Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
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Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought
I have been down in NSB for a little over two months now. Have sailed out of Ponce Inlet many times, twice in some really heavy swells (east wind meats ebb tide sort of thing).
Anyway- I am trying to slowly work myself up. Next week I am off three days in a row and felt like it would be the perfect oppurtunity to do an overnight trip offshore. Weather permitting of course.
The set up: 27' centerboard sailboat roughly 8,000 lbs. New main and 98% jib. All is ship shape except an old diesel engine which has not given me any issues for over 40 hours but that will never be completely OK in my mind until it is gone (hence I have a new boat.)
Yes- I know I should have more head sails for wind increases but the set up is what it is and again- I will not be going unless NOAA has good forecast. For you safety minded people (not that I am not) I gave up my solo attempt at a sail yesterday bc of NOAA (damn small craft advisory, 6-7' seas, 15-20 knot east wind plus the nasty ponce inlet-actually would have been a great day sailing if not for the inlet and my pesky underpowered motor, only 8 hp).
Lastly- before my bahama trip this summer ill have at least a storm jib- so now unto the plans.
I plan to leave out of the inlet on the falling ebb and head pretty much due east for 20 to 25 miles (NOAA forecast gulf stream is 40 miles off shore so should not have to worry about finding it). About 8 p.m. or so I was planning on hoving to for the night until 4:30 when I would get up and sail back west until I spot the coast then take some fixes to find my way back North to the inlet.
A few observations, ideas, and questions now follow in a very muddeled order whcih I aplogize for in advance.
If I encounter a squall at night while hove to would the best course of action be to stay hove to, go on deck and steer up wind or whatever course is easiest on rig and skipper, or keep main reefed and lower jib and sail abeam the wind since without the headsail I would not be able to go upwind but would also have much less canvas that could be filled resulting in being over powered?
Was starting at sun down going to turn on the anchor, running, and mast head lights for the duration- do you think an egg timer would be over doing it? Every 21 minute check sorta thing or with my rig lit up and radar reflected hoisted up would I be fine sleeping a solid 4-6 hours?
Going to dead reckon from the inlet until I see the inlet again. Will have GPS programmed for back up or emergencies. Going to be using knot meters, analong wind gauges, and dividers and paralell rulers for all navigation unless I run into trouble then have the back up GPS. Will also have VHF on 16 for duration.
Going to tow dinghy astern- will that throw off hoving too? Was thinking I should put the dinghy on deck once hove to for this purpose.
Going to provision for two days just in case- hot and cold meals in case sea too sloppy for galley cooking.
Really though I am looking for anything I may have missed or have not considered- this is where you salts can hopefully send some advice or cents (sense) my way to make sure this next leg up is a great one.
Thanks all- will monitor quite a bit to respond to any questions or concerns.