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View Poll Results: when we approach a new anchorage/harbor/creek etc our approach is:
Cautious, but determined 4 50.00%
Chicks**t (we may or may not proceed) 4 50.00%
Damn the torpedos 0 0%
other 0 0%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22-06-2018, 13:17   #1
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Cautious, or Chickens**t

My wife and I were talking about our travels the other day. We're owned a boats (39'+) for 9 years now, so not really beginners anymore. Before we moved aboard we spend just about every weekend on the boat from June - Nov and tried to go new places, plus we did at least a 1 week trip each summer. Now we have been full time cruisers for 21 months and traveled down the coast from the Northeast, did the Bahamas, came back and up to the Carolinas, then back down to the Florida Keys, back north and are currently in the Chesapeake.

Yet after all that and all the new places we've gone into we still get nervous about going into some harbor/creek/anchorage/river etc. And for all our worry I would say that 95+% of these worrisome little entrances etc have been absolutely no big deal. The other day we went into an anchorage that was maybe 30' wide which required 3 S turns to line up and go through and back out and on each side was 1-3' (we draft 6'4").

So we have started asking ourselves, are we:
1 - cautious
or
2 - chicks**t

and how we compare to others
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Old 22-06-2018, 13:22   #2
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

All old sailors are cautious.
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Old 22-06-2018, 13:43   #3
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

I think I fall between 1 and 2. But depending on the situation and circumstances I might sometimes be a 1, sometimes a 2+.
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Old 22-06-2018, 13:45   #4
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I think I fall between 1 and 2. But depending on the situation and circumstances I might sometimes be a 1, sometimes a 2+.
Based on places I've know that you have gone I feel you are are closer to a 3
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Old 22-06-2018, 13:58   #5
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

Ive been seasonal cruising for the past 15 years. In that time weve travelled some challenging waters, and tend to go places that attract few cruisers. But we always go slow, and cautiously. We hide from storms or light airs. We feel no desire to challenge Nature if shes testy. And every new region or harbour or (shudder) dock fills me with trepidation.

Im proud to call myself a Chicken Sailor.
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Old 22-06-2018, 16:09   #6
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

Nothing wrong with cautious skippering. Such skippers live to cluck many another day.

Local situational awareness and assessment is the key. Much depends on whether the grounding could be against the hard [e.g., rocks, corral] or onto the soft [mud or sand]. Venture slowly onto the soft and almost never is there harm done as long as one is not dealing with harsh currents, large tides or waves. Banging the hard, well that makes for some unpleasant sounds.

I particularly enjoy the advantages when using a swing keel on one of my sailboats, which is left unpinned [not locked in the full down position] during non-harsh weather conditions when there is no probability of a knock down or capsizing. Typically the 5.75 foot draft keel touches bottom far before the bow and the swing keel then acts as an iron depth sensor when operating in one fathom or less. If stopped by unintentional dragging of the swing keel, one can just raise the keel partway, and continue on your way, or the keel just tilts up on its own accord and slides over an obstruction [e.g. a sunken log] and then resets itself to full depth when having slid past the obstruction, albeit with a bit of a clunk and a lurch. Slow speed is required when using the keel as your depth sensor. A fixed keel is not as forgiving, banging those bottoms can lead to sinking or big repair expenses.

I call that navigating by braille. One truly gets a "feel" for the boat, rather the boat feels for you.

Heck I occasionally bump into the dock at the marina harder than the bottom when exploring close to shore or up a channel. And yes, there are a few scratches [okay, read gouges] on the keel where it has hit a large boulder when approaching to beach on to a shore I am unfamiliar with.

And remember tows are generally just a call away. You haven't lived until you need a tow to get off the shallows. Lord knows I have come to the aid of a few boats that wandered where it was not suitable, but those were power boats.

It is always fun to see what is around the next bend until you go past one too many bends. Particularly fun when in a sail boat as people on shore or power boats are wondering how you can navigate into the shallows, [the secret being the keel and rudder are raised unseen].
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Old 22-06-2018, 16:21   #7
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

Does it really matter?

To me...... cruising lifestyle (should) offer less stressful days comparing to lubbing....

For now,,,,,, I need very minimum 40' room on each side... otherwise, I don't even try.....

Do people think I'm chickens*** ? ..................... Who cares
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Old 22-06-2018, 16:36   #8
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

There's an old saying in aviation:

"There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots; but there are no old, bold pilots."
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Old 22-06-2018, 16:37   #9
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

I'm thinking it somewhat depends on the boat you are sailing

On mine I wouldn't worry, but if I had a bolt on keel like the boat I'm now looking at (a Pearson 10M with 6' draft) I'd be way worried.

If I hit bottom on my present boat, it's no big deal.

I either bounce off with the wind and outboard assistance or jump overboard and push!
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Old 22-06-2018, 22:53   #10
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

All of the above, but hopefully other. Ignore any emotional response and base decisions as best you can on info from the real world available at the time. Though maybe after a week or so passage emotional need for a cold beer might be strong research before setting off can make a big difference. Google satellite images on Opencpn can contain as much info as charts, a few hours hunting through Google for blogs/active captain/zuluwaterways.com etc or if the internal alarm "doesn't feel right " is going off then heave too til light and/or only go in on a rising tide. Steel boat helps
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Old 23-06-2018, 02:14   #11
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Re: Cautious, or Chickens**t

I get to watch people anchor from my deck. A sand bottom 6 to 8m, most people are cautious in choosing the spot to drop the anchor, it's not that crowded except Xmas, Easter and Australia day. Some people drop everything in one go and let the boat drift away and some drop, drift, drop, drift, pull.

I'm only new to the game so I'm cautious, I like lots of room not just for concern of drifting into someone but I don't want any witnesses when I screw up. :-).
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