Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-07-2017, 09:19   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 1
My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

calling myself a first mate is a long stretch. I'm still learning the cleat from the galley, but I have a good captain and willing to learn. Too bad for him.

I must admit that I'm a little nervous about the trip and would like some advise from you that would aid me along the way.

We are going down the waterway....
Thank you in advance.
Forgot to mention we are both 75...
__________________

__________________
Kippydelaney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 03:10   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,071
Images: 240
Re: My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kippydelaney.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 04:16   #3
Registered User
 
Delancey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: nondum cognita
Boat: sailboat
Posts: 3,378
Re: My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

My advice, join the Women Who Sail group on Facebook. Oh, and have fun on your trip!
__________________
Delancey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 04:21   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Penobscot Bay, Maine
Boat: Tayana 47
Posts: 898
Re: My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

It sounds like you have a great attitude and I bet you'll enjoy the experience a lot! Hopefully your captain will employ common sense and be conservative in his choice of when to be underway so he doesn't expose you to too much bad weather too soon. To most people just starting out on boats, their perception of what is "scary" weather or sea conditions are WAY less than the boat can safely handle. A good captain knows this and will give you some time to gradually get acclimated, avoiding anything resembling a storm and reefing early. The fact that you plan to go down the inland waterway on your maiden voyage rather than offshore tells me that he's probably already thinking that way.

I can understand how learning all the strange parts and terminology associated with a cruising sailboat can seem daunting. But you might be pleasantly surprised how quickly you learn since you'll be exposed to it night and day during this voyage. Fortunately, there's a LOT of time while underway where not much is going on and I suggest that you use this time to ask questions about all the various parts of the boat and how they're used. Maybe even take notes so your can review them at your leisure until you don't need them any more? There will be times when he's too busy to explain every detail but most of the time there's nothing to prevent him from including you in what he's thinking and planning. While underway during a slow time, ask him what to expect when you reach that evenings destination and how you can help. Have him explain and show you so when you do arrive and things are getting too busy for him to explain everything he's doing, you'll both already have the same plan in mind and will be working together as a crew. It'll help your confidence and make you a lot more useful if the two of you communicate and plan before you get into a situation such as docking or anchoring or picking up a mooring or any of the other actions you'll take together.

I'd WAY rather have an agreeable companion with a positive attitude who wanted to help out and learn as my "first mate" than someone with more knowledge/experience with a bad attitude. So, you DO have something important to add to this voyage. Maybe on the first day you can't contribute much more than making a sandwich or offering to wash the dishes but on the second day maybe you can add stowing the fenders after you depart and on the third day helping to keep track of nearby navigations aids. The point I'm trying to make is that you're already a valuable crewmember just because you have the right attitude and your abilities to help out in so many ways will naturally increase. Most importantly, have FUN together and relish all the amazing things you will see and experience and good people you will meet. Then come back on this site and tell us all about it!
__________________
jtsailjt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 05:22   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 11,982
Re: My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

It will be a great trip. Just take your time, watch the weather and don't try to push a schedule if it isn't just right.

One thing, there isn't a waterway for the whole trip. From Maine you will be along the coast for a while. You can cut through the Cape Cod Canal that saves a bit of distance and is a protected waterway. After that you can go up Long Island Sound that is also fairly protected. From NY to Delaware Bay you will probably be along the Jersey Shore as the only canal is only large enough for small boats.

You can go up to the head of Delaware Bay to the C&D Canal, then back down Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk where the ICW (IntraCoastal Waterway) truly begins. From there you can go all the way to Florida.

Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 05:56   #6
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 18,484
Re: My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kippydelaney View Post
calling myself a first mate is a long stretch. I'm still learning the cleat from the galley, but I have a good captain and willing to learn. Too bad for him.

I must admit that I'm a little nervous about the trip and would like some advise from you that would aid me along the way.

We are going down the waterway....
Thank you in advance.
Forgot to mention we are both 75...
Welcome!

The advice which will help you the most is -- trust the captain, don't worry, and enjoy the trip.

A good captain knows how to get the best from any kind of crew at any level of experience. Two people, one inexperienced, is absolutely fine for that trip. Assuming the boat has a decent autopilot, keeping a good lookout, for example, is an absolutely key job, the fulfillment of which will greatly unload the skipper. Very little skill is required for that. If you are eager to learn, and the skipper takes time to "teach you the ropes" along the way, then so much the better -- you'll arrive already knowing how to sail.

If you're going down through the Intracoastal Waterway, which we like to call "The Ditch", the biggest danger and risk is -- boredom. There's really nothing to it other than staying off the shallow bits, and even that is a pretty low consequence risk.

There is a great wealth of beautiful spots along the way, and a lot to enjoy.

The skipper on any vessel is responsible for everything. The only thing you have to do, is what he asks you. What luxury! I'd love to be crew again sometime. Enjoy the trip and don't worry about anything.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 06:17   #7
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 18,484
Re: My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
. . . I'd WAY rather have an agreeable companion with a positive attitude who wanted to help out and learn as my "first mate" than someone with more knowledge/experience with a bad attitude. So, you DO have something important to add to this voyage. Maybe on the first day you can't contribute much more than making a sandwich or offering to wash the dishes but on the second day maybe you can add stowing the fenders after you depart and on the third day helping to keep track of nearby navigation aids. The point I'm trying to make is that you're already a valuable crewmember just because you have the right attitude and your abilities to help out in so many ways will naturally increase. Most importantly, have FUN together and relish all the amazing things you will see and experience and good people you will meet. Then come back on this site and tell us all about it!
This is great advice! And absolutely true. Should be memorized by all beginner crewmembers.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 07:05   #8
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,136
Re: My first long trip. Maine to Florida as a first mate

Lots of great advice in here so far. For example, that a skipper with any wisdom will pick a crew member who’s happy & willing to learn, plus easy to get along with, over someone who knows a lot, but doesn’t listen well, or play well with others.

You’ll pick up the basics of much of it very quickly, as much of it is common sense based, & or becomes intuitive after doing it a few times. For example, you already know some of the rudiments of navigation. Even to include how to take a navigational “fix”, by triangulating your position using 3 or more known landmarks. And the basics of reading a map (chart), including how to use it’s Legend.

One thing too, & you might find a way to gently slip this into the skipper’s mind. Is that when one teaches something, it forces them to learn it better, in order to be able to well articulate it. Along with answering the student’s questions. So it’s a beneficial practice for all involved.

Let’s see, even though it’s summer, it’s quite often cool to cold on the water, especially up north, & or at night. So pack with this in mind. And synthetics & wool trump cotton.
Take 2+ pair of long underwear; 1 to wear, 1 to hang below to dry, & 1 to sleep in (along with a warm hat for same). And of course sun screen & anti-nausea remedies/preventatives.

Also, when planning something, whether it’s a sail adjustment, or where to pull in for the evening, it’s always good to have a plan B, & perhaps a plan C as well.

Remember to eat regularly, & snack too, plus lots of fluids, otherwise it’s easy to get tired, & then judgement (& temperament) suffers. And if you’re getting tired, or sense that others are, it’s best to make it know. Since decision making plummets once you’re truly tired. Thus taking a rest prior to weariness making it’s presence known is wise. And it’s common for most folks to start to have this happen at around 5pm+/- Even seasoned sailors.

On a trip or race of more than 4-6hrs, as soon as we’re underway, & a plan for the day has been sketched out, I’ll head don for a nap. Knowing that I’ll be one of the few who’s rested come dinner time & later. And even resting if you can’t sleep is wise during these periods. Especially as you never know when an easy day will turn into one which ends at 0200.

Too, you might consider picking up a few books on sailing, like the ASA guides. And keeping them plus a pencil handy. So that you can make notes in the margins relevant to each topic in the book, as you spend time on the water. Since as already stated, it really helps to take notes. Even pro sailors do it. It’s part of how they got to be pro’s.


PS: Pick a pocket knife that you like, such as a Spyderco. One with a pocket clip, & that you can open with one hand. Then buy 2 of them, & always, always have at least one of them with you, attached via an easy to release lanyard. They're truly safety items.
__________________

__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How long a sail from Maine to Florida? Steve1944 Monohull Sailboats 7 11-05-2014 18:51
Crew Available: Skipper / First Mate Available for Delivery or Long Term Contract grendler Crew Archives 0 14-02-2011 03:31
First Long Trip - Jacksonville, Florida to St. Louis, MO johnar Seamanship & Boat Handling 3 05-04-2010 19:43


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.