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Old 01-02-2013, 18:55   #16
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

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But I might be selling myself short. I've done the equivalent to Toronto to Oswego (as measured by distance from shore and length of voyage) a dozen or more times.

No, you're not selling yourself short .... the author is selling himself long
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Old 01-02-2013, 19:06   #17
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

twistedtree,
While this is generally a subjective answer...
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
What do you consider as the minimum criteria to be an 'offshore passage"?
Certainly, Toronto to Oswego is NOT offshore!!



In some conversations I'd separate "offshore" from "high-seas"/"bluewater", such as when taking about weather forecasts, etc., where "offshore" would be approx. 200 - 250 miles offshore from land (IMO/GMDSS Sea Area A2), approx. 1 day's sail way from land.....and "High-Seas"/"Bluewater" would be 250 - 5000 miles offshore from land (IMO/GMDSS Sea Area A3 and A4), days/weeks sail from land.....but in many areas they can be grouped together....

And, in MY opinion, while mainly referring to vessel/equipment/crew capabilities and not actual "geographic" definitions, the ISAF Cat 0 and Cat 1 definitions are what constitutes "bluewater" and "offshore".....and Cat 2 would be "coastal"....and Cat 3 could be "near coastal" or "inland".....and Cat 4, Cat 5, and Cat 6, are "protected" and/or "inland"....
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Category 0 Trans-oceanic races, including races which pass through areas in which air or sea temperatures are likely to be less than 5 degrees Celsius other than temporarily, where yachts must be completely self- sufficient for very extended periods of time, capable of withstanding heavy storms and prepared to meet serious emergencies without the expectation of outside assistance.

Category 1 Races of long distance and well offshore, where yachts must be completely self-sufficient for extended periods of time, capable of withstanding heavy storms and prepared to meet serious emergencies without the expectation of outside assistance.

Category 2 Races of extended duration along or not far removed from shorelines or in large unprotected bays or lakes, where a high degree of self-sufficiency is required of the yachts.

Category 3 Races across open water, most of which is relatively protected or close to shorelines.

Category 4 Short races, close to shore in relatively warm or protected waters normally held in daylight.

Category 5 Short races, close to shore in relatively warm and protected waters where adequate shelter and/or effective rescue is available all along the course, held in daylight only.

Category 6 Special Regulations are intended for use in races where:-
• participating boats may not be self-sufficient
• the races are short in duration and close to a single manned shore base, in relatively warm and protected waters, in daylight and good visibility
• participating boats can be observed by race organisers at all times
• safety/rescue boats are available all along the course sufficient to enable any competitor to be returned to the shore base in a timely manner
• safety/rescue boats are of a suitable designed and properly equipped and are manned by adequately trained and competent personnel including, for each race, at least one skilled in first aid.


The above are my opinions.....and I know others have different opinions...

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 01-02-2013, 20:07   #18
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

Geez, even I have done Toronto to NY.

Offshore means Bluewater.

Simple.

On edit: The post above might be interesting and accurate. But it's not inviting to read, and I didn't read it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:35   #19
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

The post two-above (the ISAF categories) is definitely interesting and accurate, and worth reading.

Cat 0 races are the ones that go around Cape Horn, etc.

Examples of the Cat 1 races are the USA West coast to Hawaii races (Transpac, Pacific Cup, Singlehanded Transpac, Vic-Maui), and the Sydney-Hobart race.

The Fastnet is a Cat 2 race.

I would call Cat 0 and 1 "Offshore". Cat 2 can be just as difficult and dangerous, it's just that help is probably closer, fewer consumables need to be carried, and wear/tear is less of an issue. I wouldn't put up much of a fight if you wanted to call Cat 2 "Offshore".

I think that everyone should look at the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (where these categories are defined). These contain many excellent ideas that have been developed over many years of sailing. You may reasonably disagree with some of them, but they are all worth considering.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:22   #20
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

I would define it simply as "out of sight of land", and not to be confused with "high seas"

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:44   #21
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I would define it simply as "out of sight of land", and not to be confused with "high seas"

dave
This is probably as good a definition as we're going to get.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:49   #22
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

I think for OUR purposes, not as racers or paid delivery drivers or crewed charter skippers but as cruisers, Offshore means outside of the sphere of influence of land. Outside the range where you might normally expect to be able to dash in for refuge. Outside the normal coastwise traffic and weekender yachts. Outside SeaTow or TowboatUS range. See a crab or lobster bouy? That's not Offshore. Tall buildings on the horizon? Nope, not there, either. Where you must be an entirely independent and self contained entity, you and the boat. Where help is not a given, and you must plan on helping yourself. If you had to put a number on it, I would say a passage where at least one full day is always at least a day's sail from the nearest land. That, I would consider Offshore, in the yachting sense. The difference is fundamental, requiring a fundamentally different skill set, outlook, and equipment. Do you need an HF radio to sail from New Orleans to Gulfport? I think not. Do you need an HF radio to sail from New Orleans to Belize? Well, you certainly ought to have one, anyway, just as an example. Offshore, you generally have an entirely different feel and outlook. You feel more alone. You might feel the way you would feel if you were the last person on Earth. Land becomes a different world, not jsut a different medium. A strange memory. You cel phone is just a curiousity, unless it contains a usable GPS or some navigation apps. You turn on your FM broadcast radio and get nothing. At night you try AM and get stations from a thousand miles away without interference from nearby stations, because there aren't any. Offshore you see the night sky untainted by the masking glow of city lights 50 or 100 miles away. Offshore you don't have the rhythm of the diurnal wind changes that characterize coastal weather so much. Offshore, no matter which way the wind blows, the quietly assertive, irresistable power of the sea is fully apparent, The water looks different. The sky looks different. Different world? Different universe, different dimension, maybe. If you have to ask the question whether you are offshore or not, you aren't.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:59   #23
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

You are "Offshore" when you need a "Bluewater" boat. that bumping into land is not a consideration and your choice of Anchor is no longer important.

and you probably can't get WIFI.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:02   #24
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

GrowleyMonster, that was true and beautiful. Thank you.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:11   #25
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
This is probably as good a definition as we're going to get.
Come on Paul, a definition by definition has to be a definite description and not a rough approximation. Nautical pursuits have their own vocabulary in every language. Its easy to spot the people who know what they are talking about, the rest is ignorance, vanity and BS. Peace and Love ...oops who said that?
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:41   #26
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

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Come on Paul, a definition by definition has to be a definite description and not a rough approximation. Nautical pursuits have their own vocabulary in every language. Its easy to spot the people who know what they are talking about, the rest is ignorance, vanity and BS. Peace and Love ...oops who said that?
"Out of sight of land". That's definite enough for me. In a small boat you're offshore at about six miles. In a bigger boat it's further.

Don't like that one? Here's another:

Quote:
off·shore[awf-shawr, -shohr, of-]
adverb

1. off or away from the shore: They pushed the boat offshore.
2. at a distance from the shore, on a body of water: looking for oil offshore.
3. in a foreign country.

adjective
4. moving or tending away from the shore toward or into a body of water: an offshore wind.
5. located or operating on a body of water, at some distance from the shore: offshore fisheries.
6. registered, located, conducted, or operated in a foreign country: an off-shore investment company; off-shore manufacture of car parts.
I think I prefer goboatingnow's definition.

"ignorance, vanity and BS"? You say that like it's a bad thing!
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:52   #27
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
SNIP

And you have to do it all without picking up any lobster pots!

SNIP
In Nov 2012 I bought a sail boat that was located in the Florida Keys, a place where my folks had lived in the 60s and 70s. Last week I was sailing in Hawks Channel with a friend at the wheel while I was making a video of the recut screecher when my friend commented there was a crab pot off the bow and the water was 104 feet deep.

Even in the 60s I use to complain about crab/lobster pots but I would guess since Nov I have seen around 10k crab pots. Mostly I sail solo and twice so far I have had to deal with issues of crab pot lines caught in the prop.

I know a lot of folks who consider the passage from FL to the Bahamas to be blue water. Certainly when you get in the Gulf Stream the water is blue and if you get caught there when a cold front is whipping up the short, steep, confused waves it can be nasty; even is you may be sailing less than 50 nm.

Maybe the definition of "off shore" is similar to what the SC said about porn. I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:08   #28
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

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[...]Last week I was sailing in Hawks Channel with a friend at the wheel while I was making a video of the recut screecher when my friend commented there was a crab pot off the bow and the water was 104 feet deep. [...]
And the water's 300 ft deep under the Golden Gate Bridge. We often see crab pot floats "offshore" along the 5-fathom line (300 ft), perhaps two miles from shore. I understand that there are places on the way to the Bahamas where you can stop and anchor.

It seems to me that depth isn't the determining factor here!

Yes, I'm bored and wasting time goofing around on the internet.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:52   #29
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

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And the water's 300 ft deep under the Golden Gate Bridge. We often see crab pot floats "offshore" along the 5-fathom line (300 ft), perhaps two miles from shore. I understand that there are places on the way to the Bahamas where you can stop and anchor.

It seems to me that depth isn't the determining factor here!

Yes, I'm bored and wasting time goofing around on the internet.
Not sure I am understanding your first post here. Hawk's Channel where I was sailing when I saw the crab pot is just out side the reef line and before the drop off. The water gets much deeper very quickly as you head off shore, like a thousand feet or more. I tend to think once my depth gauge starts reading more than 500 feet it is not as accurate as when it is reading less than a couple of hundred feet. In general Hawk's Channel is suppose to be about five miles off shore, but it varies some. The location of the Gulf Stream also varies, at times being about 1 KN South of the light at Sombero Key, but at other times up to 10 KN or more. Once you get to what I will call the close in Gulf Stream the pots stop due to current and water depth.

Disclaimer: there are lots of discussions about the best route from FL to the Bahamas.

I would guess the most common route to the Bahamas is Miami to Bimini, at least in terms of numbers. There is no place to anchor using this route. Some folks do sail past Bimini for other landings, but you are suppose to check in at the first port you pass. Some folks do leave from other points than Miami and head for places well inside the Bahamas stopping to anchor on the Bahama Banks, but many folks advise against this option.

Not trying to give advice for crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, just saying there is some agreement than unless you are careful about the weather window even Miami to Bimini can qualify for what I would call a real off shore passage. On the other hand it can be a very easy passage with the right weather.

But I guess that is true for all sailing. Inshore or offshore the weather is what makes a passage easy or hard.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:53   #30
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Re: How OffShore to be an 'Offshore" passage?

I like GrowleyMonsters description the best... +1... cheers, Phil
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