Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-09-2010, 12:43   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Solaris 42 Catamarnan - Fraid Knot
Posts: 16
Single Handing: 'Offshore' or Not ?

I'm currently in Ensenada, Mexico and plan to sail down the coast of baja. I will be sailing single-handed and am wondering if I should try and make it in between anchorages during the day or stay off-shore and avoid land. I've talked to a number of people and the answers are split down the middle. Any advice or suggestions?
__________________

__________________
EvermanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 12:48   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Well, the one problem that I've never seen a solution for in single-handing is the requirement to maintain a watch...kind of hard to do that when you're asleep.
__________________

__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 12:59   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
I would sail something like:

Ensenada
Isla San Martin or Bahia San Quintin
San Carlos
Isla Cedros
Turtle Bay
Asuncion or Hipolito
Bahia de Santa Maria
Cabo San Lucas

Basically 24 (very roughly) hour legs between good anchorages where I would rest for a day or two (because what's the hurry?). There's other anchorages as well. Avoid the iffy ones.

Stay well offshore so you can relax, like 10 to 50 miles.

I like the long open sea legs across the big bays.

To avoid the considerable shipping stay 10nm away from the rhumb lines between the major capes.

Watch out for Sacramento Reef. I'd skip Cabo and check in at friendlier La Paz.

It's usually a very pleasant sail.
__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 13:02   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Tell the "always maintain a watch" thing to the countless singlehanded yacht racers, or the ones we celebrate in the media.

Everman, do you have Charlie's Charts of that area? There are some long stretches with some pretty crummy options for anchoring. That alone might keep you off the coast.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 13:10   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Healer52 View Post
Well, the one problem that I've never seen a solution for in single-handing is the requirement to maintain a watch...kind of hard to do that when you're asleep.
What's the better watch?

(A) Experienced skipper watching his eyelids with all the alarms set perfectly and an innate sense of ship and sea.

(B) Typical sailor aboard as crew, face down in a book, that won't notice a ship passing 200 yards away until it's pointed out.

Those few that follow all laws are stuck with (B).
__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 13:10   #6
Registered User
 
James S's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Yemen & Lebanon... the sailboat is in Lebenon, the dhow is in Yemen
Boat: 1978 CT48 & 65ft Cargo Dhow
Posts: 5,816
Images: 139
I believe its good seamanship to maintaining a watch.
Perhaps you could find some one (or two) to go with you.
__________________
James
S/V Arctic Lady
I love my boat, I can't afford not to!
James S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 13:45   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
My attitude is to push hard between anchorages. I am OK for up to 24 hours, then get very tired very soon. So if I can make it in anything up to 30 hours jump, I go for it like this: we start late and settle down throughout the night, then the Sun comes and keeps me awake - if we make it before sunset, we are fine, if not ...

So, much depends on how much fatigue you can take at once.

barnie
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 14:05   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Solaris 42 Catamarnan - Fraid Knot
Posts: 16
I'm open to accepting a crew, I'm having a friend meet me in Cabo, but Ill be alone unitl then (unless I can find someone here). The problem is finding a crew that is reliable. I've had a few people that I've met here approach me to crew; but, it seems, that the people willing to uproot their lives and leave also carry with with them emotional baggage and vices (at least that has been my experience thus far).

As far as maintaining watch, I've heard of numerous people that take cat-naps for 15min to 20min at a time. To me, this seems to be the middle ground between keeping watch and sleeping.

Thank you all for the advice.
__________________
EvermanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 14:15   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Solaris 42 Catamarnan - Fraid Knot
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Tell the "always maintain a watch" thing to the countless singlehanded yacht racers, or the ones we celebrate in the media.

Everman, do you have Charlie's Charts of that area? There are some long stretches with some pretty crummy options for anchoring. That alone might keep you off the coast.
Rebel heart, I do have a Charlie's for the entire Pacific coast of Mexico and it is a godsend. The idea of bumping down the coast in 24 increments does sound appealing, but I'm concerned that these 24 hour legs might turn into 30 hours+ if the weather doesn't decide to cooperate. Now I might be close to shore and sleep deprived, and that is to say that I'm not taking any naps.
__________________
EvermanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 14:26   #10
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, Wash.
Boat: no longer on my Cabo Rico 38 Sanderling
Posts: 1,794
Send a message via MSN to John A
When I did the passage down the west coast of Baha, I was new to singlehandler and very apprehensive about the trip. The Baha-Ha-Ha discourages and forbids singlehandlers from sleeping within their fleet.
While in San Diego, a lady came on the morning net and asked for a ride to La Paz, so I invited her to come aboard my boat and discuss the possibility of crewing on my boat. She was a delightful lady of 65 years, who had just arrived in San Diego on the Train from visiting her grandchildren in Chicago and was staying in a hostel close by and was on her way to boat sit in La Paz.
She was grest! Sitting out in the cockpit for her three hour watches and waking me any anytime she had a concern.
I followed the Ha-Ha by about a week and stopped for overnight stays in both Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. I'd recommend stopping in Cabo to catch your breath before doing the uphill slog to La Paz. Also leaving from La Paz for Mazitlan gives you a more faverable angle.
__________________
John A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 14:59   #11
Registered User
 
Uncle Buck's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 102
I'd go out and stay out until you get to Cabo. Going south I stayed 30-75 miles out and made it in 6 days from San Diego, including two days of headwinds on departure. I experienced very little ship or boat traffic (one every 24 hours or so, at best), and you don't have to worry about smashing into all of the nasty stuff along the coast - there are shoals, reefs and crab pots way out in some places. Coming North I came up the inside and it was far more stressful and dangerous, and in my opinion the anchorages are nothing spectacular (far better in the Sea of Cortez), with nothing available in most of them. You can get fuel in Turtle Bay, but it's pretty ugly with not much appeal beyond that. After this, anytime I do Baja I'll go out and make it South fast - the nicer stuff (and warm water and weather) is where you want to be anyway.
__________________
Uncle Buck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 15:25   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wales
Boat: Alberg 37
Posts: 10
I usually single-hand sail long distance (just getting ready to push of from Cork, Eire to The Canaries).

Here's what I do:

Keep as far away from land and shipping lanes as possible. Then get a good sleep.

Better to be well rested in an empty sea than tired in a crowded one.

Of course there is a possibility you'll be hit by a larger boat anywhere in the world.

There's also a possibility you're going to be hit by another car driving into work tomorrow.

It's all a question of statistics and calculated risks.

The further you are away from land, the safer you are. The further away you are from shipping lanes, the safer you are - asleep or awake.

That's my advice. Follow at your own risk
glas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 15:37   #13
Registered User
 
SurferShane's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NSW AUSTRALIA
Boat: L. Francis Herreshoff Ketch
Posts: 1,129
Images: 45
I did a similar trip down the East Coast of Australia single-handed. Sometimes you really have no choice. Then there are people you are better off NOT having on board as crew. To make things worse, readying the boat took longer than I expected and after a few dramas I was left sailing straight into the wind and swell. Some people were treating me like a total idiot and all I could do was respond that I didn’t have much choice and had to get the boat home. I like Daddles suggestion especially the “why hurry”. Just watch you don’t start enjoying yourself too much and keep missing favourable weather. It is just such a hard life!

You see a lot of criticism about single-handers sleeping. I found quickly that even when “asleep” I was sensing the motion of the boat, any out of place noises or twangs and had a real sense of intuition when things were going wrong. My advice is that if you feel something or someone tapping you on the shoulder telling you to get up DO IT! Maybe I developed this skill as a professional fisherman trawling in shipping lanes where you were always expected to leap to action? Then maybe we are never truly alone?
__________________
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. - Voltaire
SurferShane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 16:06   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvermanJ View Post
Rebel heart, I do have a Charlie's for the entire Pacific coast of Mexico and it is a godsend. The idea of bumping down the coast in 24 increments does sound appealing, but I'm concerned that these 24 hour legs might turn into 30 hours+ if the weather doesn't decide to cooperate. Now I might be close to shore and sleep deprived, and that is to say that I'm not taking any naps.
As someone who's sailed that area, I know exactly what you mean.

I don't know what kind of schedule you have, but starting in October the wind usually starts getting a lot more interesting as the Pacific High breaks down. We're planning on heading up into the Channel Islands during October just to (hopefully) take advantage of some increased weather options.

Pretending that we're just talking about the typical crummy 10am-4pm diurnal sea breeze / land breeze cycle, anchorage hopping might work even with the 30+ hours thing. As long as you give yourself enough rest to catch up, and you know that a one day jump might turn into 1.5 days, it might not be so bad.

It's a bad stretch either way. San Diego to PV is cursed like that. Beautiful sailing conditions as long as you're day sailing southbound. In that regards, just be happy you're not going north or your options would be even worse.

Two months to go until the first south easters roll through. From Richard Henry Dana in Two Years Before the Mast:

Quote:
This wind (the south-easter) is the bane of the coast of California. Between the months of November and April, (including a part of each,) which is the rainy season in this latitude, you are never safe from it, and accordingly, in the ports which are open to it, vessels are obliged, during these months, to lie at anchor at a distance of three miles from the shore, with slip-ropes on their cables, ready to slip and go to sea at a moment's warning. The only ports which are safe from this wind are San Francisco and Monterey in the north, and San Diego in the south.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 20:46   #15
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by glas View Post

Of course there is a possibility you'll be hit by a larger boat anywhere in the world.
First off - I am totally OK with single handing after one has evaluated themselves and the risks.

What I can't really tolerate is any single hander claiming that "anyone" hit them.

If you are asleep and not on watch, by my definition, you hit them.

I'd really like it if a single hander said "Yup. My bad. I knew the risks, I single handed, I was not on watch and I hit a ship."

I met a single hander who was fixing his toe rail and a large chunk of missing fiberglass from the midships rail. We talked a bit about how he was going to fix the damage (he had not done fiberglass work before) - I finally asked what happened.

"Someone hit me while I was a asleep." - I bit my tongue and walked away shaking my head.
__________________

__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
singlehanding

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Single-Handing Sailor>Cruiser The Library 16 25-03-2011 05:03
Setup for Single-Handing a Sloop boredinthecity Monohull Sailboats 35 25-11-2009 08:05
Seasickness While Single-Handing bluwaterdreamin The Sailor's Confessional 68 14-09-2009 16:49
Single-Handing a Tayana 37 jcsaw Monohull Sailboats 2 12-07-2009 05:28
Single Handing Kai Nui General Sailing Forum 79 15-02-2007 13:49



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.