Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-06-2020, 05:46   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
djousset's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Boat: 1987 Pearson 33
Posts: 63
First Solo Jitters

Hello Friends,

I am about to embark on my first real solo sail. My son happens to be embarking on his first solo flight as part of his pilot program so it is meaningful that we're checking that box together.

If I am honest..I am feeling the jitters. Best advice for the white-knuckle first timer?
__________________
diane

S/V Desiderata

"The cure for anything is saltwater - sweat, tears or the sea."
djousset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 06:03   #2
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 14,018
Images: 14
Re: First Solo Jitters

Choose somewhere you know, to sail to and back.
Choose a nice day and a short trip.
Take a flask and light snacks.
Life jacket on.
Autopilot on and revs to tickover when hoisting sails.
Take you time, think things through and give yourself lots of space.
Little steps at a time, like eating a biscuit. Easy in little bites, tricky in one mouthful.
Enjoy
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 07:21   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Tartan 33 and OPB
Posts: 2,850
Send a message via Skype™ to Snore
Re: First Solo Jitters

If you are not a tad puckered, you should not be solo.

A few tips- before undocking test the autopilot. FROM EXPERIENCE, it truly sucks when you get out there and discover it is having an issue.

At the dock do a walk-through; how will you let the jib out? How will you furl it? Same for the main, including how will you reef it. Don’t just talk, move and touch the things you will use. Can you reach them while clipped in?

Be sure to set jacklines at the dock. Jacklines should be down the center so you can’t fall overboard. It is not glamorous, but until you are comfortable, exit and return by going over the companionway. (Land jackline on cabin top winch).

Always clip in when leaving the cockpit, and in the cockpit clip in when you feel the first pucker.

Consider a pee jar/bucket, not glamorous, but easier than going below to relieve oneself.

When you ask yourself “should I reef?” Reef! Single-handing leaves little room for error. As you become more accomplished this will get easier.


All this may sound like I over plan ..... That’s cause I do!!!

One of the first things that get broken in an emergency is “the plan”. But having a well thought out plan is the basis for creating a work around.

Knowing what and how you are going to do things ensures that you can...

Have fun and relax.
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ismael -a link to my delivery website is in my profile—
Snore is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 16:16   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: sydney, australia
Boat: 38 roberts ketch
Posts: 1,293
Images: 3
Re: First Solo Jitters

think about this - what if instead of your first solo sail you were heading into rush hour for the first time on a 1000cc motorcycle? What do you reckon the comparative odds on survival for these 2 scenarios might be - my guess; die on boat, 1 chance; die on bike, 10,000 chances. A sense of proportion is useful to a sailor. Enjoy the jitters, they come virtually free of actual risk.
charliehows is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 18:29   #5
Registered User
 
LittleWing77's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 942
Re: First Solo Jitters

Here's a guy that recently completed a solo passage. You'd probably find his original post useful.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ce-233145.html

Good luck!
LittleWing77
LittleWing77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 18:59   #6
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,643
Re: First Solo Jitters

Quote:
Originally Posted by djousset View Post
Hello Friends,

I am about to embark on my first real solo sail. My son happens to be embarking on his first solo flight as part of his pilot program so it is meaningful that we're checking that box together.

If I am honest..I am feeling the jitters. Best advice for the white-knuckle first timer?

I've flown solo (including IFR), sailed solo, crossed mountains solo, SCUBA dived solo... swam in open water solo.. all of these many times..


There can be only one first time. Enjoy it


But be prepared and choose your weather and itinerary wisely.


Solo activities are less stressful for me since I am not responsible for anyone else's safety nor for making sure that anyone else has a good time.


Then again shared activities have their own rewards too


Have fun and be safe
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 19:04   #7
Registered User
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 7,030
Re: First Solo Jitters

Plenty of sleep beforehand really helps.
__________________
Launch delayed.
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 19:11   #8
cruiser

Join Date: Mar 2019
Boat: A185F, Mystic 30’ Cutter
Posts: 713
Re: First Solo Jitters

As a flight instructor and pilot and sailboat dude.

Don’t suck

Most of it is a mind game, you know your stuff and will be fine, do your due diligence, check your systems before leaving the dock, keep situational awareness, and sail on and have fun
NorthernMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 19:38   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 683
Re: First Solo Jitters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I've flown solo (including IFR), sailed solo, crossed mountains solo, SCUBA dived solo... swam in open water solo.. all of these many times..


There can be only one first time. Enjoy it


But be prepared and choose your weather and itinerary wisely.


Solo activities are less stressful for me since I am not responsible for anyone else's safety nor for making sure that anyone else has a good time.


Then again shared activities have their own rewards too


Have fun and be safe
All these activities are fine solo IMHO
EXCEPT SCUBA
A mistake there kills you with little wiggle room for self rescue
I’ve been PADI Advanced Open Water for 45 years
and have dived solo a few times
Never felt good about Ignoring all my training
Cheers
Neil
Time2Go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 20:26   #10
Registered User
 
chrisr's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Australia
Boat: Tasman 40' catamaran
Posts: 714
Re: First Solo Jitters

Quote:
Originally Posted by djousset View Post
Hello Friends,

I am about to embark on my first real solo sail. My son happens to be embarking on his first solo flight as part of his pilot program so it is meaningful that we're checking that box together.

If I am honest..I am feeling the jitters. Best advice for the white-knuckle first timer?
i interpret this as you have sailed solo before ? where / how long ? what is different this time ?

my keys for solo...planning...good preparation (self & boat)...and chocolate ! lots of chocolate !

cheers,
__________________
"home is where the anchor drops"...parked on mooring at Yamba for a few weeks while we visit family in Newcastle & Sydney... maintaining social distancing !
chrisr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 20:29   #11
cruiser

Join Date: May 2020
Location: Pago Pago
Boat: Lancer 36
Posts: 289
Re: First Solo Jitters

Just like solo free climbing is not for everyone, neither is solo scuba diving, but competence is what is necessary to do it successfully. I checked most of the PADI boxes up to Assistant Instructor, and found that solo was more enjoyable as i did not need to worry about a partner who had less skills. In certain kinds of diving, solo is the norm. Joshua Slocum single handed around the world......
OloteleMtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2020, 20:29   #12
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 2,301
Re: First Solo Jitters

Think through every step before you act and then feel the joy when you have everything dialed in. Jitters are normal. Have fun!
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2020, 02:29   #13
Registered User
 
LittleWing77's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 942
Re: First Solo Jitters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Consider a pee jar/bucket, not glamorous, but easier than going below to relieve oneself.
As I read through the responses, I thought this might be worth a call-out.

Did it seem odd to you that Snore not only recommended a pee jar, but then followed up with "easier than going below to relieve oneself..."?

For the Forum generally and newer solo-sailers in particular: There is a high incidence of men disproportionately falling off the boat as they are peeing off the stern.

As a single-hander, make a practice of NEVER doing that. Always go below or use a pee bucket, as Snore suggests.

I was once conversing with Major J of the Royal Marine Commandos about an uncoming single-handed passage and he responded that if I was mentally prepared to watch my boat sail away from me (in the event I went over the side), I was ready to go.

<Gulp>

After that, I developed very specific practices (like going over the companionway also as Snore suggests) to keep myself on the boat at all costs.

It is the primary thing in my mind when sailing singe-handed or with crew.

Hope you have a lovely solo sail. You'll find that once you get your sails up and the boat settles into a groove, you'll relax - about 4 hours in - and it's quite a feeling.

Questions to keep on constant rotation: Is she (the boat) sailing well/is she safe? Is the crew well/safe? What is the weather now/forecasted? What are the approaching dangers?

Reef as soon as you think of it.

Have a fantastic time!
LittleWing77
LittleWing77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2020, 07:24   #14
Marine Service Provider
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Tartan 33 and OPB
Posts: 2,850
Send a message via Skype™ to Snore
First Solo Jitters

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post

I was once conversing with Major J of the Royal Marine Commandos ... ... he responded that if I was mentally prepared to watch my boat sail away from me (in the event I went over the side), I was ready to go.

With all respects to Major J- I call BS.

NEVER be ready to watch your watch your boat sail off! Your mindset should be on avoiding that. Set your jacklines like your life depended on them (it may). Clip in- and respect (not fear) the ocean.
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ismael -a link to my delivery website is in my profile—
Snore is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2020, 08:47   #15
Registered User
 
AKA-None's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lake City MN
Boat: C&C 27 Mk III
Posts: 1,068
Re: First Solo Jitters

I think on my first solo I started out with the main reefed then added sail area as I got over the jitters . I still get them on the first sail of the year
__________________
Special knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage if it leads you too far along a path that you cannot explain anymore.
Frank Herbert 'Dune'
AKA-None is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beneteau First 305 for life on the hook? First first. Atcowboy Liveaboard's Forum 10 28-01-2020 14:16
First boat, first post, first adventure. northoceanbeach Pacific & South China Sea 5 28-05-2013 18:05
First Solo Sail - How Could it Be Better? Dinghy101 General Sailing Forum 11 27-10-2009 01:21
First Solo Sail theonecalledtom Seamanship & Boat Handling 16 04-07-2009 22:31
First solo sail around Antarctica? TAREUA General Sailing Forum 4 28-11-2007 17:49

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:11.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.