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post #1 of 10 Old 10-23-2010 Thread Starter
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Stopping along the way?

Questions for the well traveled cruisers. 1- If you are sailing along the Pacific coast and you just want to stop for a few hours and drop anchor, can you just do that or must you find a mooring near land? 2-Can you just go for a dip ( even if you do not hear the theme from jaws) or would you be lunch? I realize these may seem dumb to a real sailor but to a wana be they are not.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-23-2010
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Anchorages are not spaced evenly along the coast like highway rest stops. So if you want to just stop for a few hours, you would stop sailing and either drift in calm weather or put up a sail combination that puts your boat in a slow controlled drift so you can rest or do whatever. Taking a dip off the boat is risky, not for sharks, but for getting back on the boat if it's drifting faster than you can swim. Folks do it, but they'll take precautions like tethering themselves to the boat and having a boarding ladder deployed, or having someone else on the boat while others are swimming.

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-23-2010 Thread Starter
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thanks erps. sound advice. I have often noticed how shallow the water gets offshore and often wondered if cruisers ever drop anchore out there.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-23-2010
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-23-2010
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Originally Posted by lostatsi View Post
thanks erps. sound advice. I have often noticed how shallow the water gets offshore and often wondered if cruisers ever drop anchore out there.
erps described it well, the maneuver btw is called heave-to. There does not seem to be much reason to drop an anchor in the middle of somewhere, but e.g. the well know cruising couple Lin and Larry Pardey, being without engine, did exactly that when they were being pushed back by a current on a windless night. They simply used up most of their chain and anchored in the middle of southern South China Sea, in cca 40m depth, if I remember correctly.
As for the dip. I have taken a dip once, when we needed to start the engine after few hundred miles, but realized that the propeller is fouled with weed. I confess to feeling little uneasy wondering what's gonna bite me, but thrilled at the same time. With wife competent to handle the boat, we just drop a line that I could hold on to when needed, tying myself to it seemed more dangerous if it got tangled...
Though in Malaysia, we've met a guy who was filming sharks, so whenever they've spotted some, who would instantly (their description) jump into the water and his wife would follow him with the boat

Petr & Jana
s/y Janna, HR 31 Monsun

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post #6 of 10 Old 10-23-2010
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Not sure what part of the Pacific coast you have in mind, but while in BC there's a lot of decent anchorages even on the "outside", the US coast is limited.. I'd venture to say there are very few places "off the coast" where anchoring would be feasible.

Stopping, heaving to, or laying ahull, - sure - but be aware of where you are exactly and avoid any known shipping lanes.

I think areas with predatory sharks are relatively rare.. but be sure you can stay with the boat AND get back on board, as Ray indicated.

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-23-2010
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Along the Northwest coast of N. America you will find that the water is around 50 degrees F. and as you go further north it will get colder... So if you do go in the water either keep your swim short or wear wet suits. Brrrr!

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-23-2010
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In warm waters, I have been known to heave-to and go swimming. But I string two docklines attached to fenders a float them behind the boat, attached to the stern cleats. I stay between the two lines.

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post #9 of 10 Old 10-24-2010 Thread Starter
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The times I have went on trips have been from San Diego to Ensenada and south, then over to Catalinas. The water is plenty warm by my standards. It just seemed we were always "sailing" from one point to another. I often wondered why not just stop? BTW if your going to say "ask the capt" thats another post! A mile or two off the coast the depth would occasionally drop to 50 feet, thats what made me think about anchoring.
Your replys were great and very infomative. I never thought about the shipping lane thing! I guess I wondered if the anchor could cause the boat to swamp in a big swell. That would explain the "heave to". Does that keep you in one spot that well?
As for swimming it seems not too many sailors do it on purpose! I grew up in San Diego and have spent many an hour on and in it's beaches, but have never swam out at a mile or more.Shark attacks that you read about tend to be near shores and very rare at best (althougth just one would be alot if you owned it!). I was just curious if it was something that cruisers did much of out there. I always dream of living on a boat in the warm waters of mexico and having the biggest pool in the neighborhood right outside. I get the saftey aspect as far as loosing the boat. I wondered how common or not the pratice was and if being the catch of the day was a greater risk out there.
Thanks SO much for all your kind replys.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-26-2010
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Sharks are such a non-factor threat wise that I find it surprising so many people hold such archaic views about them. Seriously, sharks are no more a threat than snakes are slimy (THEY ARENT!). A few attacks and JAWS have caused the sharks to take on the role of muslims of the sea post 9/11. Everyone is wary of them, everyone is waiting for them to attack.. Now I cant say what muslims will or wont do, but I can say that the worlds shark populations are most definently not planning their next attack.

Instead of worrying so much about sharks, worry about giant Squids! Those things are huge and each suction cup has a huge tooth in it! Problem solved.

*Note*** In some bay around Mexico there are actually killer squids. If a fisherman or animal falls into the water they have a good chance of not coming back up. Squids are so much more scary than sharks (minus GW). Baracudas scare me more than sharks do too(minus GW).
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