First offshore passage question - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 03-16-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 127
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
SiXeVeN is on a distinguished road
First offshore passage question

Hey all,

I have primarily coastal cruising experience. Mostly short day or weekend hops from marina to marina. However, a friend and I would like to plan a mild offshore trip. Something where we get into more 'blue' water.

We are thinking either San Diego to Catalina island or possibly Miami to Bimini islands. Anyone have any thoughts on if one is better than the other for a 'beginner' trip? Any other trip you may recommend? I don't think either are a difficult trip by any means (I have daysailed further distances) but since neither of us has done an offshore(<30nm) trip....

Any advice would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 03-16-2009
SSQ74
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 41
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
pontiakos is on a distinguished road
San Diego to Catalina is a good first trip (I have no expertise on the Miami/Bimini trip). A perfect solo hop, with navigation, a little chop, and some good sized commercial and military traffic.

The bottom line is that whether it is your first trip or your 4000th, preparation is the key to a smooth sail... preparing your boat and yourself are essential.Provision correctly, do your homework on prevailing winds, tides and both your departure and arrival ports as well as enroute navigation fixes etc will create confidence. and please keep a dual navtrack, one on paper and one via your gps..challenge yourself to be able to navigate without the electronics.

You will find Catalina avery nice port (take the island Tour) with much too see for the first time visitor, Also check out Two Harbors some nice things too see there as well.

Safe travels
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 03-17-2009
MSter's Avatar
Salty
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 106
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 7
MSter is on a distinguished road
Just a quick question as your target passages include both coasts. I am assuming you are looking to charter a boat for this cruise? If so, you better get your sailing resume together while getting some certs under your belts first. Even with that said, a junior Cap'n with a junior crew, sailing in unfamiliar waters, in an unfamiliar boat just may be a news headline waiting to happen. Sure, people do it...but they also jump out of perfectly good airplanes!!! My plans for this trip would be preceded by crewing on someone else's boat that has been there, done that.

I guess my point is to err on the side of caution as anything can and will happen at the most inopportune time. No sense in turning a great cruise into a nightmare due to lack of experience.

my .02......
__________________
MSter
1983 Morgan OI 416
S/V Shamrock
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 03-17-2009
imagine2frolic's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,831
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 7
imagine2frolic is on a distinguished road
I don't believe a new to you boat, and unfamiliar waters are an upcoming news article. I have done it dozens of times, and with your coastal experience it will help. I have never sailed to Catalina, but I have sailed down, and up the coast. I have read about, and seen pictures of Catalina. It's a pretty spot, but the Bahamas are a completely different animal..

I have chartered out of Miami, and sailed to Bimini, Abacos, Stirup Cay, and back to Bimini all within 10 days. You will find the anchorages plentiful. The water not so deep for anchoring. The water warm enough to get in most of the year without a wet suit. Just south of Bimini a couple of miles is an old wreck where the snorkeling is fantastic.

I have used Florida Yacht Charters out of South Beach Miami. May & June are great times to go. You can go later, but HURRICANE season kicks in then. I have gone in hurricane season. You just have to pay attention to the weather.

You can also go southwest, and follow the Keys. It's beautiful, and diverse in it's scenery. You can PM me if you would like to see many pics of the Bahamas, and some information.

My thinking is that you will be limited at Catalina Island, and unlimited in the Bahamas. This is JMHO of course.....i2f
Attached Thumbnails
First offshore passage question-staniel-cay-mel-john.jpg  
__________________
20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


BORROWED, No single one of us is as smart as all of us!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 03-17-2009
MSter's Avatar
Salty
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 106
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 7
MSter is on a distinguished road
Agreed... New boat in new waters has been done countless times. It's that combination coupled with limited experience that may get to be a bit scarry. Most daysails or marina hops dont involve heavy weather sailing, emergency repairs underway, ciritical navigation and radio correspondance, night passages, filling float plans, customs clearing, etc. All these things put together can be a bit daunting/dangerous for a "beginner" trip to Bimini for example.

I am not saying it cant be done....but perhaps is better experienced as crew or accompanied by an experienced Cap'n for your very first trip.
__________________
MSter
1983 Morgan OI 416
S/V Shamrock
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 03-17-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 127
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
SiXeVeN is on a distinguished road
Mster,

I appreciate your caution but my sailing buddy and I have a reasonable skill set. I have already had my fair share of
Quote:
heavy weather sailing, emergency repairs underway, critical navigation and radio correspondence, night passages
However, I am lacking in experience with clearing customs and immigration (Bimini) and handling heavy commercial/military traffic (Catalina). I have done considerable river sailing with current but I have never crossed the Gulf stream with its 3 knot northerly flow. That would add a new twist to navigation... Although i'm confident it could be dealt with.

Ideally, one would crew on a boat a few times to learn all the nuances but we both don't have that opportunity. So, it will have to be a learning experience. Thus, my questions... Is one better suited for a first time trip? Any advice to consider about either trip?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 03-17-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 127
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
SiXeVeN is on a distinguished road
Imagine2frolic,

Yes, I agree... Bimini would be a much nicer destination but I have some concern with the previously mentioned issues of customs and immigration. I think it is mostly an issue of just doing it and learning from the experience.

We would be going in May which is good timing but weather is still more of an issue in FL than in San Diego. Maybe someone can chime in about Catalina?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 03-18-2009
MSter's Avatar
Salty
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 106
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 7
MSter is on a distinguished road
6-

Given your location, SW FL...I would than say the Bimini trip would be your best bet as you could better time your weather windows. Additionally, you may even find a few boats you may accompany on the trip. As for clearing customs, I have found a link for you which explains the process for clearing Bahamian customs and your return trip to the US.

Bahamas Ports of Entry - Bahamas Vacation Travel Guide by Bahamas-Travel.info
__________________
MSter
1983 Morgan OI 416
S/V Shamrock
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 03-18-2009
imagine2frolic's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,831
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 7
imagine2frolic is on a distinguished road
Customs is a matter of walking up to the window, and filling out a few forms. You can ask questions if you don't understand. Traffic is a matter of keeping a watch. Yes, it's busy there, but no more than Catalina.

As far as the entry fee. The price is cheap when you take into consideration what you will experience. I have to laugh at people sailing , or powering boats worht hundreds of thousands of dollars, and will cry about the entry fee of 150 to $300 dollars for six months.

BEST WISHES in what ever you decide, and as I typed feel free to PM me with questions......i2f
__________________
20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


BORROWED, No single one of us is as smart as all of us!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 03-18-2009
danielgoldberg's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 679
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 7
danielgoldberg is on a distinguished road
Here's a thought for you guys. Try signing up with John Kretschmer for one of his sails. He fills his boat with paying customers looking to get bluewater experience, and he teaches them about voyaging along the way. He has many options and a number of different destinations. He'll walk you through step-by-step on how to deal with all the things you reference. I have no affiliation with him, other than to say I know him and think he's a great guy. If you do look him up, tell him I referred you (and tell him he still owes me; he'll know what I mean. ). His website is John Kretschmer Sailing - Training Passages - Workshops - Presentations - Expeditions - Writing/Photography.

We also do something similar for our Bermuda rally, but your options are pretty limited with us -- sail from NY to Bermuda, back to NY from Bermuda, or both legs. We do one trip a year (end of June), so either you can make it at that point or you can't, which is why I suggest looking up John, as he has a lot more options.
__________________
Dan Goldberg

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Production blue water boats JakeLevi Boat Review and Purchase Forum 73 07-31-2009 10:07 PM
Bluewater defined? dch Learning to Sail 44 07-29-2009 07:20 PM
Reflections of an Offshore Passage Bermuda Seamanship & Navigation 4 07-23-2006 08:03 PM
A GUIDE TO OFFSHORE PASSAGE MAKERS (Sailing Vessels) piclarke Crew Wanted/Available 0 05-13-2003 04:43 PM
What Makes a Safe Offshore Boat Sue & Larry Cruising Articles 0 07-19-2001 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:15 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.