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Old 14-03-2013, 13:58   #16
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

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Just wanted to hear about your first ocean crossing, how you felt at the completion, how much you learned, and how it influenced you after.
San Diego, CA, to Subic Bay, Philippines, via Hawaii, aboard a 450 foot fast frigate (USS Stein) - 1982. I learned that during a tropical storm, you don't want to be below deck in a small compartment, where the air is too warm and tainted with cigarette smoke. I learned that I hated taking orders from idiots. I also learned that being out on the open ocean can be a great experience. And that the Philippines is a wonderful place. I was influenced to get out of the Navy after four years and to dream of one day seeing more of the world (but from the deck of a sailboat the next time).
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Old 14-03-2013, 14:20   #17
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

JackDale that was a good story! My ending was similar in that I had less than a gallon of fuel left and I drew an arc from Neah Bay that represented the furthest I could motor. We had super light air and for 2-1/2 days I would get so close to my arc and the wind would go lighter and the strong currents would push me back. My Son woke me early in the morning and said Dad, we are in the arc. I had a cheap loran but we were getting a good signal so we went for it. NO radar in those days and we had to cross both sides of the shipping lanes. Exciting times back then, those were the longest 2-1/2 days of my life.
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Old 14-03-2013, 15:39   #18
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

My first ocean crossing was on the Transpac. Good race the first three days were rather brutal reaching with a jib top. But then we set the spinnaker. It was glorious after that. I was about 23 years old. We were riding waves and actually spent a couple of days pumping the main sail (as was allowed in the rules then). The final approach we decided to drop the chute and do a chicken gybe (tack instead of gybe. The two people in front of us had already beat us and the only risk we had of losing to the people behind was dropping the rig. I really enjoyed that trip.
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Old 15-03-2013, 08:48   #19
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As they say "Sailing is 90% boredom 10% abject terror". Well on my first crossing and after our first meeting with abject terror we felt invincible. Later on when asked what that blip on the radar was I responded by saying " it's just another hurricane" . Being on watch at 3am, a little cold and very dark out and being hit by a flying fish can scare the holy &%#^!@ out of you. Sailing through a pod of porpoise's was a great experience and having one of the porpoise's come along side and role over on it's side and look at you and wave it's fin was beyond comparison. The life and activity around you is something I hadn't expected. The night time sky was wonderful but a little scarey. So many lights moving around let us know we we not alone in the universe. Sleeping in my bunk after my watch, warm and secure, was incredible. So many memories and the pot luck dinners on a remote beach with some of your sailing buddies is a something I won't ever forget. Well I will be 70 in two months and my 52' Islander is almost ready for my next adventure and when you see the "Lady Margaret Ann" say hello and how about a beer.
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Old 15-03-2013, 09:05   #20
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

When you think about it you sail in a bubble about 3 miles in diameter, everything that is in that bubble you notice and often study. Life slows down and you have a feeling of humility. Night watches in clear skies and no pollution gives you unbelievable views of the stars as one contemplates infinity. I remember an albatros circling overhead, very low, I studied the feathers on its wings as they moved about as it veered back and forth. After I remembered that it was the first time my life had slowed down to the point that I was able to do that, take the time to really look at something. Visits by whales,dolphins and a couple of rather large sharks were part of the experience. Read a book every 2 days. Slept the sleep of the dead. They were all wonderful experiences but aside from this passage making in my experience is still not very enjoyable as a whole but it does have its moments.
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Old 15-03-2013, 10:04   #21
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

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When you think about it you sail in a bubble about 3 miles in diameter, everything that is in that bubble you notice and often study. Life slows down and you have a feeling of humility. Night watches in clear skies and no pollution gives you unbelievable views of the stars as one contemplates infinity.

Every so often, and especially when I enter Juan de Fuca, I do my own mental version of Cosmic Zoom.



I am reminded of my place in universe.
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Old 15-03-2013, 11:37   #22
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

This thread could be an interesting read...

My first which I don't count was from P town to Penobscot Bay.... but the one I do was the 91 Marion Bermuda Race the next year in my boat with a crew of 5 total.

The beginning was typical conditions 15-20 from SW if I recall...in coastal waters... No problems.
Then we hit the storm. YIKES. And just as we were cross the stream. That WAS a lesson... I don't want to repeat the class...
Then things went very moderate / light and it was on the boring side as far as sailing goes. So we had a bit of it all in 4 and a half days. One person hurt his finger being dumb (a smart non sailor friend who wanted the adventure)... one tethered crew washed over in 40+ knots in the middle of the night... and pulled back in... And I saw waves as big as rolling hills which when surfing down we reached speeds of 11+ YIKES.

Every passage since has been less varied and overall better sailing... And I am glad for that.
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Old 15-03-2013, 13:19   #23
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

The first week offshore is the best, the stress leaves your body, you sleep like never before and it is QUIET, you can hear everything and nothing. Before the advent of solar panels etc... we had to ration the power like the water, only run the main once a week to keep the batteries charged.
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Old 15-03-2013, 13:58   #24
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

San Diego to Haiwee,1957, 21 days, my brother and I in a wooden finnish folkboat, no contrails to amount to anything in those days !! LOL we used a sextant, and the old square rigger route! Hit Hilo right on the nose !! Been doing it and working for the rest of my life more or less! It was such a great trip, Ive never looked back ! I was lucky in finding a wife who loves it as much as I do ! we have what we think is the best life a person can have ! Liveing aboard, and cruiseing where and when we wish ! How can anyone want more??
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Old 15-03-2013, 14:02   #25
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

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As they say "Sailing is 90% boredom 10% abject terror". Well on my first crossing and after our first meeting with abject terror we felt invincible. Later on when asked what that blip on the radar was I responded by saying " it's just another hurricane" . Being on watch at 3am, a little cold and very dark out and being hit by a flying fish can scare the holy &%#^!@ out of you. Sailing through a pod of porpoise's was a great experience and having one of the porpoise's come along side and role over on it's side and look at you and wave it's fin was beyond comparison. The life and activity around you is something I hadn't expected. The night time sky was wonderful but a little scarey. So many lights moving around let us know we we not alone in the universe. Sleeping in my bunk after my watch, warm and secure, was incredible. So many memories and the pot luck dinners on a remote beach with some of your sailing buddies is a something I won't ever forget. Well I will be 70 in two months and my 52' Islander is almost ready for my next adventure and when you see the "Lady Margaret Ann" say hello and how about a beer.
Happy early BDay..The flying fish thing happened to me too..I have never crossed an ocean on a sailboat,but I have sailed around in the oceans and there is nothing like a night watch and a path of glittering stars to lead you on your way,and when the dolphins show up it does have a magic that cant be felt anyway or anywhere else...I sailed from Fla. to Jamaica once by myself and there is a moment of self pride after it was over thats hard to describe,Its like your first solo flight,first kiss,or the satisfaction one has after closing a "BIG" business deal,it feels great! Good luck w/your new adventure and take lots of photos...
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Old 15-03-2013, 15:50   #26
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

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San Diego to Haiwee,1957, 21 days, my brother and I in a wooden finnish folkboat, no contrails to amount to anything in those days !! LOL we used a sextant, and the old square rigger route! Hit Hilo right on the nose !! Been doing it and working for the rest of my life more or less! It was such a great trip, Ive never looked back ! I was lucky in finding a wife who loves it as much as I do ! we have what we think is the best life a person can have ! Liveing aboard, and cruiseing where and when we wish ! How can anyone want more??
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Old 15-03-2013, 17:17   #27
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San Diego to Haiwee,1957, 21 days, my brother and I in a wooden finnish folkboat, no contrails to amount to anything in those days !! LOL we used a sextant, and the old square rigger route! Hit Hilo right on the nose !! Been doing it and working for the rest of my life more or less! It was such a great trip, Ive never looked back ! I was lucky in finding a wife who loves it as much as I do ! we have what we think is the best life a person can have ! Liveing aboard, and cruiseing where and when we wish ! How can anyone want more??
Good on ya! Living the dream!!
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Old 15-03-2013, 17:35   #28
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Someone mentioned how nice the first week is...not for this kid, its the worst. I'm too much of a control feak so I don't sleep worth a damn for the first week. I finally just get exhausted and start to sleep. The second week is when things are starting to look up and I sort of feel human again, LOL. The days before GPS were fun, not many folks out there then.
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Old 15-03-2013, 17:57   #29
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Crossed the Coral Sea in 1974, I'd been a sailor less than six months and in charge of a homemade boat with my wife and our two sons aged 2 and 3.
Worried, you bet. Know what to do? Not the slightest. Nav book in one hand, sextant in the other, we plodded on. Imagined breakers all that last night, daybreak showed we were still thirty miles out.

Have crossed nearly every ocean since then, the Indian three times both north and south. Blows down south, mild up top. Catch the smell of spices when near the Andaman Islands and Sri Lanka. But you're probably heading south towards Mauritius - try to stop at Rodriguez - fascinating place. Expect plenty of strong trades starting in May.

And finally, take MarkJ advice - hide away a pile of munchies. And if you smoke, stash extras because there ain't no shops out in the wild blue yonder...

Come back and tell us how it went.
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Old 15-03-2013, 19:51   #30
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Re: Your first ocean crossing

Bob and Connie, you could not ask for more because you have it all. Sometimes perfect combinations come along. ____I must ask about your Folkboat trip to Hawaii. Did people tell you, that you were crazy to go out on the ocean without a self bailing cockpit? I got that a lot concerning my first ocean crossing in a slightly more modern version of a Folkboat(Contessa 26). I left Mazatlan and sailed to Socorro Island ( about 300 miles) just to see if I could find it. With the help of a Zenith Transoceanic radio and a plastic sextant, the island came up on the horizon just where it was supposed to. I stayed a few days and with butterflies in my stomach, I hoisted the hook for the Marquesas. It was a wonderful trip even though I was too frugal with water and got a little dehydrated. Before leaving Mexico we decided that if we could not find Socorro, we would turn around and go back to the coast. In another 30 or so thousand miles of sailing the islands have always appeared where they were expected. It really is the good life.____Grant.
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