Advice Planning my first Long Distance Cruise
I Need help from those that already done it!
I am heading south for the Bahamas the first time this October for about 6 months and have started to actively prepare for the trip. I hope to benefit from all the experience on this forum to assist me with advice and recommendations. A brief description of my current plan.
My Age- Just turned 60 but don't actually realize it yet. my head is closer to 30.
Experience- 20 yrs in smaller boats, 4 in my C-30. Longest trip Peconic Bay LI to Portsmouth NH, home port.
My boat- 1981 C-30 I realize this is not a "Bluewater" and understand the difference. My thought is this is actually a series of coastal cruises unless I push on to Dominica.
I have started to check all systems in prep for this trip as part of spring commissioning and will replace and upgrade questionable parts Such as
New larger 25 gal fuel tank, new hoses, fuel pump and filters.
New wiring harness from batteries engine and gages.
New sheets, New rollerfurler, Chart Plotter, Backup GPS, replace all light bulbs and check wiring, New wheel Autopilot, and appropriate backups. I dont have Radar, how critical is it for this type of trip?
My crew- Undetermined, The Admiral wont cruise in the cold of Oct and will fly down to some point when it is warm enough to meet me. She also is concerned that I am too old to be doing this. I don't agree, not too old just a bit slower which may be a good thing.
I could possibly pick up some crew if a relative or 2 comes along for the initial trip and flies home but I actually would prefer to single hand until I pick up the Admiral.
Trip Legs- I expect to sail outside until I pick up the Admiral and then go in the ditch until Fl. and wait for weather before crossing the stream. I want to sail inside Hatteras not outside.
Once across I am looking to spend much of my time on the hook in quiet out of the way anchorages and have not focused on any spots in the Bahamas yet.
In reviewing the charts, considering I will be single handing, what distance outside is reasonable to expect to cover daily and still get anchored or slipped? What types of runs has any one made and can you recommend stop over anchorages or marinas from MA on down for the outside trip. Obviously I want to minimize the distance in and out of anchor. I want to cover distance but also want to balance knowing I am securely anchored for the night. I anticipate early AM starts make distance.
Sorry for the length but Im sure these are the first of a number of questions I will have for the collective wisdom on this board.
Thank you all in advance for your assistance.
sv "New Perspective" C-30
"Nothing on land prepares you for the scale of the Sea.
It's principle dimensions lie beyond the muscle of language to gather it in."