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  #1  
Old 05-02-2014
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training for solo non-stop circumnav

Hello!

I would like to do a solo non-stop circumnavigation. I have sailed/crewed on the west coast and crewed to Hawaii from LA.

In my estimate about several thousand miles of coastal and off-shore will be sufficient to gain the experience necessary.

Two questions:
1. What is an optimal amount of training time/miles?
2. From SF area to where for coastal and off-shore training?

Thank you,

Andy

Last edited by andyselzn; 05-12-2014 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

What kind of boat? Not a San Juan 24, I hope :-)

This strikes me as yet another of those unanswerable questions, only you will know when or if you're ready...

I'd suggest heading that north, a RT from SFO up to a spot like Sitka, or out to the Aleutians, would seem a good place to start...
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

I would think some physical and mental conditioning would help as well.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

What kind of boat are we talking about? Doing a non-stop, rtw implies going south of the capes. From your experience it does not sound like you have background in the kind of conditions you are going to get - downwind, windy, often cold, big waves. If you have time and money you could do something like buying a spot in the Clipper race. Might give you some sense of the pressures of performance when it turns nasty.

Our circumnavigation was fairly conventional in route, except we went to Easter Island rather the Marquesas from the Galapagos, so I have quite a bit of offshore experience. I have no particular interest in doing a west about non-stop, solo, but I wonder if i would be prepared for the rigours of such a journey. It is very serious undertaking.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

The trip from the West Coast to Hawaii is undoubtedly one of the easiest trips one can make on a sailing vessel, unless one has a mutinous crew, which would be interesting, if one was single handing. Navigation isn't even needed as planes fly overhead every 20 minutes or so. It has been said that an old lady in a bathtub can sail from California to Hawaii. Hawaii to Tahiti is not much more difficult, but it does require navigating, and it is a thousand miles longer. Things like the ITCZ and the doldrums can make that a very tiring trip.
If you really want to know if you are physically and mentally prepared for a singlehanded circumnavigation, and your boat is as well, then I would suggest you do a solo sail from SF to Seattle, unquestionably one of the most challenging voyages one can attempt, under sail.
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

thank you for your replies!

@JonEisberg: Sitka sounds very interesting.

@benesailor: have a fair bit of endurance and mental conditioning experience.

@killarneysailor: maybe the real test is to round cape horn. but perhaps one should do it when they are ready for the circumnav. why tempt fate twice? i understand that the eastabout vs westabout is a someday decision. also, maybe good to deal with cape horn on the front end vs the tail end. will look into the clipper race.

@capta: mutiny on a boat with a crew of one. nice!

Last edited by andyselzn; 05-12-2014 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

Why nonstop? Wouldn't you want to stop and see all the amazing places you'll be going past? I want to sail around the world someday, but I want to see all the different places. Even if it's a couple days here, a couple days there.

You can do what you want, but I just can't see passing Tahiti or South Africa or going through the Mediterranean and not stopping.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyselzn View Post
@killarneysailor: maybe the real test is to round cape horn. but perhaps one should do it when they are ready for the circumnav. why tempt fate twice?
Having rounded the horn, from east-to-west, I can tell you that actually rounding the horn is the easy part. getting there and getting away safely is the real challenge. remember that you will be in the Southern Ocean for MONTHS(!!). it will be grueling. it will be cold and wet unlike what you have experienced mountaineering. i am not saying not to follow your dreams, just to be sure you have a true sense of just what you are getting yourself into.

for some more information, check out the movie Deep Water, it focuses on Donald Crowhurst, but that's not what you should focus on. Nine sailors (eight very experienced) set sail in teh Sunday Times Golden Globe Race to attempt what you are considering and only ONE finished.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

When I mentioned the capes I was also talking about the long bits in the Southern Ocean in between. Spent some time with Peter Smith, the Rocna inventor, and he was rolled 180° on a passage from the Falklands to Cape Town which is pretty much what the OP is talking about. Peter's boat is a very stout 52' aluminum cutter that l lives in the high latitudes (he was on his way from Patagonia to Greenland when we met him). If that boat got hammered no 34' is optimal or even close.

I am with the suggestion to take time to smell the roses. If you want a bigger challenge than the coconut milk run, go west about below the capes, but at least there are a few very interesting places to stop along the way.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: training for solo non-stop circumnav

I suppose if the OP looks up the rules for any of the solo globe races, and can qualify for any one of those, that would be "sufficient".

Although I'd think that just one week and five hundred miles at sea would also be sufficient training, if that week was spent during hurricane season and in a hurricane. Kind of a "pass/fail" fast course.

High altitude mountaineering...this is reminding me of the traffic jams (!) on Mt. Everest. Somehow, the wrong reason to go.
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