"-group sailing. Do people get together in groups of sailboats for open ocean crossings? Seems like it'd be safer with more boats."
Ask yourself why you think that? Are you already planning on bailing out even before you've bought the boat? Or imagining yourself rescuing others?
Let me explain my point of view. One time, Jim and I were asked to go to the aid of a brigantine. Questions we considered: where to put the people? How to safely get close enough to rescue
them? Fortunately, they got their leak under control, the weather
got less fierce, and they reached shelter before we reached them, but, in the meantime, had piled on sail, and broken our windvane
in our efforts to reach them. We had an autopilot
, but used the windvane
at sea on that boat.
Now about these here now group cruises.... IMO, it is mainly an illusion of safety
that they offer, because when conditions are difficult, each must take care of their own boat, primarily. It is a seductive illusion, but to test yourselves on it, if the weather
isn't good, don't bloody go, unless YOU, not some rallye organizer, thinks it's okay, and so on. What the rallyes do is to some extent encourage folks who are not really ready yet to go to sea. Or they purport to make "it" easier for you.
Part of the fun of cruising is in dealing with the foreign countries and their ideas of what's right (often different to USA). If you join a "flock", you're one of the sheep, and I think it's a poor deal for any skipper
to cast off his autonomy.
It can be a seductive lure, but I do not for one moment believe it makes you safer.
Ann, cruising too many years to brag on, but only in kindly places