I am a fairly inexperienced sailor and have gone 9 miles out in my 24-footer a couple times to fish and well..to just be a little offshore and near bluewater.
I live in SW Florida and doing this in the gulf on a good weather window is fairly benign affair. The first time I did it..I had a great weather window with daytime winds out of the east most of the day which reduced fetch andwave size...By dark (when I got out to 9 miles or so) everything settled down and I anchored with a small anchor and about 130 feet of nylon...a 15 pound anchor and probably 15 feet of 1/4 inch chain with a fairly jerry-rigged bungee snubber in 40 feet of water. I left some lights on and went to sleep about 10:30 or so...was awakened at about 2 am by a sudden rushing landbreeze that blowed a steady 15 knots or so for a half hour or so then abated...this was enough for me to take my bungee snubber off for the rest of the night.
The next time I did it was also about 9 miles or so out... about 3 weeks ago...this time I was tired and still only about 3-4 miles off the beach with a sand dredge directly north and light failing fast...so I drifted west on the landbreeze that took over after sundown..and had my phone set to alarm and I awoke every 25 minutes or so for a few hours to check for boat traffic. I would not have done it this way but there were no other boat lights to be seen other than the dredge...and I didn't want to anchor this time...was too tired to drag my butt to the foredeck and shuffle and fuss with mountains of rope in the dark on a small foredeck figuring out the rode for a light anchor in 40 feet of water...just wanted to sleep...and I figured little bits of sleep was all I could get with this lazyness but I'd take it. Just get out there and do it...but watch the weather and make sure you can be seen at night...and that you arent' in a shipping channel...!! Have fun
Last edited by souljour2000; 05-11-2011 at 06:43 PM.