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  #41  
Old 06-04-2008
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Great report, were most, if not all the groundings in the Okeechobee waterway ?
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  #42  
Old 06-04-2008
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Vlad...well done and good report. Your resourcefulness sure came in handy!
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  #43  
Old 06-05-2008
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I don't know if many of you have read this other than a few who kept in touch with Vlad ("CrazyRU", a good name), but this thread, from beginning to end, reads like a good adventure novel.

Give it a try if you have time. He made a coastwise trip, with a near-zero budget in a Freedom 28, with several port stops, between Houston/Galveston and the Miss. River delta. The few sailors who make this trip usually do it in bigger boats and nonstop, and stay way offshore and skip the delta, heading directly for Tampa or Key West. This guy (for whom English is a second language, though he's obviously good at it) went coastwise (and met nothing but oilfield boats all the way along the Louisiana coast, and no sailboats at all). Surprise, surprise, the crewboat, workboat, and supply boat captains are good guys, and they watched out for him. All kinds of things could've gone wrong (especially trying to get through the Miss. river between Venice and Baptiste Collette), but they didn't, with his dubious (at least at low speeds) engine, and some good luck, and obviously some innate and acquired skill, he made it.

Then across the cross-Florida barge canal (again, an experience few have done) and eventually up to North Carolina. I don't think he had a lot of sailing experience beforehand (but he did ask for advice, and good questions too), but he sure gained a lot of it along the way. Just him and his dog.

Vlad, if you're reading, I intend absolutely no disrespect to you at all here in what I've said above; on the contrary, you've been in and out of some ports (especially in the Gulf of Mexico) that few other sailors have seen, or ever will. I respect your accomplishment, and admire it.

Best wishes in the future to Vlad. And to other board members, it's worth a read.
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  #44  
Old 06-05-2008
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I read this thread fro the first time yesterday and you are right. I couldn't not only stop reading i was inspired by the adventure. Great job RUcrazy

Sorry CrazyRU
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Oil rigs will be a-penty, but relatively easy to see. Once you are beyond about 30 miles you will be free of them. You are likely to be free of any wind though also, and it gets very different.

We found a big problem in the Gulf of Mexico, in July-August. If you try to cross in a straight line to Florida Keys, the entire distance was, for us, one vast, eerie, calm. Every night the thunderstorms arrive, and they were legion, marching at us in strange lines. Watch the thunderheads with the low, pancake-like clouds beneath them... they start the sparks at about 5 pm, and continue until just before dawn.

If I had been alone, I would have been chewing the anchor rode. Flapping sails and dancing blocks rattling on the deck drove me half insane.

The motor ran for nearly 90 hours, if I remember. There really isn't much wind at all, and what very little we had was from 120 deg, and right on the nose.

If I did not have a reliable motor, I would coastal-hop, though no-doubt that will lead to different risks.

You will get about 1 kt assistance from the Gulf Stream, and it's welcome.

It's a long way to Dry Tortugas, about 650 miles, but it is a paradise....

Image of Dry Tortugas, Summer 1992 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...that's my ship there, in 1992.

Pls be careful, especially alone. If the wind drops and your motor plays up, you may be stuck out there when the weather turns nasty when one of those tropical horrors stirs things up.

Best wishes.

Last edited by Rockter; 06-06-2008 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 06-06-2008
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Great report and fun read. There is nothing like an autopilot to steer a boat, especially if your crew is a canine who can't steer anyway! I would also add a Radar system with a proximity alarm so you could actually sail at night, even as a solo sailor. A chart plotter is also really nice to have. There was all of this equipment on a boat I recently sailed 400+ nm in the Caribbean 'outside': http://www.sailnet.com/forums/cruisi...gry-ocean.html
Vladimir,
How are you liking Staten Island? Does it remind you of the post industrial nightmare you described along the Gulf Coast or
are you in a nicer area?
Welcome to NY.
Naz da rhovia!
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