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post #8 of Old 11-10-2001
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Advice for novice on coastal cruising

Wecome to the addicting world of coastal sailing!
Our first boat was a 22 1/2 ''Coronado,1970.
On our first coastal cruise we sailed from St Lucie Inlet at Stuart Florida to Ft Pierce Inlet,about 18 miles I believe it was.
Off Ft Pierce we ran into the darkest,most vicious storm I have encountered.
The clouds hung low sort of a smoke color and the VHF said storm moving south.
WEell, we were about 1 1/2 miles off the inlet when the storm came east!
We were caught in 6''+ seas and winds around 25 knots,with lots of lightning around us.
Visibility quickly went to about nothing.
Our tactic was to steer into the storm with the old Evinrude 9.5 HP,all sails were dropped.
After about15 to 20 minutes we were clear.
We learned a lot-do not have an aluminum tiller,which I had to control during the storm!
Make sure you have an updated position before the storm gets to you--take steps as early as possible,donning life jackets etc.
Although my wife was terrified,she still,remakably,sails with me!
We now coastal cruise in a Mac26X and have practised heaving to, and read up on all we could find on heavy weather tactics.
Enjoy yourselves,be safe and practise your skills!
skipperpete is offline  
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