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Old 18-01-2009, 19:30   #376
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Hey Dale,

Glad you read the whole thread. Don't let that happen to you. Be prepared, take your time learning, check everything out on the boat before you decide it's time to sail to Hawaii, or any other passage. You must have confidence in your boat, and be prepared mentally. By the way, I am not familiar with the PCT?
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Old 18-01-2009, 20:59   #377
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PCT is Pacific Crest Trail.Mexico to Canada.
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Old 19-01-2009, 06:17   #378
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as an inexperienced sailor and a blue water wannabee,i have read this thread with an eye to learning more before that day i hopefully sell the house and jump off on my big adventure.

I have experienced steering failure in my mac26x,i was 80-100ft off of those blocks that are found on the outside of harbours,on my starboard side i had a wind farm,the waves were hitting my stern and pushing me closer to to blocks,i managed to turn the boat away from the hazards and headed off in the direction of a sand bank,i called the coast guard,they told me to drop the hook and await the RNLI,i was in the middle of the shipping lane into the Harbour.I was towed in and all ended well.

I rang a friend who has 30+ years of sailing experience,his reaction was "that i should have learned to steer by sails alone" i on the other hand felt pleased with myself that i had adverted disaster,I did not want to put out a call to the coast guard and had sat there for about 5 mins deliberating my next move.

That guy in trouble needed help not critisisim,ive had my share of hairy moments and have learned from them,its much better to screw up a mile or so offshore than to find that you are out of answers 300 miles from no where.
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:38   #379
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""that i should have learned to steer by sails alone" "
Jock, don't feel too bad about that. Many, if not most, boats CANNOT balance well enough to steer by sail alone, certainly not with the manuerverability required to enter a harbor and dock without hitting another boat. Or at least, risking that.
It is a good skill to have and a good criteria (hull & sail balance) to think about when buying a boat, but it just can't always happen. Calling for assistance and waiting for aid, rather than risking harm to one's boat and to others, is a prudent thing to do. And as long as it is a learning experience and a minor embarrassment rather than a routine way to sail, I'd call that a pretty good thing.
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Old 19-01-2009, 15:42   #380
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bastonjock and hellosailor,
This is a very old thread, but the one that brought me here in the first place. Help was being offered to some degree, but eventually became more of a bashing session. It is only natural for one to ask, what he was doing out there to begin with...and rightfully so. I am a supporter of Ronnie, and have ties with him. He had a desire to do something, and went for it. We know the outcome, but what have we learned? What can we pass on to others that have the dream to sail around the world?

My suggestion to anyone that want's to go "OUT THERE", is to take time to learn everything possible, about sailing, about their vessel, and most importantly, about their own mind! How do you know you are really ready? Do I have what it takes to sail this journey?

So, you're out there. A world of waves and wind for your companion. Your windvane is broken, and besides, now your rudder is broken as well! This has never happened to me before, what the F#&* do I do now? The waves are crashing over the cockpit, so you stay below. I'm alone in the ocean, hundreds of miles away from anywhere, the ocean is kicking my butt! I know it will get better in a few days, but will get worse first. I'm hungry, but can't eat. I can't sleep. How long can I stand this? How long will my boat take this, I really could die!

When would YOU give up?

Old School Ralph
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Old 19-01-2009, 16:38   #381
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Hi Ralph

i dont know when I would give up and id rather not find myself in a situation where i would be fighting huge seas just yet.Ive been in the water at night with 12 foot waves crashing over me and having to pull another diver to safety,ive had my helmet pop off my head 150ft down in pitch black murky water,i was lost at the time which did not help,i have learned that in dire situations i do not panic,its after the incident that i tend to take fright.Every person has their breaking point.

I will hopefully continue to learn to sail,i would like to cross the North sea this year but neither i or my boat is up to it.

i will read the posts on this forum,read books,take courses,hopefully entice some old salty sea dog to come out with me,the one thing i cant gain from books or the forum is experience,like i now know that having a back up steering system is a great idea
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:00   #382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
""that i should have learned to steer by sails alone" "
Jock, don't feel too bad about that. Many, if not most, boats CANNOT balance well enough to steer by sail alone, certainly not with the manuerverability required to enter a harbor and dock without hitting another boat. Or at least, risking that.
It is a good skill to have and a good criteria (hull & sail balance) to think about when buying a boat, but it just can't always happen. Calling for assistance and waiting for aid, rather than risking harm to one's boat and to others, is a prudent thing to do. And as long as it is a learning experience and a minor embarrassment rather than a routine way to sail, I'd call that a pretty good thing.
i have been trying to get my sail ballancing better usually when i think ive got it sussed my stern swings around.I had a talk with the safety officer of the RNLI after the steering problem,i showed him my safety kit etc he himself regularly single handed sails a 27ft yacht,i invited his professional input and he suggested an emergency tiller and thought that i was adequetly provisioned with safety kit and wearing the right clothing(important in a sea that only reaches 5 deg in summer)

What i like about this forum is that there is no such thing as a stupid question,i would like to think that the guy in the boat on his way to Hawaii, also learned from his experience,sorted his boat out and set off again.
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:03   #383
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Ralph, I can't say when I would give up, I can certainly tell you that I have been violently green and seasick and in that state would push any button I could find. But, that's long ago and I try very hard not to be in that position these days. I also have great respect (not fear, but respect) for the sea and made a point not to venture forth on it without investing a bit more time up front in learning how I could kill myself by misadventure, and then trying equally hard not to do those things.

Among other decisions and choices--I'd never go bluewater sailing solo, without a Damned Good Reason and writing an adventure book doesn't make a DGR to me. Personally, I think being out solo, with no backup in the event of injury or mischance, and no one to keep watch while I sleep, is something that simply invites disaster. I'd rather ride on a space shuttle--a known defective design built with two million parts, each supplied by the lowest price source.

That's not to knock the folks who feel comfortable doing that--just to say it is my decision not to do so. Maybe you've heard the saying "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old and bold pilots." Applies to sailors, too.
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:05   #384
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Bastonjock,

All that, and you still want to go to sea?! You have my respect, and I'm sure you will learn what you need here. You sound like someone I'd trust with my life. I've been on the North Sea, on a big ferry. Most people on board, including alot of the crew, as well as my wife were sick! I thought it was cool...

Learn what you can, be prepared as best you can, and go for it! Ask questons, get the answers, and store them away in your head. At some time, they may just help you when it's desparately needed.

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Old 19-01-2009, 17:21   #385
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Hellosailor,

Exactly right. The outcome in this case probably would have been different, had HE not been solo. This may have actually been the ONE thing that doomed this event. I know the guy, and he's not the sort to be scared of anything. Not having any backup, not sleeping and eating properly, these are things that people just don't know about until they have experienced it.

I have learned alot from this experience, thanks to CF. I hope that many will pay attention, and learn from this thread.

Ralph
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:26   #386
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ralph

i too have been sea sick in the North sea,i was working on a flat hulled barge sailing out of esberg,the boat would have rolled on wet grass and we were in a F9,i was okay untill the guy sitting next to me puked ice cream all over me,that did it

im hoping to trade up to a catamaran this year once i have something more capable of heavier seas than my mac ill go further afield,id really love to do the "Jester challenge" in a couple of years
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:47   #387
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Too Cold!

bastonjock,

I'm in San Antonio, Texas. It was around 74F here today. I honestly don't know why anyone there would even consider getting wet, it's too Frikkking cold!!!
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Old 20-01-2009, 01:57   #388
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Ralph

74f is a decent summers day here i had some business dealings with a company in San Antonio,they sent one of their guys over,it was during summer,he loved it here,he told me that back home he would be constantly dripping sweat all that high humidity and heat would see me off.
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Old 16-02-2009, 14:21   #389
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Phew that is a lot of reading. There is one thing I would like to share with you all, Ronnie included.

I live just a few short miles from Camp LeJuene, every day we see guys that are coming home from Iraq they all have that the 8ft tall and bullet proof look about them, especially the younger crowd, Ronnie's age. Many of them go out and buy an hot car that either gets them in more trouble than they can handle or gets them killed. Others take that attitude to the bars and end up starting fights with the same people that just bought them a drink and get there a$$ beat to a pulp in the process. You can't reason with them in either situation, you can't reason with them period, we call it the Iraq attitude.

Having seen it more often than I wished, IMHO, this was Ronnie's failure as well. He was given advice, he chose to ignore it, he was told he wasn't ready, he chose to ignore that. People tried to reason with him, his mind was made up. You have no idea how much we see that around here. Fortunately all he lost was his boat.

Ronnie, you chose to get out there and do what others, myself included, have not done yet, I applaud you for that, but remind you that getting out there and doing something does not remove your responsibility to know what your doing. Your downfall in this case. Good luck and may your future travels be less dramatic.
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Old 16-02-2009, 16:08   #390
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I'm not going to say much about this experience other than,

"There, but for the grace of God, go I"......

I was as much of a fool as he, leaving Los Angeles in January 1984, having no idea what I was to encounter. The big difference is, I took that boat apart and put it back together before I left so that I knew every nut & bolt intimately................and I got lucky.....
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