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Old 16-09-2015, 09:49   #31
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Re: Which Do You Prefer - Sailing In Company or Solo

Even close buddy boat friends can get tiring after a while. We are very sociable people and always like meeting new people and when you are in a tightly knit group it's sometimes either difficult for to form new friendships or other folks may feel intimidated by the tightness of the group.

We do not usually go out of our way to buddy boat unless we really really enjoy the company and then its not quite buddy boating... it's meeting at some designated place to socialize.

In the first few months of cruising we could not figure out why some boats that we had made good friends with would just sail off sometimes. It turns out, its not personal, its just the way it is.

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Old 16-09-2015, 13:07   #32
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Re: Which Do You Prefer - Sailing In Company or Solo


When we've done it, they were glad to see us, and I'm sure I would be, too. But, I'm an old school old gal, and there were no EPIRBs yet, people did not expect ever to have a button to push, so the only available help came via HF radio, or VHF, if you were close, or visual, and one expected to save oneself. The fishing boat to whose aid we went was a recently launched one that was unable to start their engine, and had an electrical problem and could not use their radio. Our only assistance, once we got back upwind to offer it, was to make radio contact with a mate of theirs to organize a real rescue.

The other time, we were asked by the local authorities to go to the rescue of a brigantine that was taking on water. By the time we got there, the weather had eased, and their pumps had pumped it out, so no assistance needed.

The time we sailed in company with our friends with the damaged rudder, it was a real drag, slowing down our boat to not sneak away from them, and yet we were glad to do it.

When we were dismasted close enough to land that we had enough fuel to motor in, I don't think I have words to describe how very much it mattered to get ourselves in to safety on our own.

I guess I wasn't really clear about what I said about group sailing. If you're talking daysails, it's a lot easier to stay together than on ocean crossings. Also, on ocean crossings, it can be very difficult to get back to someone to offer aid. Hard on the wind in the open ocean in 35 knots or better is not my idea of fun--ymmv. In those, or stronger conditions, acting to go upwind to help someone can damage the boat, and is a real act of kindness. I expect, these days, that the vessel in question might more likely set off an EPIRB than ask a friend to come back and help. Perhaps I am wrong in this. Certainly, some friends would do it unasked.


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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