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Old 10-10-2020, 22:31   #76
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

Irridium Go with predictwind professional package works well. We are a husband and wife team and the weather routing and forecasts on predictwind is some of the best. It also has ocean currents which is helpfull to us on the nothern coast of Brazil. We will be doing our second crossing as a husband and wife team from Cape Town South Africa, hopefully November.

Definitely no alcohol for us as we need to be at our best as a 2 man crew. If you have plenty crew, I donít see a problem with one happy hour drink on the mild days.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:40   #77
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

Most Americans know about this free download but most others do not. This is an excellent tool for route planning, once you learn to read the charts.

You can download for free in PDF, or order them printed already from Amazon, where the price is still pretty reasonable.
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:39   #78
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
. . .
(we don't drink at sea either anyway)
One more absolutely dry boat at sea. Not even beer. Not even when well crewed with 5 or 6 sailors on board.

I'm not quite sure where that tradition came from -- we love our G&T's at anchor or in port. But we are totally not one drop on passage. I can't even imagine drinking on passage. It just doesn't belong in the experience.

Concerning comms -- another vote for the Iridium Go. Take the $139/mo unlimited data and texts package. You get an hour or two of voice calls, but I hardly use the voice calls. It's extremely low bandwidth but absolutely brilliant for text emails, SMS messages, GRIBs, Wefax.

I have also SSB and Pactor, but the Iridium Go is SO much less effort. When we were in the Arctic we got GRIBS 4 times a day -- luxury -- as much data as we needed -- text forecasts from DWD and the Danish Met Service -- and stayed in close touch with people -- brilliant!
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:23   #79
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

I love reading these posts with all the equipment required. I crossed a long time ago, a sextant and a portable radio with short wave for BBC time signals. Nothing else,not even a vhf. Radio stations from the islands can be received a long way off . Take lots of books to read . Bought a newspaper in Canaries to get a weather forecast before I left. If it goes flat calm mid Atlantic,go swimming,itís a strange experience .Enjoy.
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:26   #80
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
PLBs (individual EPIRBs) really make no sense. They communicate with an RCC thousands of miles away. The personal AIS shows up on your screen.

You might use a PLB in your liferaft ditch bag, they are smaller.

Or keep the PLB in your lifejacket, in case you somehow get separated from your EPIRB.

But PLB and AIS MOB beacon are NOT substitutes for each other. Totally different purpose and function. I keep both -- in my lifejacket.
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
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Old 11-10-2020, 07:05   #81
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

I had done a west to east transatlantic before doing East to west- Madeira to
Antiqua. On the East to West crossing we went almost to the Cape Verde Islands before turning right (west). I was very fortunate to have a brother back in New England looking at all the online weather- ie Windy predict wind and then texting thru InReach device. He could see the big picture and told us to keep going South until finally he said Okay to turn right. The constant downwind sailing with a oscillating wind was a handful. Practice reefing downwind and have a pole so you can put the jib held out. Dead downwind
the jibs want to collapse. The main will want to jib at times so have a practiced means of preventing jibing. We also got Oceans weather up to 3 days out for very little money on the InReach. We crossed December not part of any rally.
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Old 16-10-2020, 11:19   #82
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

Thank you everyone! so many good advice.
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Old 16-10-2020, 17:15   #83
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

Originally Posted by dickfred View Post
Strongly consider reading Airborn, by William F Buckley. Used copies available via Amazon. "About this title: On a month-long cruise across the Atlantic on his sailboat Cyrano, Buckley logs daily occurrences and reflections, recalls previous sailing experiences as far back as age 13, and considers his success as a seaman and father. A chapter on how to navigate stands out."

In addition to being a conservative writer and speaker, Buckley had a love for sailing and has written about several of his exploits at sea. This book is both entertaining and instructive.
Love that book, I reread it every year or two.
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Old 17-10-2020, 08:28   #84
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

There are a lot of good suggestions here. Personally the best so far is to make sure you have AIS and put transponders in all your life jackets. If you don't want to buy 4, then go with 2 and make it mandatory that those two must be worn when on watch.

There is a difference in sailing a catamaran vs mono on long ocean passages. Overloading a catamaran creates a self fulfilling prophecy. It will take longer, you will go slower, and it will be more uncomfortable. As an example, this is what we did.

5 crew, 1 liter of emergency water pp/p day for 15 days. That's a lot of bottled water. But I have a water maker that is all electro-mechanical so the only possible component that could fail was the high pressure pump. My main water tank holds 300 gallons at 8.3 pounds per or 2500 pounds. We essentially kept the tank near emply for the crossing. Every day we would make water, shower, cook, clean, etc and end up on 1/8th of a tank. As we got within 10 days of landfall, we also started to use the emergency water.

Fuel - we can hold a max of 250 gallons at 7 pounds or 1750 pounds. We left with around 200 which was a mistake as we ended up with quite a bit left. I should have made it 150 gallons, of which 40 was in jerry cans located in the anchor locker. It's a downwind run with reliable wind.

Center your weight. It was common for me to have my spares and tools stored in the stern and my extra sailing hardware in the bows. We moved everything that wasn't bolted down to the middle of the boat. If it would have been practical I would have moved my tender to the forward of the boat also. Anything to allow your stern to catch the waves and surf as long as possible.

Biggest mistake was getting excited about flying the spinnaker, not training my crew well enough, it back winding onto a spreader and tearing pretty majorly. On the third day! Second biggest mistake, spending the next 8 days in fairly light winds and not thinking we could repair it. As the wind died more and more, we removed it from the sock and used two whole rolls of duct tape to patch it up. It looked like the laces of a football. Guesses for how long it would last ranged from one minute to days, it lasted 3 critical low wind days. Our passage took 17 days to Antigua. As an FYI, I didn't really think cats sailed wing on wing very well, but they actually do - as long as there's wind.

We used an Iridium Go with Predict Wind and it was great. I don't think a weather router would have helped us much as the wind was steady across too large of an area to try and sail a better route. No antenna BTW and we always had good signal.

Crew was rationed two beers or two glasses of wine per day - unless we caught a fish. Then everyone could have one extra beer. We did catch quite a few fish, around 10, and ran out of beer 4 days out. Moral went way down. With 5 of us, fatigue wasn't a problem nor over indulgence. The weather was very mild to the point of boring but if it was the opposite, abstinence would have been in order. We brought way to much food, like twice as much as needed but the fish dinners certainly made a difference. We had provisioned with an unlimited budget so it was like eating at a Michelin star restaurant breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. We had very few snack foods as the plan was to eat normally. FYI - we ran out of coffee - bad situation.

I'm planning on returning to the Med in April or May of next year and the plans are coming together very well so far. I've already removed 2000 additional pounds of gear and hope to still remove another 1000. It's a much easier plan as we will go to Bermuda so the longest section is about 1900 nm. If my forecast is favorable when leaving we will decrease our diesel more, probably 150 gallons total.

Good luck and have a great crossing.
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Old 18-10-2020, 15:20   #85
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

I did a crossing once with 4 guys on the boat. We all settled into our prescribed watch routines, but were more or less consigned to eating a mish-mash of food prepared by someone below, ie, peanut butter sandwiches......but one crew member decided he was not going to live like a hobo under the bridge and set about cooking one gourmet meal after much so, that we elected to make him our permanent onboard chef and re-arranged our watch system for 3 people. It was a good setup as it turned out, as each meal was a delight of one sort or another. Our chef crew mate was spending hours slaving over a grill or some other chef endeavor, Besides the meals, he also contrived to provide an assortment of snacks for daytime and nighttime watches...and washed the dishes too...

A well fed crew is a happy crew. We also followed the no alcohol rule until land hove into sight, then the proverbial keg was opened.
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Old 28-10-2020, 13:38   #86
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Re: Advice for first time crossing an ocean

Originally Posted by Mantas View Post
Thank you everyone for advice.

Regarding Iridium Go, I already ordered one from Predictwind and was thinking of using their offshore weather app, but will check out other tools/apps that you recommended. First need to install Iridium and learn how to use it.

Weather routing service sounds like a good idea too, I would like to have second opinion on whether as non of us have any experience in meteorology of any kind.

Wine only from proper glass - understood!

Provisioning and cooking, this one is important, 4 men cooking on board its going to be big challenge. Any trick on how to store food to last long? we have a fridge and separate freezer, but somehow we should be prepared to loose them both or in general electricity on board. Dried/canned food for this scenario? regarding water we have water maker, but planing to take bottled water for emergency, how much would you take per person?

EPIRB - we have one, why do you need more?
Some ways to store food without a refrigerator.

1. Fresh Eggs can last a few weeks if you coat them and keep them cool.
2. You can get freeze dried eggs.
3..You can get powered eggs.

1. You can get UHT Milk but once opened you need to use it quickly.
2. Canned condensed milk but once opened you need to use it quickly.
3. Powered Milk

1. You can make clarified butter that will store well
2. You can buy clarified butter called Ghee
3. An old fashion butter bell may also work well.

1. Smoked Meat
2. Store bought Canned Meats
3. Dehydrated meats
4. Home canning of meats and complete meals.

1. dehydrated options are available.
2. Pickling
3. Store bought cans
4. Home canning

Complete Meals
1. There are many dry package soup and stew mixes available.
2. Canned stews
3. Home canning of complete meals

Options at Walmart
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