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post #2 of Old 08-09-2001
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Advice for novice on coastal cruising

Ahoy, jfletcher and crew. The first time you drove a car you probably had less experience and more risk. There are only several major issues you have to be comfortable with. #1 is safety. Is your boat and life saving gear in good order and do you know how to use it. #2 Always leave a time specific and geographic map of your voyage with a responsible person on land and check in by cell or land phone along the way with this person. Be sure to dicuss how long over due is cause for concern and who to call. A VHF radio is a prudent piece of equiptment to have so the official agency can call to check on you. #3 Be extra carefull in navigation and weather decisions. Wear at a minimum a flotation vest while under way and practice man overboard dills with your mate.Take your best marine books with you for reference. All that said , go go go . Your skills will never get any better if you sit in home waters at anchor. I have taken extreme risks in much smaller vessels and in each instance my experience counted most when things broke or the weather turned bad. A man has to know his limitations to be sure, but if you don''t test your skills how are you going to know what you can do? Keep in mind that the people on land have little real knowledge of boating ,just fear based in ignorance. It sounds like you have prepared and your question here in this forum is proof of your good judgment skills to ask for help . Shove off and remember have fun, relax and all voyages are clothes optional!!! Big Red 56. See you on the horizon.
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