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Old 07-07-2014, 04:54   #31
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Re: want to go offshore but

Andy,

you've received so much input that I will try not to repeat. Just a few remarks from the "inside":

I am afraid if things turn nasty. The first few days of our Atlantic crossing I was scared. Then I figured if the boat could take these waves, so could I. And it got better from thereon. Fear is my beacon for staying out of major trouble: If I feel the hair standing up on my neck, it most likely is time to reef or take down the sails. So don't fret being afraid, but make your fear your ally: Thanks for reminding me to be cautious, now you can leave me alone again...

Re ARC: My biggest gripe with them is that they have a fixed schedule, because a lot of the participating boats are needed for charter in the Caribbean on a given date. We crossed last year on our own, but at the start date for ARC the weather was so wrong that we decided to hang in there for another two weeks. We still had rather agitated weather (December 13), but at least we had the wind and waves in our back.

Oliver
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:37   #32
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Re: want to go offshore but

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Seems a bit overblown, mate. One needs not be a superhero to sail successfully.

Jim
To you it seems overblown. To someone who lacks the skills, knowledge, experience,and physical fortitude it is not.

You might be able to get away lacking one or a few of these attributes, but if you lack all of them, you will not find your way out once you get in a box.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:28   #33
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Re: want to go offshore but

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Originally Posted by Oliver L. View Post
SNIP

Re ARC: My biggest gripe with them is that they have a fixed schedule, because a lot of the participating boats are needed for charter in the Caribbean on a given date. We crossed last year on our own, but at the start date for ARC the weather was so wrong that we decided to hang in there for another two weeks. We still had rather agitated weather (December 13), but at least we had the wind and waves in our back.

SNIP
Be it a day sail or a thousand mile passage waiting for the right weather window is probably the most important thing a wise skipper does.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:49   #34
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Re: want to go offshore but

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
To you it seems overblown. To someone who lacks the skills, knowledge, experience,and physical fortitude it is not.

You might be able to get away lacking one or a few of these attributes, but if you lack all of them, you will not find your way out once you get in a box.
So.... where does one take a class in fortitude?

Sometimes, you just need to decide whether you're going to fish... or continue to cut bait.... the rest of your life.
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Old 07-07-2014, 13:41   #35
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Re: want to go offshore but

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So.... where does one take a class in fortitude?
Fortitude can be trained. It's a combination of mental, emotional, and physical toughness and strength.

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Sometimes, you just need to decide whether you're going to fish... or continue to cut bait.... the rest of your life.
Agreed.

This person knows he has a fear, and that it might be an irrational fear - or it might not.

If it is an irrational fear, a bit of counseling can be helpful.

It's also entirely possible that the fear is an indication of something going on that is completely unrelated to going to sea - something to do with family, work, finances, we don't know.

As I said before, all the advice is good - do a little at a time, build experience with other sailors, expose yourself to challenging situations, and so on - but if there is an issue like I'm talking about, it needs to be handled in a different way.
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:27   #36
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Re: want to go offshore but

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I had one student who had chartered several times but she was using a instructor as a skipper each time. She had no concept of what it meant to be in charge of a vessel.
I knew a flying student like that once. After a while, the instructors finally realized the guy was never going to fly on his own, and was willing to pay the instructor's fee, so every week he'd come to the airport and fly a plane - entirely on his own - but with an instructor as a passenger then entire way.
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Old 07-07-2014, 16:39   #37
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Re: want to go offshore but

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Fortitude can be trained. It's a combination of mental, emotional, and physical toughness and strength.



Agreed.

This person knows he has a fear, and that it might be an irrational fear - or it might not.

If it is an irrational fear, a bit of counseling can be helpful.

It's also entirely possible that the fear is an indication of something going on that is completely unrelated to going to sea - something to do with family, work, finances, we don't know.

As I said before, all the advice is good - do a little at a time, build experience with other sailors, expose yourself to challenging situations, and so on - but if there is an issue like I'm talking about, it needs to be handled in a different way.
Thank you for your feedback. What I like to say is that you fear what you don't know( or what you think you are unable to experience) and the other kind of fear is the one that resulted from a bad experience or situation.

And a good number of the people that I see daily in my job have one or both fears.
When I did the barefoot course on a 43' Leopard catamaran in the St. Francis channel in the Caribbean, I can tell you for sure that the first two days, I had fears that the boat might flip over, since the mast was tall and the mainsail and jib were huge, also the wind was constantly at 18-25 knots, however by the end of the second day, I was completely comfortable steering the boat, with the encouragement of the patient Captain that I had, and the last day I took the boat without the captain, docked it in another island and brought it back the next day to the marina.
Sailing is like anything in life needs practice, and offshore sailing needs prior practice in different areas of knowledge, since a challenging situation can change very quickly to a life threatening situation.
I don't have any of the stuff that you mentioned above, I just need more experience, practice, and to be more often close to the right people who can guide me.
I got tons of fabulous advice from experienced people, on this web, who have genuine intention to help other people who are less experienced like me.
I am organizing all the ideas that I received in this blog, and already started tapping into some of them.
Andy
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Old 07-07-2014, 17:55   #38
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Re: want to go offshore but

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
..so that's why we write about what went wrong, and, more importantly, how to fix it.

A few months ago I was on another skipper's boat heading down the coast. Three miles out from the Golden Gate Bridge his engine died. I suggested we keep going, but he decided to return to the Bay. The other crew member remembered a big side tie dock in Sausalito that would accommodate us easily. As we got closer the skipper and crew member bailed and handed me the wheel. I had them handle the midships spring line and aft brest lines and we docked without any incident. I'd been practicing doing just that for years, but they hadn't. Since he didn't have a dinghy foot pump on board, we couldn't blow back into the fuel line, so we ended up sailing out and back to his marina, where later in the week a diesel mechanic told him just what I had suggested. Stuff happens. Practice and learn.

Two weeks ago I was on my own boat and the engine overheated in a narrow but relatively short channel. Instead of going backwards, I sailed upwind to the next anchorage, after an hour of short tacking with just the jib (just me, too). I cleared the strainer but when I started the engine the alternator was sparking. The isolator on the output had melted. Oh, No! Call Sea Tow? Hardly. I disconnected the output, disconnected the regulator and motored to a marina to plug in for the night, and then motored home for 6 1/2 hours the next day. No tach, but everything else worked. Stuff happens.
Gotta love ya Stu,
You are welcome to make passages on my boat anytime. Remind me to call you next time something goes wrong.
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Old 07-07-2014, 23:37   #39
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Re: want to go offshore but

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Originally Posted by openseas View Post
I don't have any of the stuff that you mentioned above, I just need more experience, practice, and to be more often close to the right people who can guide me.
I got tons of fabulous advice from experienced people, on this web, who have genuine intention to help other people who are less experienced like me.
I am organizing all the ideas that I received in this blog, and already started tapping into some of them.
Andy
Andy,

I wrote the following on another anchor picture thread last week. This sort of "stuff happens" stuff comes up all the time. There isn't a class on how to deal with these situations, and there certainly won't be someone there to hold your hand when it happens. You'll just need to get on with it, and think it through yourself. I was alone at the time.

Here's what I wrote:

"I'd like to find out how an anchor is going to perform in a situation like I found myself in last evening. Nothing horrible predicted by the weather service, but I had two idiots plant their Bowman within 10 meters of me the day before on 2:1 scope. I told them I had 5:1 out (had been in same place for four days and was far on the outside of anchorage), they told me to take in 20 meters. Anyway, with higher winds predicted for last evening 25 knots with a 180 wind shift, I dove both anchors late in the afternoon and told them what I'd found and if they would let out 10 meters, I'd take in 10.... he agreed and thanked me. He apparently didn't do it, or let out very little just for show.

Well, 1am rolls around with 25 knots and 3-4 ft swells and there's the Brits Bowman with it's rode attacking my RIB off the stern. Tried for 30 minutes to wake the knuckleheads, but was probably ignored, so I had no choice but to re-anchor in those conditions or risk damage. I'd already brought in 10 more meters of chain and was now at just a little over 2:1 and was pretty sure I was beginning to slowly drag into them. Life vest on, powering forward on auto pilot while pulling up the anchor alone... then I watch as two Germans go drifting past sideways on a Bavaria, but to their credit... they avoided all boats and were able to handle their misfortune well and re-anchor. As soon as the anchor broke free, I steered hard to port in the dark towards the anchorage filled with boats, with 10 meters of chain still out. As soon as I was 40 meters to port, I let out a total of 40 meters, the anchor grabbed into the sand and the boat swung around, then attached the snubber. Big bruise on my ankle from plowing into a winch whilst doing the 16 meter dash (my windlass control is near the bow).

The idiots woke up at noon totally unaware of the trouble they'd caused. "No good deed... goes unpunished."

I was lucky last night, must have hit sand. But when my boat was drifting back and I was waiting for the set, I had my fingers crossed for sand, sand sand.... not weed."

Ken
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Old 08-10-2014, 23:45   #40
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Re: want to go offshore but

As several others have said Just do it but first things first. Before going blue water get time as crew and work your way in to it. I have been sailing for a better part of my 48 years. and I still do not know everything there is to know. I have crew and skippered numerous Offshore regattas. Vic Maui, Transpac, Sidney - Hobart, Fastnet, as well as Trans Pacific and Trans Atlantic Deliveries And now it is finally time for me to set out on my own and do it.

Start with over nighters then work your way in to longer coastal cruises Staying just far enough off shore to give you the feel of what blue water is like yet close enough that you can get to shore if needed.

Take your time and don't be so eager to jump straight in to water sailing">Blue Water sailing. Take your time and ease in to it. It has taken me 44 years to get ready for the big jump in to the big blue pool
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