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Old 12-09-2011, 20:50   #31
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Just know where and how your going to get there before you leave the slip. Have a chart and keep checking it and have a plan b if needed. Think of what the worst thing that could happen would be and plan for it. You should have looked at the chart before you leave to know how to get there. Know where the channels are and the tides for that night.
I'm with boatman as far as snacks and entertainment. You need to keep your strength and energy up. You won't be able to sleep. My first over nighter was great and I wasn't going to miss a thing. Ships you can see from a long distance at night. Even farther with Binoculars.
I also spent the night on a sandbar run aground at low tide because I missed the channel. It's not fun sitting and waiting for the tide and ya you get some grief when mentioned to other sailors but I know exactly where that channel is now.
Your gonna learn a lot but be safe and prepared so you can have a great trip.

Auto pilot is saying get up here and grab the tiller.
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Old 12-09-2011, 21:08   #32
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

I was a long haul trucker at one time. If you feel yourself getting sleepy, put on some tunes and sing as loud as you can. Works every time but don't stop singing.

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Old 20-09-2011, 06:21   #33
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Plan your trip to correspond with a full moon. Trust me when I say that you'll need to recalibrate your definition of what's beautiful. Sailing alone, chasing the moon towards a silver horizon, is oh-so much more than simply beautiful — it will change you.

Enjoy the night as you slip through the water!
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Old 20-09-2011, 06:32   #34
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Something I've found helpful for over night solo sails is an egg timer I set to go off every 15 minutes, just to ensure I don't nod off.
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Old 22-09-2011, 18:33   #35
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

All of the above especially Zeta. Planning is critical and plan on getting to your destination in daylight. there is nothing more difficult for me than getting there early and having to stand offshore waiting for daylight Finally jacklines and harness should be used in the daytime as well as at night, and a PLB is a wise investment. I have spent thousands of dollars on equipment I hope I never have to use, it also keeps my wife happy
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Old 03-10-2011, 18:58   #36
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

As mentioned,Put more effort into being prepared and well rested before casting off. Put no faith in caffiene and energy drinks unless you have experimented with them prior. I get get a 10 minute buzz out of them and then am more tired than if I had left them alone. Singing out loud???? That's a hoot!!! Sailing through unfamiliar island waters at night. I think it won't be the sleep you have to be the most concerned over.
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Old 08-02-2012, 18:01   #37
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Did my first solo overnight this past summer. One piece of gear I won't willingly do without is a red-light LED headlamp. That was ultra-handy all night long and ensured my night vision stayed at max.

I also did the kitchen timer (set for 10 minutes) and an Ironman watch with timer set for 12 minutes. The watch never went off as I always got up when the kitchen timer went off. My original plan was to test 10 minute naps, then move up to 20 which would be the max I could safely do from a traffic free horizon. I never got past 10, though, because of weather and GPS issues. (Doing without the GPS at night was a very rewarding practice and I highly recommend it in the right circumstances.)

The big problem for me was sloppy waves and light winds that caused slatting sails just before and through the dawn. The winds were too light for my normal sails and I wasn't comfortable rigging my asymmetrical in the dark -- not enough practice yet in the daylight.

All in all, it was my most rewarding sail of last season and I'm looking forward to more.

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Old 08-02-2012, 18:19   #38
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pirate Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Good one Jim....
The 1st one's always a bitch... gets easier each time..
“I do not exist to impress the world.
I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy. ”

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Old 26-02-2012, 18:51   #39
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Bring somebody with you!
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Old 28-02-2012, 13:49   #40
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Originally Posted by Québec 1 View Post
Bring somebody with you!
But then it wouldn't be a solo sail!

My advice is to try and time it to make sure you reach your destination after dawn, but not too long afterwards. I didn't have too much of a problem staying awake at night on my first overnighter, but when that warm sun came up and that glare hit my eyes, the fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks!

I just could not stay awake any longer. Unfortunately, I was right in the middle of the channel and heading under the bridge coming into port. Just had to gut it out until I could get to an anchorage and get the anchor down!

It was like being tortured.
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Old 28-02-2012, 14:10   #41
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I forgot about this thread.

The overnight sail never happened. I was finding that my old sails were tearing all too often that I had little faith in them, so I really did not want to risk not being able to see yet another tear starting and act appropriately. Also, part of my reasoning for the night sail was that I expected to be stuck in Mykonos waiting for a good weather window and wanted to be prepared if the window came at night.

In the end the first morning presented me with the perfect opportunity and set off. At something like 12 hours it was my longest solo sail so far. I wanted to make Patmos before sunset to simplify anchoring in the bay I was heading to so whenever I started dropping below 5 knts started to motorsail.

I have new sails on order now, so that will not be an excuse this summer if the possible need or opportunity arises for my first solo.
S/Y Jessabbé
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Old 28-02-2012, 15:16   #42
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Well Done
Sailing Lake Ontario
Sailing Solitude
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Old 28-02-2012, 16:27   #43
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Comming into an unfamiliar hbr at night and alone and fatigued?

I try to avoid doing this in daylight,but I'm not as tough as I once was; maybe I'm just smarter now.'

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