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Old 24-07-2014, 10:46   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: naples
Boat: 2005 Catalina 350
Posts: 659
Looking back on a voyage

We just got back from.our trip Charlotte Harbor, dry Tortugas, Key West, home. We left sat and got back week later Monday 21. It was a great trip but we finally hit bad weather Sun night in the gulf 30miles our from Marco. We didn't think it was that bad but we had a friend send us the radar pic from that night and it was stormy. Looking back now I have gone over in my head all the things that could have gone wrong and what we would have done but don't do that at the time. We do that after every trip. Is that the norm. Not that we don't prep for the possibility but I don't seem to think about it till we're home..

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Old 24-07-2014, 11:14   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 5,442
Re: Looking back on a voyage

Every trip is an individual learning process. A few weeks ago my alternator started sparking (only 27 hours on it). So I removed the AO and regulator input and motored home. Lesson learned: check your engine when it's running all the time. I've written that for others and make sure I do myself.

So, what did you learn from this trip?
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 24-07-2014, 14:39   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kemah, Tx.
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Re: Looking back on a voyage

Originally Posted by scuba0_1 View Post
Looking back now I have gone over in my head all the things that could have gone wrong and what we would have done but don't do that at the time. We do that after every trip. Is that the norm.
I don't think "looking back thinking of what could have gone wrong" is something I have ever done. Best to think of what can go wrong in advance. That's why we consider weather very carefully. That's why the boat is in good condition. That is why we don't bite off more than we know we can handle. Things do happen though, and I always learn something on just about any day out there. Everything gets put away somewhere in my head. This happens over and over, and becomes what is known as experience.

In a way, I can always look back on a voyage by reading our blog - New home | sailing away with R & B. After a year or two, it's really fun to go back in time. Also, you could keep a log. Here's one of mine from a few years back, crewing for I2f (an old member here, who died of cancer a couple of years ago)-

May 26, 2010
The Trip So Far
Twelve days ago, I began the “adventure of a lifetime”. John and Melanie are great hosts, and Imagine a wonderful sailboat. I could not ask for better companions, or a greater adventure. Everyday is a new experience so far, and it is unlikely that will change anytime soon.
Leaving Green Cove Springs was an emotional time for me. John and Mel had been there for five years and were leaving friends behind, it was clear. Although I hadn’t know these people very long, I still felt the emotions as well. They felt like family. Perhaps I will see these nice people again in the future while sailing my own boat to the Bahamas.
Once we cast off, my education began. I am soon handling Imagine myself under the watchful eye of my mentor and tutor. John is a patient man and a good teacher. He doesn’t yell at me too often! Actually he never yells, but often tests to see if I am paying attention and learning. If I’m a bit slow in some areas, he just keeps working with me until it becomes easy. So far so good, and I have learned more already than I would have on my own in years.
At this point, I feel pretty comfortable handling the boat. Navigating with the Maptech software on the laptop is easy now, and has opened up a whole new world for me to use with my own boat back in Kemah, Texas. Imagine is pretty easy to sail, and handles the rough weather easily. We have had some pretty bumpy rides so far, as well as some smooth sailing….well, maybe motor-sailing would be a better way to put it. Unfortunately, it seems the Wind Gods have decided to test our patience and determination. No matter which way we sail, the wind seems to find it’s way on our nose.
It would take pages to describe the last two weeks, but here are a few things I will remember so far….
A thunderstorm we experienced in the Intercoastal Waterway between Port Canavaral and Fort Pierce, which produced winds of around 50MPH and stinging rain.
My first night watch alone in the cockpit at the helm. I guess what you can’t see won’t hurt you, right?
Reefing or dropping the sails at 2:30 AM when the wind starts howling!
Sea life
Altering course for a large NASA vessel towing the rocket booster from the last shuttle launch.
My dinghy ride into South Beach, Miami and all the crazy people there.
Seeing the color change in the water as we approach the Great Bahama Bank. It turns from a deep dark blue to the beautiful blue the Bahamas and Caribbean is known for.
The morning we arrived at Nurse Cay in the Jumientos, Ragged Island, Bahamas. We anchored and John and I took a short swim in our own really big 20 foot deep swimming pool. Darn, no sharks! Everyone had a shower, we rested, and ate a lot of yummy food. This was a well deserved rest after the previous day of sailing under a double-reefed main and staysail. It was white capping most of the day with pretty steep 8 foot waves.
Blowing a jib halyard just before dark. This was just as we were entering the Windward Passage yesterday. We had just finished a nice dinner prepared by our captain and were lounging around in the cockpit talking. Then BANG! The boat develops a gentle shudder. All is well now though.
Sailing the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea with waves as high as the top of our bimini.
As I write this, Jamaica is off our starboard beam and it is another 500 miles to Panama. We are low on fuel so will be sailing more and motoring less. We are hoping for a wind shift to help us get to our destination sooner rather than later. Time will tell…
That’s it from me for now.
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