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  #11  
Old 09-20-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

Don't sleep in that area. Drink lots of coffee. BTW, when ya headed to Bahamas? I'm thinking of going over in November to my boat at Marsh Harbor.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

Harbor less - I solo out of Port Canaveral and have done a couple of solo overnite sails......never ever sleep for more than a few minutes or you are likely to get run down by someone. Mark of SL was looking at AIS to see the other big boats out there, and I would guarantee there are dozens of other boats out there that do not have AIS or radar or anyone at the helm paying attention. Stay alert, catnap for a few minutes if you have to but keep an egg timer or something like that to keep you from falling soundly asleep.
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Old 09-20-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

I have crossed between Florida and the Bahamas a few times. There is NO WAY I would do what you are planning. Bank sleep before you leave and keep a good lookout as you cross that busy shipping lane.

If you get into a situation on a longer passage where you have to sleep and there is a risk of other vessels, sleep during the day and keep a lookout at night.

If you anchor on the Banks for a sleep get off the rhumb line between waypoints and make sure you are well lit.
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Old 09-21-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
I have crossed between Florida and the Bahamas a few times. There is NO WAY I would do what you are planning. Bank sleep before you leave and keep a good lookout as you cross that busy shipping lane.

If you get into a situation on a longer passage where you have to sleep and there is a risk of other vessels, sleep during the day and keep a lookout at night.

If you anchor on the Banks for a sleep get off the rhumb line between waypoints and make sure you are well lit.

Again thank you for the concern but I think you are confusing trips. I am solo sailing just offshore of ponce inlet and trying to try my hand at sleeping.. though now I think I will do the egg timer as a precaution.

I would not sleep during a gulf crossing and I am veing very thorough in my route planning for the Bahamas trip which so far is planned in detail all the way to tiloo cay (spelling might be off).

I will stay up I suppose with a few 20 minute naps thrown in when and if I get sleepy. Again my outbound heading will be determined on the wind. Its been south south west then goes all the way to north east or even north so again the direction I leave out 20 miles will depend on wind forecast for day im leaving and coming back.

I will keep you all posted and check back on this thread a few times daily for further advice and feedback.

Thanks all.
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Old 09-21-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

Are you prone to getting sea sick?
I'm mostly not, but candied dry ginger and even ginger ale seem to help with that, as does keeping busy with a task to do or staying out of the cabin.
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Old 09-21-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

Are you aware that the AVERAGE speed of the current in the stream is 2.5 knots on the 50 mile passage from Lauderdale to Bimini? At the point you are planning to heave to you would be a lot deeper into the axis of the current (I've had up to 8 knots) and even at 2.5, if you heave to for 10 hours you will be 25 miles or more north of where you began and probably another 10 to 15 north of NSB where you stop sailing, never mind the current as you sail back in. So even in moderate current conditions, you could approach the Fla coast 55 or 60 miles north of NSB, a hell of a long sail south against the current.
Perhaps going south 50 miles or so in the ICW before you head east would be a better plan.
As mentioned above, there is a lot of traffic in that area and with the added speed of the current, you couldn't count on 20 minutes of rest with your egg timer. When I single hand, I too use the egg timer, set for 11 minutes after 5 minutes on the cabin top checking out the horizon. This has only failed me once, and that was a military ship, making upwards of 40 knots. Do not rest in a bunk, or the cockpit (a very bad habit to get into), but instead at the table below; a not too comfortable napping place.
Good luck and I look forward to hearing your tale.
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Last edited by capta; 09-22-2013 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 09-21-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborless View Post
I will keep you all posted and check back on this thread a few times daily for further advice and feedback.

Thanks all.
Take some photos and videos so we can experience it all realistically with you!
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I agree that sleeping for over an hour in that area is a VERY bad idea.

How about trying to stay awake for 36 hours aboard while in port to see how you manage. For some, its easy, for some, impossible.
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Old 09-21-2013
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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

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Originally Posted by harmonic View Post
I have found whenever i use my nav lights its brings boats to me like moths too a flame I have limited battery power so only turn mine on when I see another boat reasonably close.

What if the the guys on the other boats are also taking your advice? You'd both have your lights off, only turning them on AFTER the collision to to see where all the pieces of your boats floated off to...

I'm not trying to skin you... I don't have the right because I have virtually no experience yet. Your advice on lighting, however, seems quite illogical, Captain. Live long and perspire...

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Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought

Damn, has ANYONE read his original post? He is NOT going to be crossing from S Florida to the Bahamas on this trip, folks :-)

To the OP, sailing due east of Ponce Inlet for 20 miles or so will put you in pretty busy area, traffic-wise... A lot of southbound shipping attempting to stay inshore of the Stream off Canaveral will pass thru there, as will any northbound traffic rounding Canaveral and heading for Jacksonville or Brunswick... Much of the traffic thru there is seagoing tugs towing barges far behind, the sort of shipping with short-handed crews that make me the most nervous...

It most certainly would not be an ideal area to park yourself for awhile, or go to sleep for any prolonged period of time... Besides, you want to keep sailing thru the night anyway, no? That's what singlehanded sailors do, after all - I don't know of many who routinely heave-to overnight as a matter of course, the sooner you appreciate how rigorous and tiring coastwise solo sailing along the US East coast can be, the better off you will be...

And as others have mentioned, no way do you want to be towing your dinghy out the inlet... And, make sure you will be able to interpret whatever lights other vessels will be showing, particularly those tugs... The barges in tow typically show lights that can be very faint, or difficult to see at all. In any event, you don't want to be anywhere near those guys...

Have fun, and good luck... Mark is right, you'll learn a lot... :-)
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