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Old 05-13-2013
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3 Years to prepare...and counting

I have been sailing small crafts from 6' (when I was 5) to now 49' off and on for almost 40 years. I have taken dozens of classes and read many books, however I realize more than ever that the things one REALLY needs to know needs to be learned on the job, so to speak. My all time dream is taking off from Los Angeles and sailing the oceans for as long as it takes. I am mostly an island guy however I want to experience it all. I have just begun trying to research as much as I can, from the proper boat to the best way to prepare. I currently have a 49' Beneteau that I sail up the coast and to Catalina quite frequently. However I met someone today that said that I really need to spend a week or so hitting the Channel Islands. I'm just a bit intimidated to do this alone the first time. Almost everything I have learned has been self taught, and while I always appear to be very comfortable at sea, I am never second guessing my decisions. Any ideas on the best way I can spend my time to prepare myself? I also tried to crew on a racing boat however that was completely worthless for off-shore learning. I appreciate anyone who actually read this post and responds. Thank you.
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Old 05-13-2013
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Re: 3 Years to prepare...and counting

At first maybe try going out for a weekend rather tha a week. Take little steps and before you know it you will want to spend all your free time out there.
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Old 05-13-2013
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Re: 3 Years to prepare...and counting

I'd start by learning what it is about the Channel Islands that's different than your home cruising area. Will you have to anchor in rocky bottoms when you are used to anchoring in sand/mud? Will you have to deal with tides/currents when you have never had to consider that before? Etc etc, once you know what will be new-to-you, then study what you can & learn that. You might start with a conversation with the person who recommended the islands to you. Perhaps you could travel in company on their next trip?
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Re: 3 Years to prepare...and counting

Much lesser boats than yours have made bigger voyages.. sounds like it's time for a jaunt down to Cabo and the Sea of Cortez!

I think you'll find it's less of an issue than you're thinking.. pay mind to the weather, prepare the boat for the trip, and you'll be fine. Probably end up wondering what it was you were so concerned about.

And welcome to SN!
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Re: 3 Years to prepare...and counting

seems you have a very nice boat to do this. If you are comfortable going to Catalina, (winch is one of the Channel Islands) it should not be too big of a jump. I would think it might not hurt to find someone to go with you, perhaps put up a flyer in the marina to see if you can find a volunteer to go with you.
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Old 05-14-2013
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Re: 3 Years to prepare...and counting

Thanks for all the good feedback. I have been going back and forth to Catalina for many years. A few times in only a small dinghy with a compass. I guess my fear comes from the unknown, I like to be prepared for everything. I have asked to 'tag' along with someone to San Nicolas or San Clemente just to have that comfort level. I was also thinking of heading down to Cabo, as stated above, what would be the more conservative first trip (to get my feet wet) so to speak....or not ;-)
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