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Old 03-11-2013
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Re: virgin

I don't know your particular area but I'm sure others will chime in soon with local knowledge. A few general things though:
- have all USCG required safety gear on board, checked, functional, and be familiar with how to use it. Signaling devices, life vests, sound making device, etc.
- plan weather, have a back out plan, and don't get ourself on a tight schedule
- file a float plan with someone that you trust
-Know your radio and take a back up. I keep a hand held fully charged and ready, clipped and tethered to my life vest when I solo.
- take appropriate wet weather gear and/or foullies
- have plenty of water and food for your trip plus enough to account for the unforeseen.
-WEATHER WEATHER WEATHER, watch and understand the forecast and plan on it being worse than you planned.

Maybe you can add some specifics regarding your planned trip to get more specific advice and suggestions.

It would help to know your experience level, if you have crew or help, have sailed much on a bay, what equipment is onboard, engine type and condition, etc.
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