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  #1  
Old 12-31-2009
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Your first time away from the sight of land

As a great number of members on SailNet have many years of cruising experience it may be difficult to remember the first time you left the sight of land.

What was your biggest fear or concern your first time out ?

Was it...(a couple of examples)

1. Have i prepared well enough?

2. Actually loosing sight of land?

3. The unknown?

or did you just get in there and do it...fearless...stared at the horizon and just went for it?

I have spoken to a couple of people that have cruised the worlds oceans and they have said it was actually "loosing sight of land...realising that you were pretty much on your own"

I would imagine that experiences would of been different if they were sailing alone or they had responsibilty of crew.

As it is still a work in progress for me I can only think how I would feel. I'm sure I would be nervous but if I have prepared well, taken safety precautions then it would be all down to my ability to handle the situations as they arise. I learn a lot by getting out there and just doing it.

I look forward to the challenge of being out of my comfort zone.

Ozi
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Last edited by OziDude; 01-01-2010 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 12-31-2009
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My first sail beyond the sight of land is probably without merit for this post. I was on a twelve foot Alcoacraft, similar to a Sunfish and all I had was my swimsuit. It wasn't much of a risk as I was off Fort Lauderdale and sailing back to the afternoon sun would not allow me to miss the beach. Anyway I was 15, young and in manure, and out for a brief adventure. Shortly after the tops of the biggest hotels were out of sight I came back. I'm sure this doesn't meet the expected criteria begining this thread, but it was 48 years ago and the start of many years of cruising offshore. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew

Last edited by CaptainForce; 12-31-2009 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
My first sail beyond the sight of land is probably without merit for this post. I was on a twelve foot Alcoacraft, similar to a Sunfish and all I had was my swimsuit. It wasn't much of a risk as I was off Fort Lauderdale and sailing back to the afternoon sun would not allow me to miss the beach. Anyway I was 15, young and in manure, and out for a brief adventure. Shortly after the tops of the biggest hotels were out of sight I came back. I'm sure this doesn't meet the expected criteria begining this thread, but it was 48 years ago and the start of many years of cruising offshore. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
Captain,

Even at 15 you have done something I have still yet to do. My sailing experience is very very limited and I have never lost sight of land.

After 48 years you have so much valuable experience.

Thanks for your reply to the thread

Ozi
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Old 12-31-2009
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My 1st out of sight of land trip...took us 300 miles..from nearest landfall.

The knowledge that we were pretty much on our own to deal with any weather that came at us...struck me.....and then the weather hit!

We had no long range communications...duh! other than a portable SSB receiver....thank God for Herb....at least we knew it wasn't going to get much worse...but the fear of the unknown..without good weather information.

Is it going to get worse/better....should I alter course...?..how long will this last....all good to know to relieve stress. imho

Having a seasoned crew that you trust, a sound vessel, and the ability to eat and get good rest when off watch.....invaluable....

hand steering in steep seas is exhausting ...so physical conditioning is good preparation. Beginning a trip well rested is important in my mind. Rushing around to the point of exhaustion for days on end to get the boat ready for sea, and then leaving to meet a schedule didn't help.
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Old 12-31-2009
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I was probably 12 or so. We were walleye fishing on Lake Erie. My dad had a 24' Skiff Craft. I remember seeing the buoys that divide the lake, we didn't dare fish the canadian side. It's amazing how pretty the lake is when out that far. I remember a very turquoise colored water.
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Old 12-31-2009
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My first time out of sight of land was an over night sail to the Dry Tortugas, Fort Jefferson, single handed but with a buddy in another boat. My biggest fear?
Don't laugh but I had to keep telling myself that the boat was not going to spontaneously disintegrate.
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Old 12-31-2009
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I have just spoken to a friend about the subject. He is a keen deep sea fisherman and often goes out of sight of land in his old Halverson.

He reckons when he thinks of how far away from land he is,the depth of the water, and what lurks beneath, especially at night, he gets a little freaked out. He says he just keeps busy and dosnt give himself time to think.

He still loves getting out there though....and rarely misses an oppotunity. I guess thats the pull of the ocean for you.

Ozi
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Old 12-31-2009
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The first time that I went out of sight of land, I was asleep in my bunk and when I came on for watch, there was no land to see. It was a little weird realizing that you are much more dependent on the boat. I have had a couple of experiences where the boat has started taking on water (hose rupturing, stuffing box blowing apart, hitting a submerged object) and that is always my fear is that something will happen and the water will get ahead of us.

In a weird sense, having sailed a lot in fog helped me because I was used to no visual references. Fog is very different but it does get you used to having to rely on DR and your electronics.
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Old 12-31-2009
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Another probably not to count.............

Today, as far as out of sight of land it was as soon as I left my slip. The forcast for today in Galveston Bay was to be 65° and sunny with a few clouds. It turned out to be around 50° and foggy all day. I was to go from Clear Lake in Galveston Bay to Galveston Island for a couple days which is about 30 miles and never out of sight of land.

I waited around all morning doing boat work waiting for the sun to burn off the fog. At about 11 all the internet weather sites still said the fog would be gone around noon. Being I have been to Redfish Island numerous times before and I had good records of safe tracks, also had good charts for the area. I figured the fog would be gone by the time I made it there. It wasnt, and being the Houston Shipping Channel is right behind it I did not feel like making the next about 15 mile trek through all those huge ships in the fog. I anchored at Redfish Island for a couple hours to see if the sun would wake up and it didnt. So i came back to my slip. Only came with in seeing distance of two boats and none was a suprise thankfully. I hate to think what suprises would have came in the shipping channel. No not for me.
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Old 12-31-2009
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First time was many years ago when I sailed from New Orleans to San Juan with my parents. Fear - nothing; seasick - much of the way.
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