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Old 14-03-2009, 08:59   #1
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Landlocked and Looking

Greetings Ladies and Gentlemen of the CF! I"ve been lurking for about a month now so I thought I would register and introduce myself.

I am a 25 year old with dreams of cruising someday, preferably sooner rather than later. Right now I'm about half-way through graduate school in astronomy, working my way towards a PhD. In a way, my field of study inspires my dreams of cruising, in that I would love to navigate my way across the sea with only the stars to guide me. No wait, no maybe's here, I derived celestial navigation from scratch while bored during undergraduate lectures. I love the stuff.

Anyway, I'm not keen to interrupt my studies to go cruising, and I'm also at least two hours from the nearest coastline, so I will have to wait at least until I graduate before I can contemplate a multi-week cruise (not too mention having sufficient funds to do so!). My goal is to get my own boat and do serious offshore ocean-crossing cruising within the next ten years.

I have some dinghy sailing experience. In fact I own a sailing dinghy. As much of a dinghy as a grad student can afford. Please don't laugh.



My plan to reach the cruising dream:

0.) Hook up with the university's sailing club to get as much experience in sloop-rigged dinghys as possible. Also try to get involved in boat upkeep and maintenance. Sail my little dinghy whenever winds permit.

1.) get certified through ASA104 this summer with an "instant bareboater" course

2.) bareboat charter for a week at least once a year, to make sure that my skills and interest are still there. Or alternately sign up for crewing offshore vessels or some such

3.) Get a job after graduation and start building a cruising kitty. (option B, screw it all and go straight to cruising after graduation)

4.) before turning 35: Buy boat and go cruising with whatever I have saved for as long as it lasts

5.) settle down. (but keep the sailboat just for fun)

Anyway, hi! Anyone got tips for getting started on the dream?
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Old 14-03-2009, 12:03   #2
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Hello, ad astra, and welcome to the Forum.

Sounds like a good plan to me! Lots of sailing going on in the Deltaville and Irvington area of the Chesapeake Bay. See if you can hook up with sailboat owners looking for crew at Fishing Bay YC or Rappahannock River YC. Both clubs offer training programs open to the public.
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Old 14-03-2009, 17:55   #3
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Hello AD Astra. If you are good at celestial navigation have you ever considered teaching it. It may go a long way to adding to your future boat account.
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Old 15-03-2009, 04:13   #4
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G'day and welcome.

The best tip I can give is simply get on a do it. Sounds like you already have (and yes, your current boat will raise a smile) but atleast you can do what so many only ever dream of - and thats get out on the water.

The joining of the local club sounds sensible - suggest when you feel confident enough then go visit the closest yacht club where that race bigger boats - and commit to that for at least a season.

Best way to get the money together to head off? Undeniably the lotto.

But don't wait - just keep on doing what you are doing - and I'm pretty sure you'll get there.

JOHN
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Old 15-03-2009, 12:49   #5
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Aloha ad astra,
Welcome aboard! Lots of astromers here in town. We've got a few observatories up on Mauna Kea. I've sailed an inflatable Tinker before and it did pretty well. Having a hard floor and/or an inflatable keel helps with speed. If you want to improve performance the way you test it is to row a bit, improve the bottom, row some more, improve the bottom and compare the amount of effort is required to move the dinghy with oars.
Clubs are the way to get into sailing in the most inexpensive manner. If you ever get to Hilo, Hawaii we have a pretty good one that is way more inexpensive than most. Na Hoa Holomoku of Hawaii Yacht Club
Kind regards,
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Old 15-03-2009, 14:56   #6
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Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

@ Hud3, thanks for the Virginia suggestions, I was not aware of sailing communities in that part of the state. Deltaville and Irvington look to be a little bit closer than annapolis to me, so I will keep those in mind.

@perchance, Teaching celestial navigation would be my dream job. However, I'm not ready to do that yet, as I have much more knowlege on the theory side than I have experience. If GPS suddenly malfunctions, I see a great job market for people who actually understand celestial though.

@swagman, Yes, the huge advantage of an inflatable dingy is that if I see a breeze out my window, I can be out sailing on a local reservoir in an hour. It does however get strange looks from the local fisherman and the occasional park ranger.

@SkiprJohn Aloha! I almost went to graduate school in your humble state, and have some regrets about that decision not to. However, there's a not insignificant chance I might wind up there after I graduate if I stay in the field. It's certainly a beautiful place. I'm not overly concerned about performance of my inflatable, as the bigger problem here in the foothills is trying to find a steady wind strong enough to sail by. When I can get a steady 10 knot breeze, it sails more than adequately.
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Old 21-12-2009, 21:31   #7
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landlocked, but no longer looking

I took the plunge on a used Tartan 27. Now I alternate between feelings of "holy crap, I can go sailing anywhere if I keep this up" and "dear got what have I gotten myself into?" depending on how various projects are progressing.

I believe in fully documenting my stupidity, so I've created a blog/website chronicling the journey. There are also some pictures I recently on the website for those who are curious about the boat. Is there some part of the forum where it is appropriate to list sailing blogs? I thought there was, but I can't seem to find it...
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Old 22-12-2009, 00:50   #8
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Congratulation on your new boat. Great blog and beautiful Tartan.
Erika
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Old 22-12-2009, 04:43   #9
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Yes - congratulation on this new boat.
Top stuff
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Old 22-12-2009, 12:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ad_astra View Post
... Is there some part of the forum where it is appropriate to list sailing blogs? ...
Congratulations on the new boat!

CF Links to Personal Websites and Blogs:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/links/browselinks.php?c=3
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Old 22-12-2009, 12:41   #11
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Nice One! Moving ahead quickly I see. Go for it.
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