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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

Active UK group go dinghy cruising Home - Dinghy Cruising Association


DCA member no 4, Frank Dye, famously sailed from Scotland to Norway and Iceland in his Wayfarer dinghy - and along the east coast of North America. He described the latter voyage in his book Sailing to the Edge of Fear.

I recently met a young couple who sailed this from St Maarten to Venuzuela.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

dr, I'd suggest asking at the local chandlery, or marina, or the Coasties, where you can take some classes in navigation and basic boating skills. There are some strong currents up there and you MUST know how to read current charts and take them into consideration in any kind of small boat. You've also got water that's cold enough to make hypothermia a risk, so I'd suggest precautions including making sure to file a float plan on a regular basis, and carrying a PLB or other distress radio. Or at least, making sure you understand the pros and cons (debated elsewhere often enough) about that.

A canoe, kayak, small catamaran, all are perfectly safe IF you understand the limits of the boat and the crew, and stay on the conservative side of them. A good boating course should help with that.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

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Originally Posted by Bilgewater View Post
My recommendations...
IMHO, I think you should take the "Power and Sailing Squadron" Boating course $300 which will get you what you need to know about currents, weather and navigation, safety etc.
Thanks for this suggestion, my partner and I just registered for the 14 week "basics and essentials" and we would not have discovered it had it not been for this reply
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

I understand your desire for the simplicity of being able to just beach the boat and pitch a tent, but I think your options and cruising range will be quite limited. As you are aware, there are many little passes that the current rips through. There are also alot of currents in seemingly open areas. Couple that with the fact that often in the summer there is little or no wind, and you might find it frustrating if not impossible to get where you are going without auxiliary power. A canoe paddle in a dinghy certainly won't cut it. Proper oars and oarlocks might if you are fit and strong. Remember, even if the current is going your way, it can be very risky negotiating some of the passes without power. The eddies can just grab you and spin you around if you don't have enough boatspeed for the rudder to bite. You will be at the mercy of the current until it decides when and where to spit you out, and hopefully you will still be upright and dry when that happens!

I think you should be thinking more about some kind of pocket cruiser with a small outboard.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by driggers View Post
Thanks for this suggestion, my partner and I just registered for the 14 week "basics and essentials" and we would not have discovered it had it not been for this reply
That's great...glad to hear it.
However I don't think your taking the right one. This is the one I was referring to. Boating Safety with Juan de Fuca Power Squadron, Victoria, BC
It's an introductory course that lasts 15 weeks but covers the whole shebang and it starts from scratch. The other one you're referring to seems a bit weak to me but I could be wrong. I had actually never heard of "basics & essentials" until you posted it.
Just my thoughts, in any case it's good that your getting into it...should be fun.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

few jears ago I was out in north scotland and was ancored of the entrance of Loch Linnhe when a dink ( sturdy klinker built but a dink ) pulled up and the young couple asked me if there where any more interesting places to visit along the scottish coast and all they had was a road map of scotland. I thought they had a strange accent and asked them where they were from and it transpired that they had sailed that nutshell with a iglu tent they could sort of put up in it if they took the mast out and their camping srtove ......from Island.
People think I am nuts sailing single handed the wrong way over the pond at the wrong time of year but to answer your question...... it is possible to do most things if you want to. ( disclaimer ....don't try this at home .... or only at home kids )

ATB

Michael
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

FWIW, I lived in Bellingham, WA for three years (absolutely beautiful spot), and while sea kayaking around the islands was popular, I can't recall ever seeing or hearing of people exploring the area in a sailing dinghy or similar (absent a few who might putt around within a few 100 yards of shore). Not that it couldn't theoretically be done, I just didn't find that people did it, likely for the reasons already stated by a few folks.

Unfortunately, I did not spend too much time on the water there (the mountains were what had me there), but from the experience I did have, I can't imagine feeling comfortable navigating around those parts without a motor. But I'm kind of an over-prepared, over-thinking weenie too.

Lastly, if you do want to see what can go wrong, check out the episode "Swept Away" from the discovery show "I Shouldn't Be Alive"--which takes place in this area.

Discovery Channel :: I Shouldn't Be Alive :: Episode Guide
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

Sounds like ther really isn't much wind in this area then, maybe something like a motor canoe with a 3.5 ob would suit the op better.

I enjoy kayaking, but when u actually have to get somewhere it is really hard work and a little boring too. So for me it's sailing or nothing. Too bad, kayaking is an infinitely more affordable hobby :-)
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Old 08-25-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
Sounds like ther really isn't much wind in this area then, maybe something like a motor canoe with a 3.5 ob would suit the op better.

I enjoy kayaking, but when u actually have to get somewhere it is really hard work and a little boring too. So for me it's sailing or nothing. Too bad, kayaking is an infinitely more affordable hobby :-)
Adventure Kayaking is very common out here, and is a very good way of getting around. In popularity it ranks up there with sailing. No problem with currents and kayaks but you need to be able to understand the currents. Most people I know have kayaks including myself.
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Last edited by Bilgewater; 08-25-2012 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 08-25-2012
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Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
Sounds like ther really isn't much wind in this area
Peter...just to be clear.
There is wind and lots of it out here. Sailing is done year round but during the summer we can go for long periods during a day or even a couple of days with little or no wind. Sailing is very very popular around here but with the combination of traffic, big tides, lots of currents, going every which way and many islands, channels, inlets and mountains, blocking winds, funneling winds, funneling seas etc. etc. it can be problematic getting around without an efficient method of propulsion or an auxiliary method of propulsion. [edit] Kayaks are efficient and work well.
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Last edited by Bilgewater; 08-25-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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