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Old 05-10-2010
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CalebD CalebD is offline
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The human factor... probably the biggest variable.
I am recalling when I first met DavidPM on Bene505's boat out at Montauk for a delivery trip back to the western LI Sound. We had all volunteered to come along for the trip and had spoken with Brad on the phone and he had briefly interviewed us and visa versa. All I initially knew was that he had previously owned a Venture 21' and that he and his son had brought the boat up from Annapolis to Montauk together. Knowing that a 50' boat has many more systems then a 21' boat made me wonder a trifle but what I did not know was that Brad was also an amateur pilot at one time. Another point of wonder was that the reefing lines for the main sail had not been set up since he had acquired the boat. DavidPM and another sailnetter set up the 2 reefing lines BEFORE we set out the next morning and it turned out that we really needed them. Brad was a nice enough guy and his boat was less then 10 years old so I don't recall anyone using a fine toothed comb to check out the engine on his boat but we really needed that as well. It was really nice to have other seemingly competent sailors along like DavidPM and DefRich who helped to allay my fears as the weather was looking a bit iffy, even if it was only to be a trip of just under 100 nm down LI Sound.
The weather turned out to be the other most important variable. The weekend in November we had chosen to do the transit was also the weekend that a fall squall decided to show up. After leaving Montauk in light winds and mild fog the wind built up from the S, S/W until it was easily gusting to 40 knots by the time we pulled into Port Jefferson. I believe Brad got a SOG reading of 4 or 5 knots under bare poles alone outside of Port Jeff before we entered the harbor to tie up for the night.
I'll admit right here and now that I am a bit of a chicken shyt and prefer sailing when the conditions are much nicer then what we encountered that day and the next. We ended up motoring from Port Jeff to Glen Cove and the 50' Benetteau was pounding over the 4+ foot waves the now westerly blow we faced with varying seascapes of either all white horses when the wind hit above 45 knots or only several here and there when it went back down near 30 knots with still large lumpy waves for the LI Sound (all wind speeds were verified after the trip from buoy readings on mysound.com). I admit that the conditions alarmed and even scared me a bit as I was not used to them. I even mentioned ditching out in a port like Oyster Bay to him but he seemed to be almost enjoying it AND he had his son aboard AND the saltier of the crew (DavidPM & DefRich) went below to take naps while the boat pounded! It was only 12 more miles to Glen Cove after all and I know the layout of the western Sound quite well and grew up sailing near Glen Cove.
It was a beautiful, awesome and scary trip to me but I am so glad I did it. I am also glad that we had no engine problems and had the ability to reef the main down to the second reef point and take in the jib. We sailed most of the way to Port Jeff but the motor, reefing ability and crew made it all possible. I also enjoyed hanging out in the cabin while the boat was going through its motions and chatting with DefRich who was in the navy (that's how he got deaf); this fact reassured me that I don't get sea sick too easily. I would do it again though in a heart beat.

Not sure if all of this is applicable to your thread so sorry for the drift.
Cheers
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