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Old 31-01-2018, 17:23   #61
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Okay, Mike, here's what I think, and I hope I will be able to put the "why" into good words. This will be straight talk, and may be a little hard to take in.

I agree with the that you should listen to your gut on this. This is a skill that takes some developing, getting to trust it. Sometimes it tells you things you'd rather not hear, and yet it is still "right". It can take a lot of self-discipline, and, I think, courage, to act on what is only a feeling, but they are right, more often than not.

I am so glad Jim mentioned mal de mer in connection with this, it was my first thought, and I want to put it into some perspective in this particular situation. He taught me to ask what could possibly go wrong? and in this case, I think the worst would be EVERYBODY is seasick, and you are the least, so you have to perform for the welfare of the ship, at a time when 5 other bodies need caretaking. Now, that is not the kind of duty I would seek out.

Having this trip be successful and growthful for you depends on a whole lot of good luck happening, and I think this is what your gut is trying to get through to the adventurous part of you. To me, involvement in a project that involves the Atlantic in the dead of winter, that depends on a "whole lot of good luck" is imprudent--the essence of poor seamanship, if you will.

You are not the one who will call the shots, you do not get to pick the wx; the plans A through X; don't know if you can adequately survey the boat -- there will be other, better possibilities, and you might start looking for them.

Ann
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Old 31-01-2018, 18:05   #62
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Okay, Mike, here's what I think, and I hope I will be able to put the "why" into good words. This will be straight talk, and may be a little hard to take in.

I agree with the that you should listen to your gut on this. This is a skill that takes some developing, getting to trust it. Sometimes it tells you things you'd rather not hear, and yet it is still "right". It can take a lot of self-discipline, and, I think, courage, to act on what is only a feeling, but they are right, more often than not.

I am so glad Jim mentioned mal de mer in connection with this, it was my first thought, and I want to put it into some perspective in this particular situation. He taught me to ask what could possibly go wrong? and in this case, I think the worst would be EVERYBODY is seasick, and you are the least, so you have to perform for the welfare of the ship, at a time when 5 other bodies need caretaking. Now, that is not the kind of duty I would seek out.

Having this trip be successful and growthful for you depends on a whole lot of good luck happening, and I think this is what your gut is trying to get through to the adventurous part of you. To me, involvement in a project that involves the Atlantic in the dead of winter, that depends on a "whole lot of good luck" is imprudent--the essence of poor seamanship, if you will.

You are not the one who will call the shots, you do not get to pick the wx; the plans A through X; don't know if you can adequately survey the boat -- there will be other, better possibilities, and you might start looking for them.

Ann
Thank you so much Ann,

That was very well put and explained, and not at all hard to take in.
You are right and on spot about my feelings on this. (but also right about how hard it is to pull back at times)

I hadnīt thought of the possibility of mal de mer hitting everyone on board. But itīs a good point, and even though "i never get seasick", i have gotten seasick more than once.

Thank you so much for the insight. I have a month to decide and some meetings left. l
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Old 31-01-2018, 18:34   #63
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Thanks so much for your reply,

It was insightful. Yes, i have to say it has been a very useful thread with great advice and tips from you guys! To be fair, i feel more confident after getting to read all of your replies.

Im going to take into account all of the points you brought up. I'll see what comes out of the meetings ahead, and i still have a month to plan and set the crew up to shape.

Boatman suggested a good route across to Portugal and that i could always bail out before hitting the W coast if the crew still felt shakey. i think its feasable and that im going to go for it on that condition.

Mal de Mer....damn that's really a good point!

Definetely let you know
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Old 31-01-2018, 18:43   #64
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Hi.. The trip itself is fairly straight forward even for this time of year.. just one stipulation.. don't encourage the skipper to be frugal with the engine.. poodling along at 3 to 4kts in light winds to save fuel when winds can suddenly develop in this area is not wise. Weather windows are all important so go when you can as fast as you can.
From the islands down to Cabo de Gato will have you experiencing mainly winds from Northerly directions..
From there to Gib the winds are either SW or Easterly with the rare S wind but I have had to motor from there t Gib more often than not due to lack of wind.
Once in the Straits or approaching you may get hit by W winds which can be 30kts or more.. duck into Gib to await the change back to the predominant Easterlies..
When you go through the Straits stick to the N side outside the shipping channels.. plenty of room and an easy passage.. as has been said.. work with the tide and leave Gib at least one hour before the turn to get in position for max use.
When you pass close to theTarifa entrance watch out for the high speed ferries going to Tangiers.. they are Cats and hit the throttle hard at the entrance then turn to stbd.. keep a lookout as you approach and you can just see their topsides as they leave their berths.. slow down if needed to let them pass before you.
You may also find winds F7 and over as you clear Tarifa.. dont sweat it as by the time you reach Trafalgar theyre easing down as the acceleration zone fades in the distance..
I would suggest using the anchorage at Portimao if you need to wait for a window round San Vincente where you turn North.
I dont know how far your going but up to Lisbon the wind is most often from the North.. some like to hug the coast and work their way up.. personally I prefer out and up.. like my searoom this time of year.
If your going past Lisbon be careful entering assumed shelter.. most ports are at river mouths and boats are lost every year on the bars.. local and transits.. if the swell is 3 to 4metres 5 plus miles offshore.. stay away and gain searoom..
Have a great trip..
This was super helpful! Thank you so much!
I'll gladly let you know how it all worked out!
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Old 31-01-2018, 19:46   #65
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Thank you all so so much!!


All your comments were helpful and made me more confident in this passage: (even the more conservative ones)

I can navigate with charts and compass, plus gps im good. So i trust my sailing skills. And im bringing my gear along. Not hightech but charts and a navigation handheld can go along way in electronics failure.

I know the skipper will not stand in my way if we come to differ on an argument as he is aware of the situation. Im more experienced at sea but i reasonably trust his judgement.

I do good team management, im a teacher and coach. So i should be able to deal with managing the crew. Iíll test for that as iíll test for the boat. If not, iíll jump ship.

I have some meetings with the crew and a bit of time to think it through.

Im considering going for it on a very weather conservative approach. Most of my experience came out of sketchy situations, and im not saying that i want to get into one, but i got out of all of them, learning a ton each time.

Your technical advice, electrical verification, good tips on safety checks and route hints, helped me think i wasnít anywhere off and would do most as described by myself. (Although i would leave some gold pointer out, must confess)

The seasickness though...what a good point to stand out! Iíll put some thought into that...

Anyway, iíll let you know before leaving at the end of the month!

And if in the end i decide to go for it, Iíll definitely let you know about the mishaps!

Many thanks
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Old 31-01-2018, 20:20   #66
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Re: Would you deliver her?

When the **** hits the fan...who will make the life decision??? The inexperienced skipper??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

No ship is a democracy!
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Old 31-01-2018, 21:49   #67
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Re: Would you deliver her?

(I think i need you guys to cut me some slack as im still learning to navigate the site and quote replies properly.)

Some focused on the fact that it is possible to sail with no instruments. Well, itís also possible to navigate by the stars, that doesnít mean we do it on a day-to-day basis. While it may come in handy to be able to navigate by all means, from the stars to Ais, maybe even required for a decent skipper, it doesnít make any of the means obsolete.

I may be going out on a limb here but, for instance, Vestas 11th hour could have used a radar watch at night (not long ago in HK).

What i mean is, i have done deliveries, though short, that started as a cool tour and ended as a race. Sometimes sailing at night can be a better option than clear visibility with 40knt gust.

With an inexperienced crew, in the winter and since im not in command...yes, Iíd welcome all instruments possible. I donít think that makes me less confident in myself, or reliant on tech. It releases me from its constant attention to help in other matter, such as crew care, and mal de mer. Which i in turn can relieve from the green skipper, that can focus more on helm and nav.

Wouldnít you agree?
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:21   #68
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Re: Would you deliver her?

The Golden Globe competitors will not have Radar, AIS, GPS or any other modern navigational electronics. We never had these devices 30 years ago, just make sure the boat is well found. So as long as the Levanter is keeping a nice Easterly and you stay out of the East-going current in the middle of the straits then you should be ok. Remember with an Easterly, the wind will increase the further through the straits you are when going West.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:51   #69
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by where.is.mike View Post
(I think i need you guys to cut me some slack as im still learning to navigate the site and quote replies properly.)

Some focused on the fact that it is possible to sail with no instruments. Well, it’s also possible to navigate by the stars, that doesn’t mean we do it on a day-to-day basis. While it may come in handy to be able to navigate by all means, from the stars to Ais, maybe even required for a decent skipper, it doesn’t make any of the means obsolete.

I may be going out on a limb here but, for instance, Vestas 11th hour could have used a radar watch at night (not long ago in HK).

What i mean is, i have done deliveries, though short, that started as a cool tour and ended as a race. Sometimes sailing at night can be a better option than clear visibility with 40knt gust.

With an inexperienced crew, in the winter and since im not in command...yes, I’d welcome all instruments possible. I don’t think that makes me less confident in myself, or reliant on tech. It releases me from its constant attention to help in other matter, such as crew care, and mal de mer. Which i in turn can relieve from the green skipper, that can focus more on helm and nav.

Wouldn’t you agree?
I agree with all the others who said that the instruments or lack thereof is not the issue at all. Mariners have been doing that trip without electronics for thousands of years. I would strongly prefer, myself, to have radar and AIS, but I could do it in a pinch with complete confidence with nothing but a hand bearing compass, a lead line, and paper charts, and I think any good sailor could.


The question is actually very simple -- are you willing to follow that skipper into a life and death situation? The crew doesn't matter, either -- only the skipper. Because the skipper will take the crew and its abilities or lack thereof into account. The skipper says he's sailing to Portugal -- will you follow him and do what he says and support him? Do you trust him to get you there safely?

That's all you need to know to make this decision.

That's also not a question of whether the skipper is an ace sailor or not -- you don't have to be an ace sailor to be a good skipper any more than a good CEO needs to be able to make widgets himself. A good skipper knows how to collect the different skills needed from different members of the crew and put them together into a rational whole, and knows not to go out without having the necessary skills on board. He knows how to put all the different human resources at his disposal to their best use. He knows how to listen, but he also knows how to make a decision, even in a confusing emergency situation where people are frightened, and knows how to lead the crew into implementing that decision.

Quote:
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I do good team management, im a teacher and coach. So i should be able to deal with managing the crew. I’ll test for that as i’ll test for the boat. If not, i’ll jump ship.
Will the skipper explicitly assign this role to you? If he is willing to appoint you as First Mate and give you certain authority over the crew, and communicate that explicitly to the crew, then this can be OK. But don't just assume that because you think you are so much more knowledgeable, that he will just defer to you. He shouldn't be actually deferring to you in any case -- the responsibility is HIS and he cannot delegate the ultimate responsibility.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:47   #70
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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For bringing your own PLB or any other emergency communication device, you have to get permission from the skipper.
???
Who says that I need permission to carry my PLB?
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:35   #71
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Re: Would you deliver her?

I think you'd be crazy to do this delivery in these conditions and throughout this thread I think you've told us why. You don't have confidence that the Captain is up to competently skippering this delivery but hope that you can "manage" him to make things OK. That's unlikely to work out well and since you won't be the Captain you won't have the authority to take over and make things right. You have inexperienced crew aboard (OK in itself)and a Captain who doesn't have experience anticipating or dealing with unpredictable things the inexperienced crew may do when least expected. Not good.

Then, from the Captains perspective, he may grow to resent being 'managed" by someone else even though he knows you are more qualified. He'll have the responsibility for the boat and everyone's safety but with you calling the shots he may become resentful under stress if things aren't working out perfectly. What he says in calm conditions ashore may not be the same as what he says when something goes wrong and he becomes stressed and other crewmembers are also stressed. People do funny things when stressed and there needs to be a clearly defined hierarchy aboard to address those things when they come up.

If you could skipper the boat, I'd say go ahead and do it but before you leave port everyone needs to know who's in charge and if that person isn't someone you can have confidence in as your leader, then I wouldn't go. You may think you can whisper in his ear to make things OK but there may be other crewmembers who decide they can whisper in his ear too and he may decide he doesn't want ANYONE whispering in his ear. You don't know.

But I think that the process you're going through now has still been valuable because it's allowed you to gain experience as a mariner in that it's forced you to consider conditions under which you'll accept being crew and some of those which will prevent you from doing so. You don't need this, skip it. Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:02   #72
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Re: Would you deliver her?

I would like to hear the Captains comments on all what is written here in this topic. Take in consideration that this is all from the perspective of @where.is.mike...
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:08   #73
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Re: Would you deliver her?

I hate to discourage sailors from getting out there. And though I have not sailed this particular area. I have sailed in high traffic areas in fog. I would not want to do so without a radar if I had the option.

In fog and cool air, sound travels faster and further then normal conditions. Other vessels with fog horns will sound much closer than they are. It can be a bit nerve racking. Something I donít particularly enjoy doing.

Scope it out though, a good adventure starts where uncertainty begins. This one sounds like a great thread in the making.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:38   #74
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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The question is actually very simple -- are you willing to follow that skipper into a life and death situation? The crew doesn't matter, either -- only the skipper. Because the skipper will take the crew and its abilities or lack thereof into account. The skipper says he's sailing to Portugal -- will you follow him and do what he says and support him? Do you trust him to get you there safely?

That's all you need to know to make this decision.

Ditto that. In nice weather no problem, but in emergency conditions your trust in the skipper will become very important. As Dirty Harry would say...do you feel lucky...
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:39   #75
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Hallo Sailors, it has been a while since I reacted on this forum. Last year I sailed my boat from the south of France through Gibraltar strait along the coast of Portugal and from a Coruna to Southampton and from there to Scheveningen. I have Ais on board but no radar. But also without Ais I would not hesitate to undertake this journey.

My main/only consideration on the leg from the Baleares to the north of Portugal would be time and the determination not to leave on a bad forecast. A bad forecast is in my opinion dependent on the ability of the crew, in your case stay on the safe side, bring a lot of books and tools and spent time in harbor when the forecast exceeds your abilities.

Given suitable weather the passage of Gibraltar strait is not difficult. The Pilot(Reeds) says that sailors who want to make use of the current should stay near the coast, "hug the coast". We found out that you must take this very strictly, stay very close and watch the difference between SOG and STW as soon as the latter exceeds the SOG go closer to the coast. You can make the complete journey in day trips, but must be prepared to motorsail a lot.

Probably the most difficult stretch is the trip round Cabo Sao Vicente to Sines, the first harbor around the corner. We waited for good weather in Lagos and on our way started the motor when the speed got below 6 kn. Be sure not to round the Cabo in bad weather with an inexperienced crew, even with a lot of experience on board I would hesitate to round the Cabo in strong onshore winds, in your case for example stay ashore if the wind exceeds 3-4Bft. Along the Portugese coast you must expect winds from the North, occasionally from other directions. Apart from motoring a lot we found the trip easier than a Northsea passage from Holland to England.

Don't let all the warnings in the pilots stop you from making this nice trip but be prepared to take your time and take the train as you and the inexperienced skipper differ from opinion.
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