to sail offshore and do it single
handed and have done the Carib - NE several times on my own.
So I went from absolute zero knowledge about boats to single handing 1800 miles including fitting a production boat for the task in less than 7 yrs. If I could do it. YOU can do it.