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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 11-25-2006
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1st trip as skipper

I started sailing two months ago and so far have been out six days. Five of them were training to get my ASA 103 cert. My last sail two weeks ago was too windy so my 3 crew members and I rode along with a more experienced owner.

Tomorrow morning I take my Father and two brothers out in a Cal 2-25. My two brothers just have the experience riding along from 2 weeks ago. My dad used to sail a 12ft Sunflower or something 25 years ago. Historically, I'm the least responsible kid in the family. I'm a little nervous about losing all my mom's boys in one trip.

My brother wants to go to Bremerton from Shilshole which is 15nm. I added all the points and route to my GPS and printed some charts. At 5knts, it would take us 6 hours to get there and back. With the beginning of it beating, I doubt we'll ever see Bremerton before turning back. I told them we'd be lucky to end up at Blake Island, and most likely have lunch at Eagle Harbor.

PUGET SOUND AND HOOD CANAL-
844 PM PST FRI NOV 24 2006

SAT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING S 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.
WIND WAVES BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT. RAIN LIKELY.

Any tips for us? I'm going to bed soon, but might check this board in the morning before we head out.
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Old 11-25-2006
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You don't have to go all the way to Bremerton if you think it's too far, under the conditions. When I have guests on board, I often start out for a destination, but then change my plans and go to a closer or different destination, so my guests don't get seasick or too tired. If they have a good time, they'll want to go out with you again. If they get scared or sick, they won't.

You've given a lot of thought to this trip, and you have a good plan. You'll do fine. Have a great time, and lets us know how it went!
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Old 11-25-2006
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We just got back. I don't think the wind ever hit 15kts. It was sunny and smooth sailing. Turns out my dad is a great helmsmen and ran the tiller the whole time, docking and everything. We didn't even get half way to Bremerton, but we made it to Eagle Harbor and had lunch.
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Old 11-25-2006
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That's great Ray! Nice job. Sounds like you have some new crew too. You discovered the secret to happy sailing, finding someone else who like to steer! I put my girlfriend on it and now I don't have to do anything once we get rolling. Usually I just read or play guitar till we have to tack or the wind shifts. I only take the helm when it is time for lunch so I don't have to cook! (Did I say that outloud?)
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Old 11-25-2006
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"15nm. I added all the points and route to my GPS and printed some charts. At 5knts, it would take us 6 hours to get there and back. "
Unless you have Aeolus smiling on you, or you were motoring, it didn't and won't ever happen in 6 hours if that's 15nm between the two places in a straight line. A rule of thumb is that you'll have to tack, either going or coming or both, and that means you'll be asiling at a 45-degree angle to your straight line course, so the real distance traveled will be about 1.4x the straight-line course.
I usually figure 1.5x before any current, etc. and then estimate minimum and maximum runs as long as "best guess" for a trip.

So how long did the trip take you?
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Old 11-26-2006
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Hellosailer, there must be a nautical law that states "the shortest ditance between any two points is directly into the wind" If there isn't there ought to be, so unless anyone else lays claim to it it can thenceforth be known as the "ebs001 law".
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Old 11-26-2006
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Congrats ray! I've been sailing for a month and I'm in your area (kinda). This weekend I sailed Friday and Saturday in the Colombia River (near Portland) and it was awesome. I came within literally 3 feet of demasting my boat on the I-5 bridge though, that was quite an adventure. I learned that even some major bridges can't have little sailboats go under them lol
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Old 11-26-2006
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goldingds, were you aiming for the middle? I've never been under a bridge, but there are lots of them if I head into Lake Union and Lake Washington.

hellosailor, it took us just over 4 hours beating into the wind to get there, and just under 2 hours to get back running wing and wing. We were going 4.5-5.5 knots down wind home. I have no idea how fast we were going on the way there.

My new GPS broke as soon as we got on the water because my chinese AA rechargable batteries are slightly too long and the Garmin battery compartment is slightly too small or has very tight specs. The positive nub of the battery pressed so hard against the positive spring clip, that it broke. The Garmin also didn't like 1.2 volts from NiMH. We bought some Duracells on the island and got it working for the way back.

The Cal 2-25 had electronics on it, but the only things we could get to light up were the radio and the electronic wind gauge. So we didn't have depth or speed through the water indicators.

yotphix, thanks for the tip. I'll remember that when it warms up and my wife comes along.
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Old 11-27-2006
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Ray, it sounds like you had typical "new electronics new boat" trouble. A side note, my antique Garmin has no problem with rechargeable cells of any kind, but Chinese high capacity NiMh cells all seem to be built with bad technology, they will self-discharge and go dead in 3-4 weeks, versus 6-9 months for Panasonics from Japan. (Sooner or later one or both of those may change.) I just won't buy them anymore, I can't use them unless I know in advance when to start rotating batteries through a charger so they'll be fresh to go.

Spending twice as long to go one way as you did the other, sounds typical. Incredibly good time for that small boat and that course, sounds like there must be significant current that helped you back.
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Old 11-27-2006
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We had 3 possible destinations, Bremerton @ 15nm, Blake Island @ 9nm, and Eagle Harbor was the closest @ 6nm. So I didn't think we made that good of time to Eagle Harbor and back. When the days get longer in the summertime, we'll try Bremerton again as an over-nighter.
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