... I can't wait. I have spring fever already. Goal is to get ocean sailing experience...
Any suggestions? Concerns? Ideas?
Ahoy there, matie! Welcome to Sailnet!
In order to sail in the ocean, you have one of two choices:
1. The certification route:
a. Obtain a certificate, suitable for framing, from an ASA-approved sailing school, indicating that you have successfully completed all the requirements of a bluewater sailing course. Make sure your instructor has a certificate, suitable for framing, indicating that he or she has been approved to teach students blue-water sailing. You might first have to complete a set of ASA courses, including the bluewater sailing course, offered by the sponsors of this website; and,
b. Obtain a certificate, suitable for framing, that your boat has all the ISAF Cat 1 equipment and gear required for offshore racing/sailing/cruising. The inspector must possess a certificate, suitable for framing, indicating that he or she has passed all the requirements for inspecting vessels for bluewater sailing. You may have to buy a liferaft, EPIRB, and/or other equipment, and/or make structural changes to your sailboat, such as adding watertight bulkheads, with materials and/or supplies sold by the sponsors of this website; or,
2. Make sure you have a pair of gonads in your shorts (no additional training, certifications or gear necessary).
In any event, the good news is help is just a push button away. With an EPIRB on board, you can summon help from the Coast Guard in the event:
1. You feel seasick;
2. You don't like the weather forecast; or
3. You run out of salsa and chips.
If you do activate your EPIRB, make sure you come up with a good excuse for requiring a rescue at taxpayer expense. Here are some of the favorites:
1. Crew member throwing up blood;
2. Wife or crew member set off EPIRB, after locking self in head/cabin; and,
3. Engine inoperable, batteries dead, sails shredded, and water coming inside cabin (you will not be held accountable for any of this "happening" to you, since these events could not possibly be anticipated, even though they have been occurring for centuries).
You might lose your sailboat if you do activate your EPIRB, unless you can convince the Coast Guard to tow you in; however, you will have plenty of defenders here on Sailnet, with these kinds of rationalizations:
1. No one can possibly criticize you without being onboard your boat in the exact circumstances, even though the predicted/recorded conditions, vessel description and actions take, were available to all;
2. No one can possibly criticize your decision without spending some portion of their life sailing in the ocean;
3. No one can possibly criticize your decision unless he or she has some kind of certificate, suitable for framing; or,
4. The conditions were much worse than predicted by all reliable scientific indications and/or recorded by all scientific instrumentation available in the vicinity.
Good luck and happy sailing!
P.S. Please buy some gear and take some lessons from the Sailnet sponsors!